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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » South Dakota and abortion legislation

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Author Topic: South Dakota and abortion legislation
elliebean
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South Dakota just passed a ban on all abortions, including those that would terminate pregnancies from rape or incest, except for those that would be necessary to save the mother's life.

You can read about it at the New York Times website.

From what I understand, the legislation was passed in order to get higher courts directly involved in the issue of abortion, and soon.

I wish I could say I'm surprised, but I'm not. I just wonder how far this will go...

[ 03-09-2006, 06:08 PM: Message edited by: Miz Scarlet ]

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faifai
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http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/national/AP-Abortion-South-Dakota.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/23/national/23dakota.html

Here is an excerpt from that first article, since you have to sign up to read it and I know some people won't sign up:

--from the New York Times:

The bill, designed to spark a courtroom showdown over the legality of abortion, passed 23-12 Wednesday. On Thursday, it was headed back to the House, where lawmakers already approved similar legislation.

Republican Gov. Mike Rounds, a longtime abortion opponent, has said he would "look favorably" on an abortion ban if it would "save life."

Under the measure, doctors in South Dakota would face up to five years in prison for performing an abortion. The only exception would be for women who need abortions to save their lives.

"In my opinion, it is the time for the South Dakota Legislature to deal with this issue and protect the lives and rights of unborn children," said Sen. Julie Bartling, a Democrat and the bill's main sponsor.

The legislation targets Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.

Opponents say it is too extreme and unconstitutional. Planned Parenthood, which operates the only clinic that provides abortions in South Dakota, pledged to challenge the measure if it become law.

Apparently the governor has about two weeks to make a decision. Right now it's a wait and see issue. Some interesting stuff? The main sponsor of the bill is a Democrat woman, the bill does not provide for exceptions in the case of incest or rape (!!!), and tax money will be used to pay for the court battle.

Here's some from the second article:

from the New York Times--

After more than an hour of fierce and emotional debate, the senators rejected pleas to add exceptions for incest or rape or for the health of the pregnant woman and instead voted, 23 to 12, to outlaw all abortions, except those to save the woman's life.

They also rejected an effort to allow South Dakotans to decide the question in a referendum and an effort to prevent state tax dollars from financing what is certain to be a long and expensive court battle.

To be enacted, the bill, the most sweeping ban approved in any state in more than a decade, requires the signature of Gov. Mike Rounds, a Republican, who opposes abortion.

After overwhelmingly approving the measure this month, the House, too, has to vote on it again because the Senate slightly reworded it, although the intent of the bill was unchanged and the vote there seems unlikely to shift.

Mr. Rounds has said he will not comment on whether he will sign the measure until it reaches his desk. It is likely to arrive there by next week. He has 15 days to make a decision.

[This message has been edited by faifai (edited 02-23-2006).]


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Gumdrop Girl
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yeah, sux for South Dakota. Cross your fingers and hope it gets struck down. Otherwise, put your charity money into arranging rides for women to go out of state. There was only one PP clinic to begin with. I wonder how busy they were.

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faifai
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http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/Forum8/HTML/000924.html

Here is a bit Miz Scarlet wrote about the state of abortion in South Dakota prior to this new information about it being banned for the most part (which led to some interesting discussion--so read the whole thread if ya got the time).

Even before this ban in SD was proposed, it was extremely difficult for women to get abortions in SD. If it passes, of course, the (only) Planned Parenthood in SD won't be able to provide abortions anymore on penalty of fines and so on.

I guess they'll have to leave the state to get abortions...is that legal, especially if you're a minor? The other problem with SD doing this, of course, is that it's located right in the middle of the midwest. If states surrounding it also pass similar bills, except for super-limited circumstances, imagine how far will people have to travel to get an abortion.

[This message has been edited by faifai (edited 02-23-2006).]


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dailicious
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I believe women CAN travel to another state for a medical procedure, abortions included, but for the case of minors it is already illegal for minors to be taken across state lines without their parent's or legal guardian's permission.

As for the bill, I found out about this by reading a newspaper in New Zealand, so you better believe what a big deal this is for not only American women in general, but also to the reactions of people around the world.

I wish I had more to say about it right now, but I'm short on time and haven't the slightest idea where to begin my disappointment with this ruling.


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kitka
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dailicious, is there a letter writing campaign or some kind of action people can take to voice their opposition to the ban?
i've searched online but haven't found anything.


