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Thursday, February 1, 2007

It’s Baaaaack

posted by on February 1 at 15:53 PM

The South Dakota legislature is back with a new, improved abortion ban. Voters threw out the previous abortion ban passed by their legislature last November—a ban that made no exception for rape or incest. The new one does. Sort of.

The “Women’s Health and Human Life Protection Act” would allow rape victims to have abortions if they report the crime to police within 50 days. Doctors would be required to confirm the report with authorities.

In cases of incest, a doctor would need to obtain the woman’s consent to report the crime—along with the identity of the alleged perpetrator—before an abortion could be performed.

So if you were raped 51 days ago, you’re shit out of luck. And if you’re hesitant to report your father, grandfather, brother, uncle, or cousin to the authorities, then you’re shit out of luck.

So let’s say you’re a 15 year-old girl who still lives with your parents and your father raped you. Unless you’re brave enough to report your father to the police, and unless you get your ass to the doctor early enough, you’ll just have to have your dad’s baby.

The new law would also make any doctor brave enough to perform abortions in South Dakota absolutely miserable.

The measure would also stipulate that abortions could be done only until the 17th week of pregnancy, and blood samples from aborted babies would be sent to the police for DNA testing.

Also, a doctor could perform an abortion if the pregnancy would “cause a very significant impairment of the functioning of a major bodily organ or system,” but before that could take place, the mother would have to get a second opinion from another doctor.

The bill would require the doctor to send a written statement to the department of health explaining why the operation was performed and providing all the circumstances surrounding the abortion.

So even if there were doctors in South Dakota willing to assume all that extra paperwork, if he or she screws up and runs afoul of the law—say the doc mistakenly aborts a fetus that’s seventeen-and-a-half weeks old—the doc will be charged with a felony and sent to prison for up to 10 years.

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It can be really difficult to pinpoint the exact age of a fetus. That's why docs use the mother's last menstrual cycle to figure that out. What a bunch of lunatics.

Posted by keshmeshi | February 1, 2007 3:56 PM

Let's hope the good folks (conservative as they are) of South Dakota vote this one down as well.

Posted by ddv | February 1, 2007 3:59 PM

Too bad these otherwise very libertarian states can be persueded by right wing crazies. South Dakotan's (sp?) value their personally freedom enough to actually REPEAL their motorcycle helmet law. I hope the voters see the inconsistency and don't pass this.

Posted by Dougsf | February 1, 2007 4:07 PM

They repealed their motorcycle helmet law?

That's Social Darwinism in action!

Posted by Original Andrew | February 1, 2007 4:09 PM

Since the late 70's, helmet required only for those 17 and under. In South Dakota, it's none of lawmakers business if you chose to splat your brain all over the highway. Get knocked up however, and they'll have a state trooper guarding your uterous until your a mommy.

Posted by Dougsf | February 1, 2007 4:35 PM

Tom Daschle. Bill Janklow. Bob Barker. Abortion bans. Has South Dakota ever given us anything of value? Their best output was Sitting Bull, and they killed him. Give both Dakotas to Canada. Screw them.

Posted by tsm | February 1, 2007 6:17 PM

Yeah, #6. Better yet: Give *us* to Canada, along with all of New England and the Middle Atlantic down to DC. (Except Pennsylvania -- the US can keep that).

Posted by Jonathan | February 1, 2007 6:20 PM

If a woman has an amniocentesis - done preferably at 16 weeks - the results can take 2 weeks or more. Therefore, if the test results come back positive for, say, Down's syndrome, spina bifida, or cystic fibrosis, oh well, too bad, no choice for you, lady. You WILL have that baby. Never mind if you have no way to provide for a special needs child. Will the pro-lifers be eager to adopt these children, either? Doubt it!
These people make me sick!

Posted by Madashell | February 1, 2007 10:46 PM

"...blood samples from aborted babies would be sent to the police for DNA testing."

WHY? Why would the authorities need to have a DNA sample from a fetus that is dead?!?

These "pro-life" idiots obviously do not even hear themselves when they speak. One would think that every once in a while one of them might stop and ponder the rationale... -- oh, right. Never mind.

Posted by ChillyMama | February 2, 2007 7:51 AM

Many police departments don't have enough money to process the DNA from rape victims! So now they want to split that insufficient funding with processing DNA from dead fetuses... because clearly that's more important than catching rapists. :(

Posted by Glad I don't live there | February 2, 2007 8:10 AM

There's a reason that few people live in South Dakota.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | February 2, 2007 8:15 AM

That is a good question, how do we join Canada? What would Washington be like as a "Province"? Is there a membership fee or do we have to fight our way out of the Union? I am serious, this could be worth looking into....

Posted by Andrew | February 2, 2007 1:05 PM

I've always wondered why the "significant risk to the life of the mother" hasn't been open for wider interpretation.

I don't want a kid, and my life will be ruined if the state forces me to have one. My viable, full term life will not longer be the life I want or choose. Is that "risk" enough? It should be.

Posted by lauren | February 2, 2007 3:38 PM

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