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Anti-Abortion Act Defeated In South Dakota

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The “South Dakota Women’s Health and Human Life Protection Act (HB 1215)” was voted down Tuesday November 7th, striking a blow to the religious right. The law, based on dubious “scientific” studies was designed as a test case to go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court with the express purpose of overturning 1973s Row v Wade case. It was of course objected to almost immediately after Governor Mike Rounds signed it into law on March 6, 2006.

The legislation as enacted by a wide margin, was slated to go into effect in July. Some speculate it was intentionally timed to sway disenchanted Republican far-right voters to the polls in November. Both sides of the issue reportedly spent roughly $2 million each. In the end, according to early poll numbers the law was defeated by a margin of approximately 10 percent of the voters.

A portion of Section 1 reads as follows:

“…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.”

The law strongly championed by the evangelical religious right would’ve strictly banned all abortions, even if the pregnancy were the result of incest or rape. It defined a pregnancy as from fertilization to full gestation. The legislation would only allow the exception of if a mother’s life was in danger, and even then, it was mandated that all means were to be used to save the life of the unborn child equally with the mother.

In an obvious bow to the fundamentalist voters of the state, another part of Section 1 reads:

“…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.”

Oddly enough, the only parties punished are the doctors involved in the procedure. An amendment to Section 4 reads in part:

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

And a amendment to Section 2 spells out strict punishment to any doctors who do.

“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 would be punished as a Class 5 felony.

An important fact to note in all of this, which demonstrates that the legislation was frivolous and intended mainly to challenge Roe vs. Wade, are these basic facts which the religious right failed to mention…

In 2000, there were only 2 abortion providers in South Dakota, a 100% increase from 1996, when there was 1 abortion provider.

In 2000, 98% of South Dakota counties had no abortion provider. 78% of South Dakota women lived in these counties. In the Midwest census region, where South Dakota is located, 28% of women having abortions traveled at least 50 miles, and 10% traveled more than 100 miles, so banning abortions within South Dakota would have little real impact.

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About Jet Gardner

I like collecting books, music, movies, chess sets and friends
  • this has to be the sorriest excuse for legislation, and the most transparent as evidenced by the last paragraph


  • The latest poll numbers at 3:30AM show the anti-abortion measure defeated by 55-45 percent.

  • Nancy

    Jet, it would appear the general public has taken the opportunity with this election to repudiate the hijacked Republican/Neocon party & the religious right which was its noisiest & most noxious, self-righteous component. This GOP has not been the GOP of history or tradition, but a perversion of it, twisted out of recognition by the likes of Cheney & Bush, & their religious cheerleaders such as Robertson, Falwell, & the others. Most of the conservatives I know are not the vindictive, small-spirited, mean-minded sort that have made up this particularly sociopathic administration & “GOP” congress. Hopefully, what this election did was to cause the REAL conservatives to rise up & begin the process of taking their party back from the Bush/Cheney/Rovian neocons & their fundie religious reich supporters, & send them all back to the dank slimey shadows they crawled out from.

  • Nice thought Nancy, but they’re already spinning it that it’s just the normal turnover cycle in politics and has nothing to do with them.

    ha ha

  • Arch Conservative

    Rape accounts for less than 1% of all abortions.

    The law should have had an exception for rape and incest in it but even if it had those who stand to make money off of abortions would have opposed the bill.

    it’s nice to see that people like you can feel so happy about the opportunity to continue infanticide in this nation Jet.

  • Arch, there are only TWO abortion clinics in all of South Dakota. But then I expected that from you. This was an obvious ploy, as I’ve already said to overturn Roe v Wade.

    When exactly was the last time you were pregnant?

    Unless you have been I don’t really think you have any argument on this issue. Abortion doesn’t touch your life.

    Fertility clinics kill more embryos, simply throwing away the ones that were fertilized but not used than all abortions.

  • Well, after a day of googling, or as George calls it “Using the Google” I can’t find a single site that shows South Dakota with more than two abortion clinics, so I stick iwth my original assumption that it was all a right-wing ploy to go to the supreme court

  • Pensive

    When does life begin? At conception, at two weeks, two months, or two years? Also, when should life be considered a “protectable” age??? Should it be protected at conception, at two weeks, two months, two years…If it should be “protected” by 1 y.o., why? — as opposed to conception or one month? What is considered “protectable” life?? What set of criterias do we use (ex: someone who has awareness or who can defend themselves) to determine who lives and who dies?