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Heather
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Kitka, check out the Scarleteen blog today: yesterday I put up a link to an organization expressly for young people who want to help protect choice.
http://www.scarleteen.com/blog/index.html

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Gwaihir
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I've searched that pro-choice website, but I don't really understand it. Does it say anything anywhere about the South Dakota abortion ban and if you can write letters of opposition? I didn't find much, if anything, on that.
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Heather
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Well, if you're not a resident of South Dakota, that'd be fairly futile, since at this point, it's in the Governor's hands, and the protocol with that politically is only to entertain the sentiments of residents of that state per any state policies.

That choice site for young people linked in that blog entry is so that y'all can start getting involved with ALL choice issues, in a local way, regaularly. One letter here and there every now and then -- especially with something like the SD ban, where at this point, there is little to nothing citizens can do -- isn't going to do much. It is ongoing, preventative, and constant action that will. For grassroots activism to work, it generally has to be ongoing.

But what you COULD do, to start, is write a letter to YOUR state or country representatives saying how you feel about what is going on in SD, and asking them to make a commitment to women's reproductive rights.

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faifai
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060306/ap_on_re_us/abortion_south_dakota

Well, Gov. Rounds signed it, and it is now a law. It's not expected to go into effect until July, and even then the governor himself said that he doubts it will actually go into effect at all until it gets to the Supreme Court, since there are bound to be court battles about it from here on out.

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Heather
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P.S. Here is a form to send a note to the governor of S.D. on this issue:

http://www.ppaction.org/campaign/southdakota_abortionban

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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...and now, here comes Tennessee.

And lining up, too, are Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, West Virginia....

Folks: it really, really is getting as bad as we thought it would. At the very least, write your senators a letter. Even if you are NOT a resident of any of these states, a simple thanks to your reps if they HAVE acted to protect choice, or a plea for them to do so if they haven't made clear they will would be a really good idea.

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Gwaihir
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I think I will do so. . but is it our state representative or the senators we should contact? Ug.. this sounds so stupid, but there's so many of them and I'm not sure which one I should contact.
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Heather
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Best bet is always to contact your sentaor and the state rep for your particular district.

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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kitka
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I'm glad I'm a New York state resident.

I have friends who live in Oklahoma at the moment, though. They tell me that there is a pro life group on a major OK campus, who were just funded $1000 for this semester by the student activities council. There is no pro-choice group on campus of similar stature.

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Heather
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Kitka: are your friends willing to set up a group themselves?

If they are, let them know funding of that level or less for such would be very easy to find. I'd be happy to help them find it, and it could likely be gathered very quickly.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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kitka
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I'll ask them when they get back from break next week. Thanks, Miz Scarlet.
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Heather
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...and just in case you want to get REALLY pissed off, enjoy this exchange from an interview with a South Dakota senator who votes for the ban:

quote:
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Napoli says most abortions are performed for what he calls "convenience." He insists that exceptions can be made for rape or incest under the provision that protects the mother's life. I asked him for a scenario in which an exception may be invoked.

BILL NAPOLI: A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.

(The full interview can be found here.)

<rant: sarcasm in attachment>

Because, you know, it's NOT tragic, it's NOT traumatic, it's NOT brutal, it's NOT savage for a woman who is sexually active, for someone already a mother or married, for an old woman, for someone who is not religious or Christian. Rape is ONLY SO terrible, and pregnancy from rape so hard for, you know, girls who aren't sluts. Or prostitutes (who effectively get raped daily to pay the bills, often including bills for their children everyone ostensibly cares so much about). Or unwed mothers. Or atheists. Or grandmothers. Or college women. Or women who are sexually active. Or women who were already raped once before before.

You know: for nearly ALL of us who are women. An "exception" can't be made for us, see, because we just aren't good enough girls to deserve a choice in whether or we will carry a forced pregnancy, from forced sex, to term. We just aren't good enough girls to be allowed to make decisions about our own bodies and our own children. And we don't deserve the right to make those choices as much as another girl might, because we are ALREADY "ruined," we can't be any more ruined by a rape.

I could hurl. And I'd so LOVE to be one of the people who was actually surpised by this sort of comment, but I wasn't. All it did was validate what it's clear men like this, an administration like this, already thinks about women. Pissed as hell? Yes. Shocked? I wish.

</rant>

[ 03-18-2006, 03:11 PM: Message edited by: Miz Scarlet ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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blueveggie
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Whee Miz Scarlet [Smile]


It's times like this when I wish I was a lawyer.. or a lobbyist.. or somebody like Bono who could get a meeting with almost anyone I wished and go chew them up about this.

Gah.


Hey, I wonder where Bono stands on all of this- maybe we could recruit him to help :-P

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September
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That is so absolutely revolting that I don't even have the words for it.

I've been raped. And I was a virgin. But I'm not a Christian, I was not sodomized and I had no plans of waiting until marriage. I guess that means that I am already so much of a slut that, had I gotten pregnant, I would not have been deserving of an abortion.

