Somehow, this escaped my radar…
You may remember that South Dakota was all ready to pass legislation banning abortion, and the governor was ready to sign it. Turns out the bill was defeated, and many are wondering what’s going on with National Right to Life
Shock waves are still reverberating one week after South Dakota’s bill criminalizing abortion was defeated by a single vote over National Right to Life’s complicity with pro-abortion groups to kill the legislation that pro-abortion lobbyists called the most restrictive anti-abortion measure since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.
The Bill was sponsored by Republican State Representative Matt McCaulley who had asked the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to help draft a bill that would directly confront the holding of the Roe decision. As a result, House Bill 1191 banned virtually all abortions in that state and made it a felony punishable for up to 15 years.
Immediately after the Bill was announced, National Right to Life spokespersons and officers of their state affiliate opposed passage of the bill as not being the right time.
However, another story indicates that the problem was – as it often is – a health exception.
Though the bill was initially hailed as an attempt to overturn the landmark Supreme Court decision allowing abortions, the state Senate earlier added a health exception that some pro-life advocates say gutted the intent of the bill. They worried the exception would allow an abortion practitioner to determine when an abortion is “needed” to protect a woman’s health and that all abortions could be labeled as necessary.
State Sen. Jay Duenwald (R) wrote a letter to Rounds and said that “without an objective standard for health [nothing will] prevent this exception from turning into a gigantic loophole.” The health exception “creates a subjective standard for what counts as a risk to the health of the mother, focused on the intent of the doctor performing the abortion.”