Friday, April 25, 2008
South Dakota Voters Will Consider Another Abortion Ban
NY Times: S. Dakota to Revisit Restrictions on Abortion, by Monica Davey:
Voters in South Dakota this fall will once again be asked to consider a sweeping limit on abortion, the secretary of state announced on Friday. The new proposal is widely seen as a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal.
South Dakota found itself in a similar spot two years ago, when a ballot question on a broad abortion ban turned national attention on the state’s 780,000 residents during an emotional and expensive battle that lasted months and ended with the proposed ban’s defeat.
One element has changed in the question that will appear on the ballot this November: This time the ban includes some exceptions for rape, incest, or the life and health of the mother. Some South Dakotans said the absence of such exceptions led them to vote against the 2006 proposal, which lost by 56 percent to 44 percent.
If the measure is approved by the voters, South Dakota would have the strictest limits on abortion in the country, abortion rights advocates say. That would be nearly certain to lead to an immediate challenge in the courts.
See also: Minneapolis Star Tribune: 2 years later, abortion will again be on S.D. ballot, by Mary Lynn Smith.