S. Dakota Abortion Law Aims to be Test Case on Roe v. Wade
South Dakota, which already has a very strict law on abortion, has an even stricter one on the ballot in November, that would ban abortion in all cases except rape, incest and (narrow) instances of necessity to protect the life or health of the woman.
First, the current law:
The legislature passed a law requiring doctors to tell women that an abortion would "terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique living human being." Each woman must be told that abortion increases the risk of "suicide ideation and suicide," a medically disputed assertion, and must be offered the chance to view a sonogram. A 24-hour waiting period is required.
Access is a problem with only one clinic in the state. In 2006, a more strict bill was rejected by voters.
But, the radical right regrouped and re-tooled the proposed ban and it's on the ballot in November as "Initiated Measure 11" which would ban abortion "except in cases of rape, incest and a narrow interpretation of the health and life of the woman."
The purpose of the group behind it, Vote Yes for Life: to provide the case that will overturn Roe v. Wade.
One pro-choice doctor says:
"If there's a risk of a Class 4 felony if I don't meet the ambiguous standard of 'serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily organ or system,' there's no way I would consider doing an abortion for health reasons," [Dr.]Buehner said. "This represents incredible government interference in the practice of medicine."
Then, there's the Lampstand Project, a church group which has organized to convince women not to have abortions and again, produce the case that will overturn Roe v. Wade:
[Rev.] Hickey says he believes South Dakota has been chosen by God to challenge Roe v. Wade. At a time when the United States allows "the shedding of innocent blood," Hickey said in an interview in his office at Church at the Gate, "He is giving the nation a window of opportunity to address this. He's picked the state that can pull it off."
They have a list of 35 ways for members to support the November Initiative.
"[A] key component of the Vote Yes effort is the campaign trail testimony of women who regret their abortions and want to stop others from having them. The 'candidates' of this particular initiative are the women who have been harmed, those who feel they had a right to have a relationship with her child," said Unruh, who had an abortion. "The people of South Dakota are standing up and giving those babies a voice."
By the time this law, should it or one like it pass in another state, gets to the Supreme Court, we will have more than one new justice on the court.
It's this simple: Voting for Obama/Biden makes it less likely these new justices will overturn Roe v. Wade, while voting for McCain/Palin virtually guarantees new justices will vote to overturn it.
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