Abortion bill is down for the moment

The Argus is reporting this morning that the abortion ban - HB 1293 - went down in Senate State Affairs:
An abortion ban with limited exceptions died in the Senate State Affairs Committee this morning on an 8-1 vote.

The committee’s action on the bill, which had passed the House, wasn’t unexpected and didn’t necessarily signal that the measure was dead. Supporters believe they have enough votes to order the committee to send the bill to the floor, and they think they may have the 18 votes necessary to pass the measure if they can get it to the floor.

The move to force a bill out of committee, called a 'smoke out' in the South Dakota Legislature, require 12 votes in the Senate.

A year ago lawmakers passed an abortion ban that made an exception only to save the life of a pregnant woman. This year’s bill adds exceptions for rape, incest and the health of the pregnant woman.


Republican Sen. Gene Abdallah of Sioux Falls said the issue will keep coming back.
Read it all here.

I'll have to go through the redorded version, as I know that my friend Senator Brock Greenfield came out against it, and was featured today in the Argus prominently today for his opposition:
The head of Right to Life in South Dakota says if supporters of this year's proposed ban on abortions intend for the issue to be on the 2008 ballot, the debate about the bill could wait a year.

Sen. Brock Greenfield, R-Clark, said he would have preferred the abortion debate to wait a year after the emotional and long-running arguments last year that culminated in defeat at the ballot box of a near total ban on abortions.

"If the goal is to have a public vote on this in 2008, it seems to me the issue could have waited until the 2008 session," he said.Greenfield said the bill introduced this year, HB1293, has been amended several times, including a significant amendment on the House floor before that chamber passed it.
Read that all here.

They might try to smoke out the measure to the Senate floor if is has sufficient support, but as some of the authors noted in the interview they did with me, "if there is a battle in the legislature, (the Senate is) where it would be."

Stay tuned for more.


Anonymous said…
Thank God and good riddance!
jack said…
It's about time the legislature responded to the will of the people.

The proponents of RL6 said that there were exceptions for rape and incest and the health of the mother. They said that South Dakotans had an obligation to fund a lenghtly (and quixiotic) attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade. The voters said, overwhelmingly, no.

The proponents of this bill claim, again, that there is a rape and incest and health exception. And that the taxpayers of our state should fund a fruitless court challenge.

Rightfully, the Senate State Affairs Committee (with the exception of Abdullah) has listened to the will of the people. All but a handful of legislative districts voted against the bill with supposed rape, incest and health exceptions. The people who are supposed to represent them ought to listen to the people who pay their salaries.
Anonymous said…
If Brock Greenfield is opposing the bill, how on earth do they expect to get to a majority in the Senate?

Do they really think that a majority of the Senate is farther to the right on abortion than the head of South Dakota Right to Life?
Anonymous said…
Did anyone else notice Long's point about incest(It's mentioned in Bill Harlen's story in the RCJ)? If an adult women becomes pregnent through a consensual incestuous relationship and she has the child, she can be prosecuted for incest. Under this bill, if she decides to have an abortion, she cannot be prosecuted for incest. So... with this bill, the state is basically saying if you're going to break the law and sleep with a family member, make sure you get pregnent and make sure you abort the fetus - that way you can't be prosecuted. Kind of odd considering this is the same crowd that was arguing that the children born of rape and incest need to be protected, and now they're basically guaranteeing that they'll be aborted.
Bob Newland said…
Hey, Gordie Howie. Pppphphphplllleueueuepghpgh!!.
Anonymous said…
I do not support a rape, incest or health exception because it is morally wrong for the state to sanction aborting innocent babies just because they were the products of rape or incest. So did a majority of legislators last year who opposed the amendments to add those so-called exceptions to HB1215.

This bill is a slippery slope for those of us who believe that abortion is murder, and that exceptions that allow one innocent baby to be killed and another to be protected are wrong.

The more we become moral relavists here, the more we become just like them.
Anonymous said…

"will of the people"?

This wasn't RL6 buddy!

Get a clue, using your logic of thinking we should never tweak or adjust any bills that fail. That is ludacris. They adjusted for the acceptions the people said they wanted. It's the pro-abortion senators who aren't listening to the will of the people and allowing us to vote on this issue.

We all know this isn't the last we have heard of this issue this year, or next year eitehr.
Anonymous said…
For the life of me, I do not understand how it is "conservative" to think the government ought to get involved in these decisions. If you think God will punish you for having an abortion, then you better not have one. If abortion hurts women, then they're going to have to deal with the consequences of having one. If you think that it's morally wrong to have an abortion, then don't have one and convince others not to have one. The individual should decide and be forced to deal with the consequences. The government shouldn't be there to hold their hand and make the decision for them.

