A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Good for South Dakota!

Reuters: South Dakota passes abortion ban---

SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota (Reuters) - South Dakota became the first U.S. state to pass a law banning abortion in virtually all cases, with the intention of forcing the Supreme Court to reconsider its 1973 decision legalizing the procedure.

The law, which would punish doctors who perform the operation with a five-year prison term and a $5,000 fine, awaits the signature of Republican Gov. Michael Rounds and people on both sides of the issue say he is unlikely to veto it.

"My understanding is we are the first state to truly defy Roe v. Wade," the 1973 high court ruling that granted a constitutional right to abortion, said Kate Looby of Planned Parenthood's South Dakota chapter.

State legislatures in Ohio, Indiana, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky also have introduced similar measures this year, but South Dakota's legislative calendar means its law is likely to be enacted first.

"We hope (Rounds) recognizes this for what it is: a political tool and not about the health and safety of the women of South Dakota," Looby said.

"If he chooses to sign it, we will be filing a lawsuit in short order to block it," she said after attending the afternoon debate at the state capital in Pierre.

Proponents have said the law was designed for just such a court challenge.

The timing is right, supporters say, given the recent appointments of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito to the high court. The two conservatives could pave the way to a decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

The high court said on Tuesday it will rule on whether the federal government can ban some abortion procedures, a case that could reveal whether the court reshaped by President George W. Bush will restrict abortion rights.
I pray this sort of thing happens all over the country . . . and that the unelected Judiciary doesn't overstep its Constitutional bounds, as it so often does, and strike it down.