South Dakota Abortion Ban
August 28, 2006 Leave a comment
In South Dakota, they are set to have a voter referendum on a state-wide abortion ban the prohibits abortion in all cases except where the mother's life is at stake. Leaving aside the fact that there's no way a law this restrictive would ever be upheld by any federal court, including the Supreme Court, it is really quite interesting that this is the law that pro-life forces in South Dakota have pushed for. I've read a number of articles that suggest that it is creating rifts in the pro-life movement. For starters, even those who generally oppose abortion are usually willing to make exceptions for the health of the mother or in cases of rape and incest. If as the article states, South Dakota is becoming the focal point for the abortion debate, those who want to largely eliminate abortion have picked the wrong fight. Even in conservative South Dakota, polls suggest the law is headed for defeat.
Nationally, the proposition that abortion should only be allowed when the mother's life is threatened receives only a small minority of support (18% according to a recent poll + 4% who say abortion should never be legal). When you consider that over 40% of the public considers themselves “pro-life” it suggests that most persons have a considerably more expansive vision of what that means. The fight in South Dakota does not seem to be one that abortion opponents can win.