Legislators React To Another Abortion Ban
January 30, 2007, 5:21 PM
The abortion ban is back. While the bill hasn't been officially filed, KELOLAND News has obtained a copy of the proposed legislation. The new ban would include exceptions for rape, incest, and the health of the mother. And it already has the support of 18 House members and seven in the Senate.
While the bill's sponsors are saying that this measure is in response to the election, when voters said they wanted exceptions, some Democrats and Republicans I talked with today say it's too soon after the election to have another abortion bill debate.
It doesn't have an official bill number yet, but the new abortion ban is already causing a stir at the state capitol.
Democratic Representative Burt Elliott from Aberdeen says, "It's unfortunate that we have this issue to face again. The people in the state of South Dakota voted 56 to 44 that this issue should be resolved."
The new bill's supporters say the issue wasn't resolved in November, since opinion polls showed voters would support a ban with more exceptions.
Republican Representative Mark Willadsen of Sioux Falls says, "I think there's a large enough percentage of the population that said that they want an abortion ban with these exceptions and I think the legislature's responsibility to them bring that forward as the wish of the people."
While some legislators feel they're wasting their time by debating another bill that will never go into effect... Supporters disagree.
Willadsen says, "When this bill comes back again it's just one of several hundred bills that we work on, we devote about the same amount of time to each bill."
But some say they have already had that time, and the voters have already spoken.
Elliott says, "They are allowing the exemptions some of us wanted last year. They had their chance, it was last year, it's time to put this issue to rest."
While the new bill includes exceptions for rape, incest, and health of the mother. It is very specific about when a crime has to be reported, and what constitutes a doctor's opinion.
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