Leave my tax dollars out of it, and don't start giving the government the power to regulate what happens in the bedroom (or any other room in my house). Smoking hurts women, but I don't think the government should ban people from smoking in their bedrooms. Alcohol hurts women, but I don't think the government should prevent me from having a beer in my kitchen. Hell, mopping the bathroom floor hurts women, but I don't think any real conservative would say we ought to ban that too.

There isn't much difference between the 'abortion hurts women' argument and the government requiring kids in car seats until they're eight. These aren't decisions that the government ought to be making.

Hopefully this will be the end of the debate, and they can get back to doing their jobs as legislators and stop pandering to the crowd that wants more government involvement in our personal lives.
jack said…
Anon 12:31,

The Vote Yes for Life Campaign ran a television ad that said “This measure does provide exception for the life and the health of the mother.”

The Vote Yes for Life Campaign ran a television ad with Dr. Mark Rector saying that Referred Law Six “does provide exception for the life and the health of the mother.”

The voters were told by the proponents of Referred Law Six that it containted exceptions for rape, incest and the health of the mother. They voted it down in a landslide.

Either those pushing RL6 were lying, or the voters turned down a bill that is very similar to the one proposed here. So which is it? Should we pass this bill because Roger Hunt, Leslee Unruh and the supporters of RL 6 lied? And if they were lying then, why should we believe them now?
James said…
anon 12:27

Using your logic you could never support any pro life legislation other than a complete ban, becuase no matter how small or big the law was; it would only save a few unborn children and not every single one.

You have to look a the greater good.

This law would still save 95% or more of the unborn children in South Dakota. The law would also be a crushing blow to the pro-abortion groups around the country.

Wouldn't it be better to save the 95% or more of the unborn children vs. the 0% we are currently saving from abortion as birth control?
lexrex said…
12:27, then am i to assume that you wouldn't support an informed consent bill? because all that is essentially a ban on all abortions except in cases where the woman has given her informed consent.

the point is, we slid down that slippery slope in 1973 -- hit rock bottom. this bill just gets us 98% of the way back to the top.

you worry about principle being compromised? i'm sorry. that happened long ago.
Anonymous said…
and the daily slaughter of innocents continues....
jack said…
In case your memory is failing you and don't recall the statements that RL 6 contained exceptions for rape, incest and health, I thought these links might jog your memory .

You can see the Vote Yes for Life ad in which they say "this measure does provide exception for the life and the health of the mother" here - http://youtube.com/watch?v=2sUsHB4bujc

And as USA Today reported, "The lead group supporting the law, Vote Yes for Life, is running TV and radio ads and mailing postcards that say it gives women 'the option of terminating pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest.'" [http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-10-25-sd-abortion-ban_x.htm]

Finally, this press release defends Vote Yes for Life's characterizations that it "is accurate to say that a woman has an option under the law to terminate a pregnancy" if she is the victim of rape or incest, and notes that "the reference to an exception for the health of the mother is also accurate" You can read the press release here -- http://blog.voteyesforlife.com/blog/_archives/2006/10/20/2432929.html

So again, were they lying?
jack said…

You certainly seem to have changed your tune from this statement in US News and World Report:

"Grass-roots activists have grown frustrated with promoting incremental legislation, like stricter parental-notification laws. 'In South Dakota, we've passed just about every little step you can,' says Regier. 'We're tired of waiting.' http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/060313/13abortion.htm

Now you belittle someone who says, essentially, the same thing?

And I don't seem to remember SDFPC supporting the amendment to HB1215 to provide exceptions for rape, incest and health. Did you have a position on that amendment? In fact, I seem to remember you guys taking a very different approach to rape and incest in the campaign. Something like this - http://www.sdfamily.org/var/files/SD_ArgusLeader_12.pdf

How was it murder last year to allow an exception for rape, incest and health and now, apparently, it's not? Please explain.
Mike Quinlivan said…
C'mon people, don't be obtuse. The reason this bill did not get out of committee is because it is not an election year. People aren't able to use this issue in this session to beat others over the head with. Cynical? Of course. That is politics in a nutshell.
Anonymous said…

Under 1215, heck under current state law, pregnancy starts at the moment of conception. If the morning after pill prevents a very young baby from implanting in the woman's womb, the baby is terminated. The morning after pill remained a legal option under 1215 and under 1293.

