Giving us a break,....or not? What to do on abortion.

After the defeat of Referred law 6, I was recently discussing with a friend that it would probably be a good thing for the legislature to move on other issues aside from abortion.

He agreed, but then paused and noted "yes, but if it's brought right back with rape and incest exceptions spelled out, that takes the wind out of the sails of those who campaigned on the assertion that it had none."

The Associated Press in the Rapid City Journal also takes on the topic this morning as well:

A bill providing exceptions for rape, incest and a pregnant woman’s health is a possibility, said state Sen. Garry Moore of Yankton, who won a seat in the state House in Tuesday’s election.

Approval of such a measure might not end in another statewide vote because opponents might not be able to get enough signatures to refer it to the ballot, Moore said.


It’s premature to speculate on new legislation, said state Rep. Kathy Miles, D-Sioux Falls, an abortion-ban supporter.

“I don’t think the issue will ever go away,” Miles said. “We created an awareness for people that was not there before, and we need that revitalization and that passion to continue.”


State Sen. Bill Napoli, R-Rapid City, said recent polls indicated South Dakotans would have approved a ban with exceptions. That means voters want to end “abortion on demand,” he said.

“Last night, we settled the issue that the people of South Dakota want rape, incest and health of the mother exceptions,” he said Wednesday. “We should move ahead; that appears that’s what the polls say we should do.”

Napoli said he would vote for such a ban but would not introduce one.

Sen. Ed Olson, R-Mitchell, opposed the abortion ban because it was too restrictive. He said he wouldn’t be surprised to see a ban with exceptions introduced.

“I could see rape and incest (exceptions) and then having a huge fight over the word ‘health,’” Olson said.

Read it all here.

So, some are saying "NO," don't bring it back, and yet others are saying o.k., let's bring it back with the critic's arguments answered. Not that I think there's any chance of Stan Adelstein jumping on board the side of the group to limit abortions while holding on to his Planned Parenthood award (because on several occasions he plainly stated it he had a problem with it because it didn't have exceptions).

It would be interesting to see it come back simply for the political theater it would cause as those politicians who publicly hung their rejection of the measure on the exception clauses would now find themselves between a rock and a hard place.

After this election, I'd personally like to see Republicans spending a couple of years focusing on issues that put us on the map - less government, lower taxes, personal rights - because losing that focus is what hurt Republicans locally and nationally and those are issues we can reforge a coalition on.

Am I going to get my wish? Probably not.


Anonymous said…
South Dakotans are more populist and libertarian than they are true republicans. Little else explains Tuesday's voting results. If the repubs want to continue crowding into a smaller tent, then they will continue addressing big government solutions to personal issues. Getting government out of our lives also applies to the self-appointed do-gooders and their religious zealots.
Anonymous said…
Please bring it back. Pulllleeeeeezzzzz!

Bring back the bloody fetus trucks and the goon squads. Bring back the whacky doctor ex-abortionist with the flat affect that weirds us out. Bring back Leslee with her Jack Nicholson-Joker grins lighting up my widescreen tv. Bring back the sacred children, Jesus and Vote God's Values signs. Bring back block after block of nauseating, sanctimonious vote Yes signs. Bring back the churches and holier-than-thou schools with crosses and signs in their laws, defying the separation between church and state in your face. Bring back the throngs of non-residents carrying oversized posters of fetus porn because we just didn't see enough of it. Bring back the hundreds of letters to the editor twisting the hell out of the Bible to justify the narrow interpretation. Bring back the full frontal barrage of who and what the Right to Life is and please prove all over again just how crazed and cult-like the movement truly has become.

Please bring us more of Roger Hunt's secret mega-donor activities.

The near total ban should have passed a vote of the people by a narrow margin because the vote no folks didn't have a fraction of sufficient resources to win, even though the lack of critical exemptions gave them a lay up. Despite all that, the vote Yes group absolutely went over the top and talked themselves into a 12-point margin of defeat with a massive voter turnout and extreme expenditure of resources.

I think the Vote Yes and Leslee have done for themselves what Democrats did for themselves with a fair and balanced tax issue back in the 70s. The issue is poison because of the extremism, which makes it unsellable to the folks who don't view themselves as polarized on one side or the other on reproductive issues. Most folks just are not knowingly going to give power to extremists.
Anonymous said…
You have polling that shows a clear majority - high fifties - support the ban with exceptions position.

