February 25, 2006
South Dakota Governor Expected to Sign HB 1215, The Women's Health and Human Life Protection Act
The South Dakota House of Representatives has given final approval to a bill that would ban nearly all abortions in the state. The state Senate approved the abortion ban earlier this week. Governor Mike Rounds, a longtime opponent of abortion, is expected to sign the bill. Under the bill, doctors who perform abortions in the State of South Dakota would face up to five years in prison, except when necessary to save a woman's life. Pregnant women who have or attempt to have an abortion are exempt from criminal conviction and penalty.
Section 1. The Legislature accepts and concurs with the conclusion of the South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion, based upon written materials, scientific studies, and testimony of witnesses presented to the task force, that life begins at the time of conception, a conclusion confirmed by scientific advances since the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade, including the fact that each human being is totally unique immediately at fertilization. Moreover, the Legislature finds, based upon the conclusions of the South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion, and in recognition of the technological advances and medical experience and body of knowledge about abortions produced and made available since the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade, that to fully protect the rights, interests, and health of the pregnant mother, the rights, interest, and life of her unborn child, and the mother's fundamental natural intrinsic right to a relationship with her child, abortions in South Dakota should be prohibited. Moreover, the Legislature finds that the guarantee of due process of law under the Constitution of South Dakota applies equally to born and unborn human beings, and that under the Constitution of South Dakota, a pregnant mother and her unborn child, each possess a natural and inalienable right to life.
Section 2. That chapter 22-17 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:
No person may knowingly administer to, prescribe for, or procure for, or sell to any pregnant woman any medicine, drug, or other substance with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination of the life of an unborn human being. No person may knowingly use or employ any instrument or procedure upon a pregnant woman with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination of the life of an unborn human being.
Any violation of this section is a Class 5 felony.
Section 3. That chapter 22-17 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:
Nothing in section 2 of this Act may be construed to prohibit the sale, use, prescription, or administration of a contraceptive measure, drug or chemical, if it is administered prior to the time when a pregnancy could be determined through conventional medical testing and if the contraceptive measure is sold, used, prescribed, or administered in accordance with manufacturer instructions.
Section 4. That chapter 22-17 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:
No licensed physician who performs a medical procedure designed or intended to prevent the death of a pregnant mother is guilty of violating section 2 of this Act. However, the physician shall make reasonable medical efforts under the circumstances to preserve both the life of the mother and the life of her unborn child in a manner consistent with conventional medical practice.
Medical treatment provided to the mother by a licensed physician which results in the accidental or unintentional injury or death to the unborn child is not a violation of this statute.
Nothing in this Act may be construed to subject the pregnant mother upon whom any abortion is performed or attempted to any criminal conviction and penalty.
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