    In Hitler’s day, if you were Jewish you were exterminated. In America (and much of the world) if youre under nine months, you’re not considered human either. God bless America 🙂

  • bullshit and Bushit Pensive, no one has ever advocated aborting a pregnancy at 9 months. It’s like the rediculous description of “partial birth” like the full term baby is hanging out of its mother and you cut it in half.

    It is not now, nor will it ever be my place to ever judge when life begins. A bundle of cells no bigger than a pin is not a human being. Bacteria is life, the bug you stepped on is life, the cat you had euthenized because it was suffering is life. Where do you draw the line.

    Who gave you the right to draw the line?
    NO ONE!!!! that’s who

    what’s next outlawing masterbation? Once you get rid of all the abortion clinics are you going to go after the fertility clinics because they’re helping couples against nature to have children that can’t conceive God’s way. That’s next you know because of all the fertilized eggs, only one or two are used, and the rest, oh, maybe 25 more are discarded. They’re killing human lives according to you.

    Are you the pope are you going to outlaw masturbation, oral sex between a man and a woman because it doesn’t produce a child?

    Will adults not be allowed by law to have children or have sex after the age of 40?

    Life begins at conception dumbass. Cognitive life is another story, and I nor you have any damned business judging when that is.

    By the way God did bless America on Tuesday by throwing selfrighteous fools like you out of the legislature. People that presume to force their morals on others.

    You sicken me.
    God gave you a brain, albeit a tiny one with no compassion, but a brain none the less

    Use it.

  • pensive

    “Jet in Columbus” obviously shows he is a compassionate person who cares about all life. Thanks for your kind opinions and tolerance for those with differing opinions 🙂

  • Two Cents

    Please do not compare bacteria or bugs to human life! There’s a sacredness to human life, and when its destroyed no matter what stage in life, something is lost that’s not quite the same as bacteria or bugs. I guess in some people’s views though, we’re no better than bacteria or bugs.

    P.S. was there a legistlation to outlaw masturbation or fertility clinics? haven’t heard any complaints about that yet. they obviously don’t involve taking a life. “life begins at conception”…biology 101…if HUMAN life begins at conception why is not then protected since that stage? it isnt valuable if one sees it like bacteria or bugs, I guess.

  • You both can be as high and mighty as you like, but the fact is it’s the mother’s choice and NOT YOUR’S.

    Keep your morals to yourself.

    Your little “How dare you speak to me in such a tone” attitude and “I’m speaking for the one true god bullshit doesn’t go over well with me.

    I assume that since all life is cherished to you, you never eat meat or wear leather shoes? nor do you use insectiside and don’t kill spiders.

    God put us on this planet to make our own decisions, and abortion is the mother’s decision, AND NOT YOURS.

    I don’t have to justify myself to you, which is what you’re trying to get me to do.

    Yes your opinions are welcome here, but judgment of others who’s life you have absouletly no knowledge or control over is not your right, God-given or otherwise.

    I love my god, and I don’t fear yours. I’m not in the least intimidated.

    Judge not lest you be judged yourself.

    It is GOD’S perogative and his/her’s/its alone

  • Ruvy, you know I love and admire you, but here you’re wrong. Based on rumblings coming from soldiers in Iraq, now that Rumsfeld is gone and they think they can speak freely, I’m convinced that Bush’s martial law would never be backed by his military, nor the national guard, nor local police.

    As low as his approval ratings are, he’d be thrown in jail by his own people before that happened.

    Yes he’s deluded himself that he has absolute power assigned by GOD, but so did Saddam, and look what happened to him.

    If Bush thinks he can pull off martial law, he’s delusional.

    I rarely diagree with you my friend, but here I do.


  • Nancy

    Jet, you are absolutely right: until he can (& is willing to) carry an embyro to term, NO man has ANY right to dictate to ANY woman how she shall use her own body, nor does any parasitical life form have an automatic legal override & entitlement to the use of her body for the time it takes to become viable. You men want to end abortions? Then agitate for science to develope a way for YOU to take that embryo, carry it, and deliver it. Then & ONLY then will you have a say in whether it lives or dies.