With numbers like that, the opposition would have to work harder to get signatures to put it in the ballot. The "yes" side could reference all the "no" campaign's advertising - can't call it extreme anymore. All those legislators who said they would vote for it if it contatined the exceptions don't have room to move and you also lost a couple of 1215 "no" votes in the House. SDRTL can't demure. I would think the only question would be this year or next year.
Anonymous said…
Getting signatures is easy and is not an issue. The JAIL fruitcakes got more signatures than votes.

The zealots don't get it. People do not want government involved in their personal issues. People want less extremism, not more.
Anonymous said…
I think most people are sick of this issue right now. The no side has a pretty powerful "can't they leave this alone for a year" argument right there.

I suspect, from my work with the No side, that a group opposing a ban with exceptions would have different leaders.

The Yes side would also be answerable for some of the statements they made this year. Should a ban with exceptions come through, they would have to answer for their strong and unwavering belief this year that all embryos are sacred, regardless of how they were conceived. This hypothetical ban proves that they don't really believe that.
Anonymous said…
So with the exceptions it's still extreme?

The Yes position would be stopping 96% of abortions in SD is betten than 0%.

What's the No argument? We just voted on this?
Anonymous said…
Isn't it amazing that people value life in the form of embryos more than they value the life of boys who are sent overseas to fight old men's wars?

Isn't it amazing that people can overlook the many fiscal and social problems in our nation and instead zero in on personal issues?

Isn't it amazing that people use their interpretations of the Bible as an excuse to try and dominate a nation that guarantees Freedom of Religion?

Isn't it amazing that the people who preach about morals will twist the truth and try to skirt the law in order to win?

Isn't it amazing that the side that had the most resources in both money and volunteers only pulled in 44 percent of the votes?

Isn't it amazing that the majority of South Dakotans had the good sense to vote down the ban?
Anonymous said…
That's the problem here. Those who would like to see it come back want to see it for the "political theater".

In the meantime, education, health care, taxes, and the budget problems are ignored.

Jeebus. When are we going to learn?
Anonymous said…
Lets face it, abortions are going to happen regardless however, in stating that message. How many of you feel the Sup. Court did the right thing back in the 70's? Is it right for people to use abortions as birth control? If so should we as tax payers have to pick up the ticket? Should men have a say so? You know we do have committed relationships and women in them do not have to tell their partner that they had an abortion. (i am aware of the argument that will come with this one)
I am going to say it. Since the Dem side always states "no one likes abortion" why can't we come together and do away with the "for any reason" abortions? Is this not a doable idea! No matter which side "party" you are with why can't we tackle the issue and find common ground!
Anonymous said…
11:28: Criminalizing abortions doesn't stop them.
It would really be nice if we could focus on lowering abortion rates by reducing the occurrence of unwanted pregnancy rather than criminalizing abortion. Comprehensive sex ed programs that include abstinence as part of the curriculum have been proven to reduce unplanned pregnancies in the teen demographic. Abstinence-only ed has shown, instead, that when the teens have sex - which they do - they just don't use condoms, because they've been taught (incorrectly) that condoms don't work. Further, a recent study by Laura Carpenter showed that the messages that mattered most in terms of whether or not teens become sexually active were those from parents and close friends, in spite of whatever the schools might teach. (That's for those who worry that their kids will become sexually active BECAUSE of sex ed in the schools.)

So can't we work on making sure there is decent sex ed in the schools? I understand that there is lots of disagreement on this issue, but I would think that those who are pro-life would prefer sex ed to abortion.

Last year, there was a proposal to make birth control pills covered under health insurance - and it was shot down by proponents of the ban. Affordable birth control is also a good way to help prevent unplanned pregnancy.

I would also like to see other economic issues addressed that could make it more likely for women to continue their pregnancies: the cost of health care and child care, the food tax, the minimum wage. All of these could have an impact.

I sure would rather focus my efforts on these things and actually reducing abortions than on wasting time and money fighting with Roger Hunt for another year and making no strides toward preventing unwanted pregnancies.

~climbing down off my soap box~
Anonymous said…
Anon 4:32--stay on the soap box as long as you would like. I think we are finally seeing the light. Who took the poll that said anyone wants the legislature to bring this sort of crap again?? The same folks that said Amendment E was going to pass?? Gee whiz--enough is enough.
Anonymous said…
The Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, president of Human Life International, said President Bush and other top Republicans failed to campaign strongly for the South Dakota abortion ban and against the Missouri stem cell measure.

"While South Dakotans fought valiantly to defend their babies, we once again witnessed an almost total lack of support from the national leadership," Euteneuer said.

Well said Rev. Euteneuer. And I guess by now all of us know how Rev. Dobson felt about Senator Thune not showing up when help was needed!

