Pro-Family Groups Hail South Dakota Abortion Ban
by Wendy Cloyd, assistant editor
The state now faces legal challenges that will likely end up before the Supreme Court.
South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds signed into law today a bill that outlaws nearly all abortions in the state. Planned Parenthood has already announced plans to challenge its constitutionality.
The law states 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."
It also guarantees the rights of the mother and the unborn child and states the only way to fully protect both is to prohibit abortion.
"Guarantee of due process of law under the Constitution of South Dakota applies equally to born and unborn human beings," the law reads, "and . . . under the Constitution of South Dakota, a pregnant mother and her unborn child, each possess a natural and inalienable right to life."
Rounds said lawmakers were right to protect preborn children.
"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," he said. "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."
Planned Parenthood, not surprisingly, does not.
"Planned Parenthood denounced South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds' signing of the South Dakota abortion ban today, vowing to fight the ban in court to protect the rights and health of women and families in South Dakota and across the country," the pro-abortion group announced on its Web site. "The Planned Parenthood community is deeply concerned and outraged."
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said the decision by the South Dakota Legislature sends a strong message to the nation that "judicial intimidation is over."
"This is how our system of government should work," he said. "The elected representatives of the people set policy that is reflective of the people they represent."
Perkins said technology and scientific information about prenatal development have steadily overcome the myths and lies perpetuated by the abortion industry.
"Give the people or their elected representatives a voice," he said, "and you will find that most of America wants major changes in the abortion-on-demand regime that has stood only by judicial fiat for 33 years."
Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said the South Dakota law does directly challenge Roe v. Wade, which gave constitutional recognition to a "right" to abortion.
"The South Dakota law criminalizes all abortion except to save the life of the mother," he told CitizenLink. "If it wasn't going to be challenged in court, the law could go into effect and be enforced."
Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups, he added, will file a lawsuit before the effective date of the new law, seeking an injunction against its enforcement.
"In all likelihood, a federal court will issue an injunction blocking the law, which will be appealed to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, and ultimately to the Supreme Court," Hausknecht said. "That process will take at minimum a couple years to complete. No federal court below the Supreme Court is empowered to overrule Roe v. Wade and declare that South Dakota 's ban to be constitutional."
Once the case makes it to the Supreme Court, the outcome will depend on the make-up of the high court at that time. Until then, abortion will remain legal in South Dakota .
"By the time the case makes it to the Supreme Court, one or two liberal judges will have retired, replaced by constitutionalists who will once and for all overrule Roe, which will send the abortion issue to the states," Hausknecht said. "At that point, South Dakota 's statute will also be upheld and any injunction dissolved."
Carrie Gordon Earll, senior analyst for bioethics at Focus on the Family Action, said South Dakota 's stand could just be the first of many. Several other states are now considering similarly sweeping pro-life legislation.
"The pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights predicted in October of 2004 that as many as thirty states are poised to pass similar abortion bans once the Supreme Court barrier to such action is removed," she said. "Today's brave action in South Dakota may be the first step in making that a reality."
This is truly the most exciting news that I've heard in years! Naturally, the liberals are hell bent on preserving their right to kill the unborn. They are bring in power players like Jane "Hanoi Jane" Fonda and Robin Williams. They have a budget of $8 million and are launching a media blitz on the citizens of South Dakota trying to get them to repeal that law next month.
We, as Christians, have a responsibility to fight for this law. Details can be found on the Vote Yes For Life homepage. I urge any of you who have friends in South Dakota to contact them and explain to them how critical their vote is. If you can donate your time, then consider organizing a missionary campaign (yes, you can do missionary work here within the US!). At the very least pray for the success of this law and for the unborn children that can't defend themselves.