    It astonishes me constantly: no male in his right mind would ever consent to giving the state permission or the right to control his body; how is it then that men presume the right to dictate to women how they shall control theirs? This so-called “pro-life” argument is nothing but a not-so-thinly disguised attempt at seizing control of women & reducing them back to the status of chattel & breeding animals, 2nd class citizens. The last class of people who had no control of their lives or bodies were called “slaves”. Apparently the “pro-lifers” are also still pro-slavery, more than willing to force women to give up their rights as fully empowered human beings.

  • It’s not so much their ideology Nancy, I can live and learn from that, it’s their tactics. They’ll pick at something and try to get you apologizing to them, as as soon as you do, they have you hooked. By doing so, you’ve justified their arguments and made it appear as though they were in the right and you had to defend your point of view..

    The only way out is to conversationally turn the tables on them and verbally give them back what they gave.

    As you’ll notice, they both wandered off the moment I did because I stopped feeding their egos.

  • You’ll also note Nancy that they aren’t willing to take care or adopt all these unborn children they’re trying to save

  • Another term I object to is “unborn”, but not for the reason you’d think. It’s how it’s used with the word child. By calling an embryo a child you picture a fully formed human and it’s not.

    Caviar isn’t jarred and lavled unbord fish
    A piece of raw iron ore is not refered to as an unborn car
    an acorn isn’t called an unborn tree

    It’s about as stupid as creating the term “pre-owned” to describe a used car.

  • Clavos


    It’s like the rediculous description of “partial birth”

    Here’s a definition for “partial-birth abortion” (which, by the way is a legal term; medically it’s called a “dilation and extraction”) from the Medline Plus medical dictionary:

    Main Entry: dilation and extraction
    Function: noun
    : a surgical abortion that is typically performed during the third trimester or later part of the second trimester of pregnancy and in which the uterine cervix is dilated and death of the fetus is induced after it has passed partway through the birth canal — called also D&X, partial-birth abortion

    For the record, I’m not anti abortion.

  • Thank you for that Clavos. I was trying to emphasize however that they make it sound as if the baby is fully formed and only days from being born.

  • Arch Conservative

    It’s like the rediculous description of “partial birth” like the full term baby is hanging out of its mother and you cut it in half.”

    Do you even know what a partial birth abortion is jet?

    It is a porcedure performed anywhere from 4.5 months to seven months, sometimes later in the pregnancy whereby a physician delivers all of the baby except for the head. It has arms, legs, eyes….IT IS A PERSON NOT A BALL OF CELLS! Then the physician punctures the back of the baby’s head killing it.

    Maybe you should watch a video of one being performed and then tell me it’s not murder Jet you sanctimonious windbag.

    “This so-called “pro-life” argument is nothing but a not-so-thinly disguised attempt at seizing control of women & reducing them back to the status of chattel & breeding animals, 2nd class citizens”

    that’s the biggest crock of shit I have heard all day long Nancy! I have never seen a poro life person trying to tell a woman who wasn’t pregnant what to do with her body.. have you? Pro lifers are motivated by their concern for the innocent child that will be murdered in the name of “choice.” And you guys are right..it is a choice. A choice on whether you want to be the type of person that murders your own child or the type of person who gives your child the gift of life in spite of whatever obstacles you may face in life.

    I am so sick of you pro aborts and you bullshit arguments about pro lifers wanting to control women. It’s horseshit. So is the argument that every abortion is a matter of the woman’s life versus the babies. that’s how you guys frame it when in fact the reality is that most abortions are much more causal than that and involve murdering a baby because it will cramp the woman’s lifestyle. Abortion is pretty much the most selfish thing any human being can do.

  • I believe Arch, that the voters of South Dakota have spoken and you can’t do a damned thing about it.

  • Arch Conservative

    And I belive that the voters who approved the gay marriage bans in seven states have spoken and you can’t do a damn thing about that!

  • Arch, I’m not upset in the least, the Gay Marraige ban doesn’t effect my life in the least, nor does the abortion bill in South Carolina.

    I just reported the news.

    Stop being so bitter,
    You’ll get wrinkles.

  • Arch Conservative

    Gee with the 600 something articles you have written on gay marriage since you joined BC one would think you’d be upset by what the voters did on Tuesday.

  • Odd ArchBungller, I don’t seem to remember a single article I’ve ever written on Gay Marraige?

