Feb 27, 2006
The South Dakota state legislature has voted to outlaw all abortions except those necessary to save the woman’s life. It is on its way to being signed into law by the governor.
In doing so, they are going against the will of the majority even in their own state. The legislature acknowledged this when it refused an effort to place the bill on a ballot referendum for all South Dakota voters to decide.
There are no exceptions in this bill. Not for incest. Not for rape. Not even in cases where the health of the woman is at stake.
This puts the lie to the pretense that the opponents of a woman’s right to abortion are “pro-life.” In fact, they are attacking the lives of all women in a fundamental way.
In passing this law, the legislature is attempting to crystallize legally what has already become a de facto reality: in the entire state of South Dakota, there is only one open abortion clinic.
South Dakota is not the only state where this is true. The ability of women to obtain a legal abortion has been under attack across the country for years. In the year 2000, 87% of counties across the U.S. had no abortion provider at all. That number has only gotten worse since then.
Christian fundamentalists and the Catholic church, who have been pushing the attack on abortion, believe they can now take the final step and go after any semblance of a legal right to abortion. They have chosen South Dakota as the state where they can begin their final assault on women.
This law, if passed and upheld, will not mean fewer abortions. Even before Roe v. Wade, there were nearly as many abortions performed per year as in the years after its passage. Legal or illegal, there have been around a million abortions performed each year, with this difference: before 1973, women regularly died. More than 90% of abortions were illegal, performed under unsafe conditions. Nearly 350,000 women a year arrived in hospital emergency rooms as the result of botched abortions; the number of women who died from them each year ranged from 1,000 to as many as 5,000 each year.
The scumbags who passed this bill should be honest and call it what it is: a proposal to murder women!
This is an attempt by politicians pandering to a small minority of religious fanatics to impose their dictatorship over all women.
The right to abortion will be defended in the same way it was gained: by a massive mobilization of women who refuse to be trampled on by religious bigots.