The provisions for rape and incest under 1215 were implicit. Women have to come forward to get help following a sexual assault. Men who rape women and girls MUST be prosecuted. The physical evidence of a rape only lasts about 72 hours. Under 1215, women who came forward within that 72 hours (125 hours according to Planned Parenthood’s website) had the option of legally terminating the pregnancy prior to implantation.

1293 has very explicit rape and incest exceptions.

They were not lying.
Anonymous said…
Anon 12:37

You are right. You win. I’ve changed my mind. Government should stay out of our homes and bedrooms.

The Argus reported today that “Michael Iannarelli, 39, is charged in the death of Tammy Iannarelli at their home. He’s also charged with raping a minor.”

Let him go! These were decisions made in the privacy of his home! We have no right to intrude. I am outraged at the lack of privacy he, his wife, and this minor had in his home!

Then again, maybe the protection of life is why government evists. This is not my idea, but that of founding father, Thomas Jefferson.

The supreme Court was right when they wrote in the Roe v Wade decision, “…it is reasonable and appropriate for a State to decide that at some point in time another interest, that of health of the mother or that of potential human life, becomes significantly involved. The woman's privacy is no longer sole and any right of privacy she possesses must be measured accordingly.”

The science shows that life begins at conception. The medical records show that abortion can he harmful to women’s health and well-being. The Supreme Court says that the government has the right to consider these interests when deciding if abortion should be legal.

I think I am already back to being pro-life. Sorry, Anon 12:37, I guess I don't support your position after all.
jack said…

A couple of more things. Last year, in response to HB1215, the SDFPC which you were heading put out a document about 1215 that said the following -

“If we agree with the premise that a human life begins at fertilization and that the unborn child is guiltless, then we must extend that protection regardless of how the child was conceived. Either abortion is murder or it is not. The 6th Commandment is not conditional.”


“The baby conceived of rape or incest is no less human, less deserving of protection, and less precious in God's sight than the baby conceived of marital intercourse.”


“Including explicit exceptions, beyond what is in the bill, for rape and incest undermines the premise that human beings are endowed with an unalienable right to life at the moment of conception.”


“We shouldn’t assume that abortion is the compassionate response to a rape. Because of the potential harmful emotional, physical, and spiritual consequences of abortion, the law ought not leave abortion as an option.”

You now seem to say to anon 12:27 that it's wrong of him/her to believe that "we must extend that protection regardless of how the child was conceived. Either abortion is murder or it is not. The 6th Commandment is not conditional."

If it was murder last year, why is it not muder now? And if it is still murder, how can you support a bill says it's OK to murder some times?
jack said…
The document discussed above can be found here --

Anonymous said…
Hey 2:07,

You lose. Again. Ha!
James said…
jack (3:07)

I just looked at the bill and I don't see anywhere in the bill where it says it's, "OK to murder".
So what bill are you looking at?

A bill that would eliminate 95% or more of the abortion performed in South Dakota is one that promotes a culture of life in South Dakota.

Just because Oscar Schindler couldn't save every single Jew doesn't make him a murderer. He saved as many lives as he possibly could at that time and mourned for those he could not save.

Just because we cannot save all 100% of unborn children now doesn't mean we should sit on the sidelines and do nothing. I applaud all those who are working to protect human life.
Anonymous said…
Anon 1:26
Sadly you are right on…This won’t go anywhere because this is not an election year.

Even if it was an election year, this bill would be doomed in the courts. Every court up to the Supreme Court would rule it unconstitutional via Roe v. Wade, and right now, (and for the foreseeable future – i.e. until the Republican Party has a majority in the Senate and the Presidency again…which is not going to happen until 2012 at the earliest) the Supreme Court would rule against it. Even if there was a pro-life court, this bill has serious 14th amendment issues, which would most likely kill it. All the currently written bill will do is cost you, me, and other South Dakota taxpayers a lot of money. It won’t stop a single abortion.
Marshall said…
this abortion issue needs to be aborted
jack said…

I'm not sayng abortion is murder; I don't think it is.

But the SDFPC, while Rob was running it, responded to concerns about 1215 not containing a rape/incest provision by saying "If we agree with the premise that a human life begins at fertilization and that the unborn child is guiltless, then we must extend that protection regardless of how the child was conceived. Either abortion is murder or it is not. The 6th Commandment is not conditional"

Those aren't my words, they are what Rob's organization was saying about a rape/incest exception. When another commentor said that he/she didn't think the pro-life movement should now say that rape/incest exceptions are moral, Rob went after him/her.

I merely pointed out that Rob's group responded to calls for a rape/incest exception last year by saying "either abortion is murder or its not." Now, he's going after someone who said, basically, the same thing.

