This is why I hate this issue.

The Argus Leader is reporting tonight that there is a new organization forming to place the hb1215 measure on the ballot as a referred issue. Great. Just what we needed. An organized battle.

Opponents of the ban have been planning a petition drive to refer the law to a public vote, and that effort will likely begin tomorrow.

After Friday's announcement, a training session will be held on how to gather petition signatures, Planned Parenthood told its supporters today."

It is very important that we have lots of activists there," according to an email from
Planned Parenthood's regional office.

Several groups opposed to the ban have expressed support for such a referendum. To get the abortion ban on the Nov. 7 ballot, opponents would need to gather 16,728 signatures by June 19. Friday’s news conferences by the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families are set for 11 a.m. central time at the downtown library in Sioux Falls and a senior citizens' center in Rapid City.

Jan Nicolay, identified as the contact person for the newly organized group, wouldn’t confirm that its focus is a referendum.

Nicolay, a former state legislator and Sioux Falls educator, described Campaign for Healthy Families as “a group you’ll hear more about tomorrow.”

She said the organization has a goal of “taking care of families and children” and its formation was prompted by passage of the abortion ban and other legislative debate during the past session.

I went out and checked this website. What's the first thing this group being led by Jan does? Bashes the Governor for signing HB1215 in a little animated graphic.

And on the other side of the issue, we have news as well:
In a related development today, supporters of the abortion ban announced
plans for a statewide rally in Sioux Falls.

That rally is set for 3 p.m. on April 2 at the Ramkota Hotel, according to
a statement from the Sioux Falls-based Alpha Center.

A flyer announcing the rally said “thousands” of supporters are expected at
the demonstration.

The Alpha Center, a Sioux Falls nonprofit that opposes abortion, is
involved with communications about the April 2 rally, but a spokesperson for the
center said the rally is the combined work of a number of groups that support
the Legislature’s action on abortion.Those groups are in the process of creating
their own Web site,

The site is registered to the Alpha Center.

Read the whole article here. So, what has this issue done? Turned Republican against Republican. We're not debating issues such as ways to lower taxes and spending. We're not discussing the best way to foster economic development. We're not talking about higher paying jobs. We're not talking being tough on crime, helping parents send their kids to college, or making it easier for families to purchase a home.

We're not talking about Republican issues. We're talking about an extremely divisive issue that cuts across party lines and rips them to shreds. It's a distraction at best. At worst, it can turn parties and elections up on end and shatter traditional party identifications.

You have liberal democrats ripping at their more conservative elected officials, demanding that "the bums be thrown out of office." You have moderate Republicans aligning themselves with Democrats as if that means anything.

The abortion issue transcends party. According to the Wikipedia, it transcends modern civilization by centuries. At one time the AMA was against it. I'm sure there's a different view now. Reportedly, Susan B. Anthony, was pro-life. Think many feminists are now? So is it a Republican or Democratic issue? NO. It's a moral question that has dogged us for centuries.

And here we are deciding to fight it out to the finish while so many other important issues should require our attention.


Anonymous said…
Did you notice that in the last couple of public statements from Planned Parenthood, there has been a conspicuous individual left out?
Anonymous said…
Well said, PP. This issue has wasted everyone's time in Pierre, and it is extremely divisive. The abortion debate last for hours and in the end, no one's mind is changed. Meanwhile, the important issues get little attention and even less debate. Perhaps if South Dakota voters do get to cast their ballot on this extreme legislation and give it the 70-30 thrashing the polls indicate it will receive, maybe our legislature will finally drop it and deal with South Dakota's real problems.
Anonymous said…
More important issues?? Without the right to life, all other issues are just plain pointless. This issue crosses all lines because it is a basic human rights issue...the rights of those who are never given the opportunity to speak for themselves. I am sure that many of the 40 million individuals who have been aborted would have certainly been working towards solving some of the "more important" issues and problems had they been given the opportunity.
chad said…
PP ... you are absolutely right. It's too bad that a group of fundamentalists in Pierre have decided to invade private decision best left to individuals, family, clergy, and doctors.
Anonymous said…
PP, you hit the mark once again. Bullseye!
Bob Ellis said…
Yeah, that slavery issue certainly was divisive, too. Tore the whole country apart--literally! Should have just left well enough alone and let black people remain slaves while the country got on with more important issues.
sioux fails said…
I just caught the FOX report on South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families. It was shot at Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls.
Where was Kate Looby? I heard she is leaving, anyone know?
Anonymous said…
I just caught the FOX report on South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families. It was shot at Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls.

That's strange, the press conference was at the library. Did FOX go to the wrong place
Anonymous said…
Anon #3 is right on, this IS the most important issue. If no abortions were ever performed in SD, would we spend so much time worrying about declining enrollment in public schools? Would we worry about enough young people to support the baby-boomers' SS when they retire? Would we have people thinking it's OK to throw a newborn baby in the trash headed for the landfill? The only reason it's so divisive is there are so many selfish people who only care about themselves, their pocketbooks, what feels good, and what the government should do for them today. It bothers their conscience, they don't want to hear it, or have to think about it!
Anonymous said…
Re: first anonymous.
The inside scope on Looby. Planned parenthood put a muzzle on her press-wise and "suggested" she take some time off.
Our research says she left for Las Vegas with her self reported republican boy friend. Coincidence? We think not.
Just happened to be at the airport on another flight, sorry. Serendipity is a bitch.
Anonymous said…
Holy crap! You guys can come up with a conspiracy anywhere.
PP said…
I would mention, it's not because I'm not pro life. I'm against it with the exceptions of rape and incest, and the life of the mother.

My point is that most voters base their choice of candidates on many factors. Those factors include abortion, but it's a much wider range than that.

Focusing on one issue does not make for well rounded political leaders on either side of the aisle.
Bob Newland said…
PP says, "Focusing on one issue does not make for well rounded political leaders on either side of the aisle."

Focus on one issue is what brought us dingbats like Hunt, Greenfield, and Abdallah.
If the politicians who pushed this bill are so against abortion why are they not doing more to promote access to contraception in SD? They shot down two bills that would have made that possible and tried to add more laws making access to contraception harder. Its sort of at odds if they really want to lower the abortion rate.

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