Well, we fought our heart and souls out trying to stop abortions and we just about did it! And Rev. Euteneuer is correct! Where were our National and State Republican leaders?

Let’s see now, Senator Thune was down south somewhere raising money and votes for a fellow Republican, and I guess that person lost the election anyway, just like Referred law 6 lost. Governor Rounds was crossing the state just smiling and shaking hands. But wait a minute, they did put out a full page ad in the major newspapers stating that they were against abortions. Well, I guess that’s better then nothing, sort of!

I want our legislators to again pass a law stopping all abortions! And the next time it will pass if it is put to the vote of the people. Simply because our Republican Governor and Republican Senator will be out there helping us the next time. Mark my word, we will make sure of that!!!
Anonymous said…
I have to apologize to plains feminist 4:32. I thought you were "anonymous." I suppose that all republican feminists probably are anonymous, aren't we?!
Anonymous said…
RE: 6:06. Thune wasn't down south helping some mere republican - he was helping MACACCA. Speaks volumes of his character. Now in your best Dana Carvey, "could it be - SATAN!" Well, isn't that special.
Anonymous said…
6:06 - You are living in a fantasy world.

President Bush didn't support the South Dakota abortion ban because he believes in exceptions for rape and incest. He has stated that in the past.

Sen. Thune prefers the exceptions too, plus he's not interested in committing political suicide.

That's because you didn't almost win. 49 percent could be considered almost winning; 44 percent is a spread that told you the majority of South Dakotans did not approve of HB1215.

Maybe you can kidnap the senator and governor next time and force them to support your cause - just like you want to force all pregnant women to do what you want.

You can tell Rev. Euteneur that those "babies" are undeveloped embryos that belong to the women who host it in their wombs - and not to the state of South Dakota.

And while you're at it, remind him that the voters have spoken.

They said NO!
Anonymous said…
plain(s)feminist 4:32 PM , forget about comprehensive sex ed programs. Just teach abstinence!

The Catholic Church has total opposition to the use of condoms!

Good Catholics do not use condoms!

Any legislator that promotes the use of condoms will have a huge fight with the Catholics in South Dakota!
Anonymous said…
Why don't the people on this board debate the issue (s), instead of fighting at it! jezzz. No one has said anything that is of depth! Unless it is an attack and that is not a debate.
So you know; there are about 6 different areas/groups of Feminist now days, not just the 1 or the bras burners!!! Some are really out there and some are a little more grounded.
Anonymous said…
The issue is about keeping your rosaries out of our ovaries. And that's what it will be about if you bring it up again.
Anonymous said…
I think it should be brought up again with specific exceptions, rape and incest (but charges should hve to be filed against the perpetrators in order to claim this). If health of the mother is included, it would have to be specific too so it couldn't be used as the catch-all excuse.

But since these were the main and most vociferously expressed reasons that the NO people cited, they should now be satisfied and should not object.

It would be passed with a modicum of argument, and then the legislature could get on with other business.

And no, that doesn't mean that the YES people would be completely satisfied either, but preventing 90% or so of the abortions which are done for convenience or on demand is better than preventing 0%, as stated by a previous poster here.

Do I believe that the NO people would go for this idea? Dream on! Of course not. Because they want all abortions, and PP wants the revenue from them, and they will continue to oppose any restrictions on abortion on demand.

They forget that the issue is simply LIFE - protecting the first nine months of a LIFE.
Anonymous said…
I think the legislature ought to set aside all issues like school funding, healthcare, economic development, public safety, renewable energy - until a complete and total ban of all abortions is passed. Abortion is the most important issue of all. It has to be brought up every year until success is achieved. If it's not brought up this year, you have to question people's commitment. Any wasted time costs lives.
Anonymous said…
The abortion issue/bill WAS NOT a Republican issue/bill! It was a bipartisan bill! Don't try to make it was it was not. Let's be honest.
Anonymous said…
Excuse me: "What it was not" is what i was tying to type.
Anonymous said…
I must have missed something, I thought there were exceptions in the bill.
Anonymous said…
anon 6:42
"those "babies" are undeveloped embryos that belong to the women who host it in their wombs"

So you subscribe to the belief that conceived humans are property that can be experimented on, bought, sold, and exterminated at will or whim--not persons worthy of respect and life.

So when exactly to they switch over from property to persons? The DNA does not change --if left alone they will simply continue to grow into what they already are.

Was it OK for our laws to declare that the "negro race is 3/5th persons" for 50 years of our history? And would you have owned one since they were legally not a person and were a cheap housecleaner?
Anonymous said…
Not likely that anyone will bring it back soon.

With the make up of the US Congress now, getting another judge seated that would overturn Roe V Wade will be very difficult.

