Abortion ban by South Dakota touches off fierce legal battle

South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds today signed into law a highly restrictive anti-abortion bill aimed ultimately at overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.

The legislation, passed last month by state lawmakers, bans abortion in nearly every case and punishes doctors who perform one with a $5,000 fine and five years in prison.

The bill allows abortion only in the event a mother's life is in danger, making no exception for rape or incest.

South Dakota Planned Parenthood, which operates the state's sole abortion clinic, has said it will challenge the law.

Rounds said in a written statement he expects the law will be tied up in court for years and will not be enacted unless upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

"In the history of the world, the true test of a civilization is how well people treat the most vulnerable and most helpless in their society," Rounds said. "The sponsors and supporters of this bill believe that abortion is wrong because unborn children are the most vulnerable and most helpless persons in our society. I agree with them."

Prior to the signing, an anonymous donor pledged $1 million to help the state defend the new statute.

Last week, Rounds was in Washington for a National Governors Association meeting where he found more pledges of donations and the support of some of his colleagues across the nation.

"There is a lot of interest in it here," Rounds said, according to the Associated Press. "And there are a number of states that have similar legislation. A lot of governors expressing support and wishing us good luck and suggesting that they will have similar types of proposals that may very well be favorably looked upon across the United States."

State lawmakers in Georgia, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Indiana also are considering legislation that would heavily restrict abortions.

No comments:

Post a Comment