South Dakota Bans Abortion

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Yes, the Senate in SD voted for eliminating abortion rights, and by nearly a 2-1 margin:

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) â€â€? South Dakota moved closer to imposing some of the strictest limits on abortion in the nation as the state Senate approved legislation that would ban the procedure except when the woman’s life is in danger.

The bill, designed to spark a courtroom showdown over the legality of abortion, passed 23-12 Wednesday. On Thursday, it was headed back to the House, where lawmakers already approved similar legislation.

Republican Gov. Mike Rounds, a longtime abortion opponent, has said he would “look favorably” on an abortion ban if it would “save life.”

Captain’s Quarters has a thoughtful perspective:

They may find themselves disappointed. John Roberts and Samuel Alito may indeed vote to strike down Roe, but it’s no sure thing. Both men, especially Roberts, gave strong respect to stare decisis, and the courts have provided plenty of reaffirmation of Roe afterwards. In passing a ban that doesn’t take into account rape and incest, the bill itself may give the court sufficient cover to reject it without delving too deeply into Roe. Perhaps the legislators thought those exceptions would prove too difficult to administer, but their exclusion gives another reason for the bill’s defeat.

What I find so interesting is how unpopular abortion has become in South Dakota. This is a state, after all, that elected Tom Daschle to a string of Senate terms until his obstructionism cost him the job. It also narrowly elected Democrat Tim Johnson to the other Senate seat in 2002. Yet the state Senate voted for the most restrictive abortion ban in decades by an almost 2-1 vote. It appears that the popularity of this procedure is waning, and that portends many such challenges in the future, even if this particular effort fails.

Since I’m a supporter of a woman’s right to choose, I find this development disheartening since I think it’s tied directly to equal rights. But now the bull has been let loose in the china shop, so we have to see what comes of it. Personally, I agree that this decision isn’t nuanced enough for the SCOTUS to uphold it, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.