Seeing something like that right there makes me feel nearly every bit as helpless and violated and dirty as I did right after getting raped. And what did I do to deserve that? Oh yeah. I was born female.

I don't understand why it's gotten so bad. I seriously don't. I thought we were finally getting somewhere. So much has changed for us and gotten better for us and now, suddenly, it seems as though some force is uniting to throw us back to the moral stone age. It's beyond sad.

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Johanna
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Heather
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Well, I think I'd not exactly choose Bono for the part. Well-intentioned and kind-hearted as many men are, I think that it's pretty clear we really, really don't need any more men speaking for women or playing a hand in our rights than we alreaday have in the mix.

Of course, we'd need a woman to be, you know, given just as much clout. Yeah, not feeling highly optimistic today.

I think, September, that in some respect, it has actually always been this bad. I know that sounds atrocious, but I think that when it didn't seem this bad, or hasn't it's largely because:
a) no one saw or paid attention to what was going on behind the scenes,
b) a higher standard was applied to people put in positions of power, and/or
c) "manners" and standards of behaviour were in place that made it less appropriate in some regard, and with some issues, to both express hatred like this, or put it in action.

But even all of those are iffy: I mean, sexism and misogyny have ruled for a long time. Racism was lawfully allowed en masse, and in many ways, in many places, still is.

In a lot of ways, I don't think things really have gotten all that better for women as a class. Sure, in some parts of the world, we have had some gains in access to education, the right to vote, in greater freedoms to marry or not, etc. But given HOW long the struggles have been, and how recent those gains are, we've really made very, very little headway when it comes to the big picture.

And yes: I agree, a statement like that is, in and of itself, a violation. A sentiment like that driving law is a rape in and of itself.

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Blink
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Good news (for once!):

The President of the Oglala Sioux (which is located on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota) has said that she is strongly opposed to the abortion ban and will personally set up a Planned Parenthood clinic on her own land on the reservation, which is not under the legal jurisdiction of South Dakota. Go President Fire Thunder!

More information:
http://www.indianz.com/News/2006/013061.asp
http://kathrynt.livejournal.com/366823.html

(Sorry if this has already been posted about, I looked and couldn't find it.)

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Heather
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That utterly rocks! Way to work the system that usually works AGAINST women and natives!

quote:
“To me, it is now a question of sovereignty,” she said to me last week.
That really does sum it up. Thanks so much for posting this!

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Karybu
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Yaaaaaaaaay! [Big Grin] That is seriously the best thing I've heard all day.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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Beppie
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Wow... Fire Thunder is such a cool name for a feminist. [Smile]
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faifai
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That is amazing. I hope that if she decides to do it, she doesn't encounter hundreds of anti-choice people harrassing her and the people who liver there with her--that'd be awful.
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faifai
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That is amazing. I hope that if she decides to do it, she doesn't encounter hundreds of anti-choice people harrassing her and the people who live there with her--that'd be awful.
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logic_grrl
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Sadly, it looks like this won't be happening, at least not at this point:

Planned Parenthood Expresses Gratitude To Oglala Sioux - Has No Plans To Move Clinic To Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

[ 03-24-2006, 08:47 AM: Message edited by: logic_grrl ]

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"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." - the Talmud

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Heather
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Well, she could still open a private clinic. Here's hoping she does: even before the ban, SD needed another clinic anyhow.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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elliebean
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i've talked to some people here at my college, and while we're all incensed about the SD ban, and when i initially heard of it, i was heartened at the idea of opening a clinic on the reservation, one of my friends pointed out to me that reservations and the people who live on them are treated poorly already, and this would be bound to cause them more trouble and give those who want excuses to attack them politically the perfect opportunity.

that said, if the reservation is willing and realistically/politically able to take that on, it would be in my eyes a huge victory, especially since it comes from the same thing that allows for gambling on reservations and has proven itself to be such a nasty little problem for the likes of jack abramoff and tom delay.

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logic_grrl
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A very depressing update - the Oglala Sioux have now banned all abortion and suspended President Fire Thunder.

http://indianz.com/News/2006/014231.asp

It seems like part of this is the result of pre-existing conflicts between her and various tribal elders, and there have been attempts to suspend her before.

--------------------
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." - the Talmud

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origami_jane
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I read about that--how upsetting.

Does anyone know if doing a sort of "underground railroad" to provide transportation out-of-state and a safe place to stay before/after the procedure would be breaking the SD law?

I think I remember reading about people in New York doing that for women who came from out of state.

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Irm
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Ugh, how disgustingly upsetting. This gets more and more depressing everyday.
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