  • Peter J

    Hey Jet,woa,, calm down, don’t let people who feel it’s their job to tell other people how to live get under your skin. I all boils down to one simple sentence; It’s none of your fuckin business.
    Personally I’m anti-abortion, but since I’m pretty sure I won’t get pregnant (my dick keeps gettin in the way) I don’t have to worry about it. It’s none of my business.
    I also like to smoke a doobie once in a while. It’s nobodys business what I do with my body in my home, unless of course someone wants to pick up my mortgage payment.
    In that same vein, if these people who want to stand out side a clinic insulting and castigating women, why not calmly approach women and offer to pay all expenses,plus and adopt the child themselves.
    They’d rather see a child brought into the world in a poverty situation,with a crack addicted mother ,no father,or with a parent who can’t afford or can not handle a child or any other of a hundred situations which are none of their business. These holier than thou ass holes just cost the entire republican party a lot of votes.
    I do believe that almost as much as the war people are fed up with Bush and his “so holy I can lie and recklessly go into a war and kill people” attitude.

  • Peter J

    You guys are right, a partial birth abortion is a very heavy situation, I personally have never met anyone who has had one. As far as I know I don’t believe any honest Dr. would perform one unless the mothers life is in extreme peril.

    I really don’t believe that any woman going through any of these procedures is taking a walk in the park. I can only begin to imagine what a woman goes through making this decision. I’m sure there is a lot of consideration given and probably many tears shed.

    I have known women who have undergone the procedure and it was in no way easy for them. It’s their decision, they must live with it, so back the fuck off!

  • My point exactly Peter, Let’s see them adopt or financially support all their “unborn”.

    I think I figured out what he was talking about though, my being gay is in my bio at the bottom of all my articles, but it could be confused as being the last paragraph of the article.

    The first time i saw the end result, I must admit I was taken aback because it looks like my orphaned upper half is floating in mid air.

  • As for Partial birth abortions, I sincerely doubt that there are many done at all, and if so very very few. They just like the term to try to sway people as ignorant as they that it happens all the time.

    I just saw one on CNN stress that Democrats support abortion all through the entire 9 months of pregnancy which is a blatant lie, but used as a tool to sway those as ignorant as she is.

    If we can get that banned, then we can get this banned etc. etc.

  • Arch Conservative

    Nah I don’t think I’ll ever back the fuck off off and if you have a problem with that that’s too fucking bad.

    You claim not to want to interfere in anyone else’s business and then you advocate abortion on the basis of the possibility of a baby being born into poverty. Gee that doesn’t sound like you’re playing god now does it Peter? People should only have a baby if the conditions are ideal.. otherwise they should murder it at all costs?

    And your let them take care of the babies argument is also bullshit Jet. Since when does advocating against murder make you personally responsible for the welfare of others who would be murdered. Yeah pro lifers are an evil bunch because they don’t want the baby to be killed but then they don’t want to take care of it. The pro aborts are much better…they just kill the baby from the start and the problems all solved.

    Also have you guys ever heard of crisis pregnancy centers? These are centers setup by us evil pro lifers that help women through their pregnancy with financial and emotional aid. They also help women to find families to adopt their babies if they choose not to keep them. Yet PP and every other abortion at all cost lobby sees no value in these centers and demonizes them with propaganda about abortion.

    You’re worried about the money to take care of babies Jet? Well why don’t we take the millions of tax dollars we give to Planned abortionhood every year and use it to provide for these babies. Do you have a problem with that?

  • What on earth are you babbling about ArchBoingBat? I never told you to back off, I was responding to Peter J. and I wasn’t telling him to back off either

    As for your views on abortion, you’re welcome to them, it’s a very devisive subject.

    Your opinion doesn’t effect me in the slightest, and I know mine doesn’t effect yours.

    It’s impossible to converse with you Archie and I figured that out already, so I try not to bother unless you seem lonely and need someone to talk to and then I’ll answer you a few lines just to comfort you. When you call someone I doubt that you use the speaker on your phone, just the mic because you like to hear yourself talk.

    But don’t expect me to apologize.

    This is a news article on an event. Your opinion on the subject of abortion is as valid as mine.

    It doesn’t matter one damned bit

    As neither of us can get pregnent, we don’t have a damned thing to say about it.

    Sorry honey.

    Hope you feel better.
    Perhaps some Midol?

  • Arch Conservative

    Peter told me to back off not you Jet. I was dressing him.