It would be risky to get something ready to be heard by the Supreme Court without having a Supreme Court that will rule unbiasly.

We need to get rid of a few of the judges that don't understand the principles that our nation was founded on and think that the constitution is something that they have the power to change on their own whim.
Anonymous said…
11:27 - Your comparison of embryos that cannot think or feel to enslaved human beings is an insult to anyone who has ever been held in slavery or whose relatives have suffered such a fate. You owe all of those people, especially African Americans, an apology.
Anonymous said…
The legislators are idiots if they bring it back; exceptions or no, people are going to read it as ignoring the will of the people and the issues that actually matter in this state. I'm not sure if it would even pass.

If it did, though, there's no way it would get referred again. PP or the ACLU would take it straight to court and it would fade from popular conscienceness just like the many other pointless, unconstitutional abortion-related bills that have been passed in the last few years. Ask someone on the street if they know about the informed consent measure or the trigger law. What people will remember is this election and the representatives that couldn't get their mind off of abortion long enough to create jobs or fix education. It's a lose lose lose issue.
Anonymous said…
Nonnie, here is your big hypocritical for an end to invetro (sic) fertilization. There was earily no words spoken on that with the abortion ban and stem cell being debated this year. You know why? Because for you and your ilk to be consistent and carry out the logical end of your argument would force you to take such a position and your would loose a third of your 45%. Is this a hidden goal? If you succeed in your jihad will that be next? Roger can you hear me?
Anonymous said…
Here's a question for those of you wanting the legislature to tackle school funding, economic development, renewable energy, public safety and healthcare.

What is the legislature supposed to do that it was prevented from doing because allegedly so much of the legislature's time was taken up purusing the abortion bill?

Over the past few weeks the mantra recounted in my first paragraph has become an implied code phrase/combo of phrases to suggest that there is somehow a mandate for abandoning the abortion issue completely.

The man who signed the abortion ban won relection by a landslide. Supporters of the abortion ban in both houses handily won re-election and conservatives retained majorities in both houses of the SD legislature. Further a strong majority of South Dakotans support a ban with exceptions.

Whether or not such a bill would escape the collective conciousness of the public is irrelevant. The safe haven law and a myriad of tax and appropration issues have also surely escaped the minds of voters as well. Or how about Jan Nicolay's extremist efforts to require mandatory vasectomey's?

As for the informed consent law, it's hung in litiation in the 8th circuit right now and will probably get to the Supreme Court someday. The point of legislation at the state level regarding abortion also counts when SCOTUS takes up every abortion issue because its one more weight on the scale of justice towards brinning the issue back to the states

Moderates and Demos are acutally the big loosers in this election. Here's why: conserviatives in SD will now feel more epowered to pursue a even more conservative agenda at the state and national levels. You know: the whole get back to Reagan thing.
Anonymous said…
Those of you who feel the legislature sent "too much time on abortion and orther social issues" must not understand how things go in Pierre. This isn't Washington, every bill gets a hearing and a vote. Every one gets debated somewhere or everywhere, depending on how far it gets. If there are a lot of members wanting to speak, the Speaker can limit time of each. They work as long as they need to, to get everything done. If there had been no abortion bill,how would it add jobs or raise pay? It's a moot point.
Bill Fleming said…
It's a moot point unless you consider that the legislature decided on this quickly. Given that it turned out to be the most important issue of this years election, perhaps they should have given it a little more thought.

... I'm just sayin'....
Anonymous said…

For those complaining about the legislature's lack of attention paid to other issues read this and then cry like a boby:

1) In 2006 the SD legislature passed and the governor signed 271 bills.

2) 2 of the 271 bills that became law were about abortion.

3) Debate over abortion lasted less than 3 hours in taped SDPB audo time.

4) Debate over insurance regulation and law went for over six hours.

5) More sponsors added their names to bills dealing with insurance regulation, fiduciaries and trusts and agency then to abortion.

See: for details.

Point being that all of the people who thinks too much time is being spent on abortion are too afraid to say they disagree with it so they say too much time, blah blah, blah.

Anyway more time was spent on all the key issues people want addressed. However, liberals and dems and moderate republicans are mad because they can't get the majority of the legislature to agree with them so they blame abortion.

To all you moderate Republicans and liberals quit using the "abortion is sucking all of the oxygent out of the room" argument to support you lame agenda that most South Dakotas refuse to support.

What about the merits of all the issues that have been listed here today? We'll see...
Anonymous said…
sorry about typos
Anonymous said…
"What to do on abortion"?
Let it go. We are all tired of the tirades from both Leslee and Kate.
Anonymous said…
that's not immediate issue here.