I do think it hypocritical that those pushing the ban argued that a rape/incest exception was immoral when 1215 was debated in the legislature, then claimed that there was a rape/incest in the bill when it was referred, and are now arguing for a ban with an explicit rape/incest exception. The exceptions went from completely immoral to OK if done via morning after pill to completely moral when performed by a doctor in one year.

I just want to know which it is. Does Rob still stand behind the statement "If we agree with the premise that a human life begins at fertilization and that the unborn child is guiltless, then we must extend that protection regardless of how the child was conceived. Either abortion is murder or it is not. The 6th Commandment is not conditional," or does he think that the 6th commandment is, after all, conditional and it isn't murder in instances of rape and incest.
Anonymous said…
As a pro-lifer who supported Ref Law 6, I applaud Abdallah for the guts to stand alone in voting for this bill.
I am, however, disappointed in Greenfield, who I consider a friend, and the RTL in general for their hypocrisy and inconsistencies.They are generally for "incremental" bills, and opposed to total bans,since, according to them, those bills " go too far and won't stand up in court". This is what they said in 2004 on the bill he and Duenwald opposed, which was supported by nearly every other pro-lifer in SD. That bill was killed by Rounds on a technical veto.
Then, rather surprisingly, they supported the total ban in 2006. Now they're back in opposition. What difference does it make if you pass it in 07 or 08 to get on the 08 ballot? It's already made it through the House, why sabotage it now?
I'm not too surprised that the committee killed it today, they are mostly liberals. I hope they do try to smoke it out, it will seperate the men from the crybabies.
Sorry, Brock, but you should know you're wrong when you're on the same side of a bill as Kate Looby.
lexrex said…
jack you asked me "If it was murder last year, why is it not muder now? And if it is still murder, how can you support a bill says it's OK to murder some times?"

as i've said before, this is not a perfect bill in my eyes. it's a compromise that has to be made in light of certain political realities -- i.e., last year's election results.

i believe all those same things i said last year. i also believe that a perfect federal tax system is a sales tax, but i'll compromise and take $300 tax breaks whenever i can get them.
Anonymous said…

You should also note that Brock Greenfield was also an original co-sponsor of the ban in 2004.

You make good points. Who cares whether the legislature does it now or next year? Either way, it'll be on the '08 ballot.

Greenfield's a good guy, but on this, he appaers unsure of his stance. Flips and flops from one minute to the next. Besides, if he doesn't think it would have a chance in the courts, what made him think last year's bill would've? The court hasn't changed in the past 3 months.
Anonymous said…
Anon 1:15

You ask what made him think that last years bill would have a better chance than this years bill?
A few possible answers:

Before the last election, there was Republican majority in the congress. This meant that a Pro-Life candidate was significantly more likely to be confirmed by the Senate in the event of any retirements over the next two years. This MIGHT have changed the balance of the court, giving the previous law a chance to overturn Roe vs. Wade. This is no longer the case.

The previous law was a direct challenge to Roe vs. Wade. The new law is NOT a direct challenge to Roe vs. Wade. As such, it would go through the courts up to the Supreme Court and would most likely be defeated in such a way as to address the issue of Abortion.

It seems that this is a case of some in the Senate facing political realities. Elections have consequences. We need to learn from the last election. Learn WHY we lost, both on a state (RL6) and national(Both Houses of Congress) level. We need to address these issues, and then we need to come back and try harder next time. Unfortunately, next time will not come for at least two years, and most likely not for six.
Anonymous said…
anon 3:36

Who knows what the Supreme Court will look in in 2, 4, or 6 years?

No one! So we shouldn't try and play a guessing game and try to play God on when the "right time" is to protect women from the harms of abortion.

If not now, when?

It is always the time to do what is right!
Anonymous said…
We don't know how the Supreme Court will look in 2, 4, or 6 years. But we know how it looks now.

Right now, these laws would lose if the court even decided to look into them. With Democrats in control of the Senate, this is not going to change. Sending this bill to the Supreme Court today will only strengthen Roe vs. Wade. Every time we have extended too far, we lose and Roe vs. Wade establishes itself more as “settled law”. If we actually want to ACTUALLY stop abortions, as opposed to using this as stick to hit Democrats with, we have to fix that first.

Saying “It is always the right time to do something right!” is all well and good, but we need to look at the big picture. If tilting at windmills for no change is your idea of doing right, that is fine. Me, I want to fix this.
Anonymous said…
anon 5:02

How do you explain 1166?

That one wasn't supposed to go anywhere in the courts and that is winning.

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