  • Oh, well, it’s a good thing you cleared that up Arch, it’s not like you to be so inprecise.

  • Arch Conservative

    What’s with the implication that because a man cannot be pregnant he’s not allowed to have opinions on issues relating to abortion and pregnancy Jet? That’s like saying no woman in America is allowed to have an opinion on Iraq because women do not serve in infantry units.

  • Women serve in nearly every other position in Iraq and have sons and daughters there, so they have a valid reason for their opinion. As usual mentioning Iraq is a lame attempt to distract from the subject, thinking that if they’ll agree with you on that, they’ll agree with you on this.

    Men don’t carry a nine pound bowling ball in their stomach and give birth. A child is a part of its mother, a piece of her, and she should have complete control and say over her body.

    What you and others are trying to imply is that from the moment of conception, it becomes a separate entity from the mother even though it’s inside her like a parasite and that’s wrong

    A child is a part of its mother not separate until birth. The simple proof is undeniable-no one refers to a pregnant woman as “they” instead of “she”. You nor I will ever understand that, and to ignore it is folly. A woman should and must have control of her own decisions. Having an abortion is not an easy decision and no self-righteous jerks who need to feel power of judgment over others should take that away from her.


  • Peter J

    Hey Arch,
    Jet’s right, that was me with the “back the fuck off” and that was wrong. That’s no way to voice an opinion.

    If you’ll go back to my article though you’ll see that I am anti abortion. I don’t condone or endorse the whole concept BUT, there is a sort of line to be drawn somewhere.

    What of the “day after pill” that will in effect end a pregnancy in its first stage? Then again at the first month the embryo is less than a 1/4″ and looks like some phantom bug.
    I know that in this stage it is absorbing info such as mothers tastes in food but can we make the call that it’s a human because it has shared characteristics? So does a hair, or a mole. How about preventing a pregnancy with control methods? Is this wrong? Is it wrong to prevent the natural flow of sperm through a vasectomy and if so if a bunch of women started screaming at you as you entered the clinic to have the procedure would this deter you?

    Maybe, given the inch this is where it would lead.
    You say bullshit? I’m sorry but I put nothing past extremists. Once they get what they want it’s off to their next cause.

    Like I said, I don’t like it,My wife and I both chose not to have children but if somehow she were to get pregnant we would not have an abortion, but that is OUR choice.
    Sorry about that back t f o shit.

  • Peter J, thank you. You do realize of course that the biggest argument against gay marraige is that it doesn’t produce children. You and your wife could be next on their list after us.

    The fact of the matter is the religious nuts consider any sex that does not potentially produce children a sin. That’s heterosexual mutual masturbation, oral sex of any kind, anal sex and contraceptives.

    I applaud your decision and your choice, because as two consenting adults you made it together in a loving decision. It is your choice to make and not others.

    I’m pro-choice and feel that I have no right to thrust my opinions or beliefs on someone elses.

    As for the stage of abortion I draw the line at… if I had to; at the stage that a fetus would be able to survive outside of the mother without artificial means.

    I also believe that a late term abortion is permissible if it’s medically determined that the child would be born with something horribly wrong physically, or brain dead, and it’d only live a short time and be in constant pain it’s whole life.

    Everyone wanted me to say my opinion
    that’s it.

    thanks again for contributing Peter.

  • Les Slater

    Nancy #14

    “This so-called ‘pro-life’ argument is nothing but a not-so-thinly disguised attempt at seizing control of women & reducing them back to the status of chattel & breeding animals, 2nd class citizens. The last class of people who had no control of their lives or bodies were called ‘slaves'”

    I agree 100%.

  • Are burkas far behind Les? Like is said it’s all the powerless trying to grab power by hiding behind God’s name.

    Thanks for contributing

  • Jet

    New York times November 7 2008

    In 2006 you could count S. Dakota’s abortion clinics on the fingers of one hand. Just when are these idiots going to realize reasonable people can see right through their motives?

    In South Dakota, 55 percent of voters said no to a sweeping abortion ban that its backers had hoped to use as vehicle for challenging Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that recognized a woman’s right to make her own childbearing decisions. The defeated measure was a near-twin of the abortion ban handily rejected by voters just two years ago.

  • Meow37

    Sperm is yummy on salads and in food. Babies are yummy

  • I’m almost afraid to ask what brought this up… a fur ball?