The claim has been brought up by the mostly oppoonents of abortion and the squishy moderates that abortion has taken the spotlight off them.

to which the reply is that well mabye in the newspapers that is the case but in the working world of the legislature that is just not the case given the facts and empirical data. See above post.

What this is about is the moderates and dems clawing and scratching for issues they can shine on without having to take on an issue to which conservatives shine on and really have somewhat of a safe harbor with.

Further, dems and moderates in the legislature have to turn the agenda to something else in order to gain street cred with voters so they can trumpet themselves in the next election.
Anonymous said…
The "with exceptions/without exceptions" argument is ridiculous. A bill that recognizes pre-born people have rights and then turns around and says "but you can still kill some of them if..."
would not fly.

You cannot deny a certain group of human beings their rights based on the circumstances which brought about their existance (Being black? They happen to be conceived as a result of rape?)

The 14th Amendment of the US constitution guarantees equal protection under the law.
Anonymous said…
So 5:18 if that is the case, when does life begin?

Most certainly earlier than 24 weeks right, as proposed in Rote?
Anonymous said…
You're right...we NEED to move on to other issues! This is an issue with no easy answers. It is one which will always have a completely different set of painful circumstances. Who are we to make these kinds of decisions for the individuals involved? The decisions should be left up to them and them alone.

I believe this issue has caused several people (men and women) to leave the party. I may be one of them. Seeing Leslee Unruh's 'performance' on election night nearly sealed the deal for we want to lose every single woman who is in her childbearing years?

Let's move on to other issues and let each person make their own decisions in these very difficult circumstances, whatever they may be.
Anonymous said…
8:38. I don't understand your argument comparing in vitro to abortion. In vitro creates a life that gives a couple who couldn't conceive on their own a chance to have a child. I personally know a couple who now have a beautiful baby boy via this method. It's simply their sperm and egg uniting to form a child.

Abortion is the purposeful ending of a life.

And to answer another poster's comment about exceptions. There were exceptions in HB1215, maybe not the best or the ones the pro-abort people wanted, but there were exceptions.

And I don't buy the argument that the people have spoken and now the majority approve of abortion and we should forget about it. Most people do not approve of abortion on demand.
Anonymous said…
Nonnie, you just made the point. With in vitro numerous embryo's are discarded. Isn't this the killing of a child as well? Is the difference the fact that the conception was in a dish and not in a uterus? How can you enjoy your friends happiness when several other children were discarded in the trash?

Someone said it earlier, don't kill a baby unless, unless, unless. I say if you believe what you believe it's murder 1, pure and simple-for the mother, the doctor, nurse, father, etc. etc.
Anonymous said…
In my friend's case there were only two usable embryos and both were implanted. Unfortunately she did not carry one twin to term, but with today's medical advances she was able to give birth to the other baby. So where's the problem with in vitro in this case?

I have also said that I would support an abortion ban with the much touted exceptions of rape/incest and health of the mother. It would thus allow most of the present aborted babies a chance to live. Most is better than none.
Anonymous said…
My friend had two usable embryos, both were implanted, but unfortunately she miscarried one. With modern medical advances she was thankfully able to carry the other baby to a viable age.

I have said before that I would support a bill that has exceptions for rape and incest and health of the mother, but there would have to be stipulations such that these reasons could not be used as the excuse for every abortion on demand. Saving most lives is better than saving none, as at present.

And I believe that such a bill would pass. Of course PP would still not like it because it would impact their revenue stream.
Anonymous said…
Nonnie - It is not unusual for extra embryos to be trashed in the in vitro process. Is the difference for you that these women want a baby so it is okay to trash extra embryos if the procedure helps a woman get pregnant?
But other women who don't want a baby, for instance someone whose birth control failed and who cannot stretch the family income to cover one more child, cannot abort an embryo?
Either way is killing a baby according to your standards. So why is one way acceptable and not the other?
Anonymous said…
Your argument is moot from my perspective because I have already said that I would now support a bill that has the screamed for exceptions. And I would hope that all those who screamed about no exceptions and used that as their reason not to vote for HB1215 would support such a bill too.

I honestly had not considered in vitro before. However, I thought that most usable embryos were implanted as usually some do not make it to birth.

I guess part of my objection to abortion is abortion on demand with definite intent to kill the baby a woman is carrying. It cheapens life. What's next? Saying an old, ill person's life is of no value and must be euthanized? Or a mentally disabled baby should be euthanized because it would be a burden on society? Abortion on demand is the first step in cheapening life.

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