South Dakota bans most abortions
South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds signed a bill Monday that bans nearly all abortions in the state, legislation in direct conflict with the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in 1973.
The new law defines life as originating "at the time of conception."
Although the law -- intended as a constitutional challenge to Roe v. Wade -- is set to take effect July 1, Rounds said in the statement that he expects legal action will prevent that. He added that a settlement of the issue could take years and might ultimately be decided by the nation's highest court.
"The reversal of a Supreme Court opinion is possible," Rounds said, pointing to the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision that reversed the 1896 ruling that states could segregate public facilities by race if equal facilities were offered.
The bill "will give the United States Supreme Court a similar opportunity to reconsider an earlier opinion."
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America, as well as its chapter that covers Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, has said it plans to fight the legislation in court.
The national group said 10 states are considering similar bills.
"These abortion bans, and the politicians supporting them, are far outside the mainstream of America," Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said in a written statement.
"Planned Parenthood will fight these attacks in court, in the state houses, and at the ballot boxes, to ensure that women, with their doctors and families, continue to be able to make personal health care decisions without government interference."
The bill signed by Rounds allows doctors to perform abortions only to save the lives of pregnant women, but even then encourages them to exercise "reasonable medical efforts" to both save mothers and continue pregnancies.
Anyone who performs an abortion under any other circumstance -- even in a case of rape or incest -- can be charged with a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. The mother cannot be charged.
In his statement, however, Rounds pointed out that the bill does not prohibit doctors from prescribing contraceptive drugs before a pregnancy is determined, such as in a rape or incest case.
State lawmakers had rejected proposed amendments that would have made exceptions for rape or incest.
mardi, mars 07, 2006
far outside the mainstream of america
Note to self: Never live in South Dakota.