For obvious reasons, this new ban that will be going into effect in July in South Dakota has caught my eye – that isn’t to say it won’t be splashed all over the news by tomorrow (or it should be, in a sane world!). While of course most of us knew that this ban and others like it would become common place in the near future, it never really prepares us for the reality. Or it doesn’t prepare me, at the very least. So here it is, the first fairly comprehensive ban signed into law by Governor Mike Rounds, signed Monday aimed at challenging the 1973 Supreme court decision.
In defense of his position, CNN quoted Governor Rounds as saying:
“In the history of the world, the true test of a civilization is how well people treat the most vulnerable and most helpless in their society,” said a statement released by Rounds, a Republican.
“The sponsors and supporters of this bill believe that abortion is wrong because unborn children are the most vulnerable and most helpless persons in our society. I agree with them.”
The ban itself can only be described as extremist, going so far as to ban abortions in all cases except for medical necessities. Cases of incest and rape are not included in the exceptions:
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.
As can be expected, both Naral and Planned Parenthood have spoken out quick and harsh against this new law, and are rallying for support to keep this from happening in other states. Nancy Keenan, president of Naral had this to say earlier:
“Governor Rounds’ signing of this bill should spur all Americans to let their governors know that they oppose egregious actions that threaten a woman’s reproductive freedom. This law is a monumental setback for women in South Dakota and across the country. This ban contains no exceptions for women who are rape or incest victims, or whose health is threatened, and has an inadequate exception to protect a woman’s life.”
“Since the South Dakota Legislature first passed this abortion ban, pro-choice Americans have reacted with a renewed commitment to protect a woman’s right to choose. They are right to be concerned because this is not an isolated case. Anti-choice politicians in 11 other states are pushing similar bans. President Bush has created a climate with his judicial appointments in which anti-choice lawmakers feel emboldened to attack Roe v. Wade. Americans don’t want to see this landmark decision overturned, and President Bush and his anti-choice allies will pay a political price for advancing such an out-of-the mainstream agenda.”