Thursday, February 23, 2006

Wingnuts on the march

South Dakota, nice place to visit, wouldn't want to live there:
South Dakota lawmakers yesterday approved the nation's most far-reaching ban on abortion, setting the stage for new legal challenges that its supporters say they hope lead to an overturning of Roe v. Wade .

The measure, which passed the state Senate 23 to 12, makes it a felony for doctors to perform any abortion, except to save the life of a pregnant woman. The proposal still must be signed by Gov. Mike Rounds (R), who opposes abortion.
Just three women in the South Dakota state Senate, by the way. Nice of these dudes to make these choices for women, real nice.

Let's take a look at the introductory provisions of this gem of a statute, just so all can see what's going on here:
FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to establish certain legislative findings pertaining to the health and rights of women, to revise the physician disclosure requirements to be made to a woman contemplating submitting to an abortion, and to provide for certain causes of action for professional negligence if an abortion is performed without informed consent.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:

Section 1. The Legislature finds that all abortions, whether surgically or chemically induced, terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.

Section 2. The Legislature finds that there is an existing relationship between a pregnant woman and her unborn child during the entire period of gestation.

Section 3. The Legislature finds that procedures terminating the life of an unborn child impose risks to the life and health of the pregnant woman. The Legislature further finds that a woman seeking to terminate the life of her unborn child may be subject to pressures which can cause an emotional crisis, undue reliance on the advice of others, clouded judgment, and a willingness to violate conscience to avoid those pressures. The Legislature therefore finds that great care should be taken to provide a woman seeking to terminate the life of her unborn child and her own constitutionally protected interest in her relationship with her child with complete and accurate information and adequate time to understand and consider that information in order to make a fully informed and voluntary consent to the termination of either or both.

Section 4. The Legislature finds that pregnant women contemplating the termination of their right to their relationship with their unborn children, including women contemplating such termination by an abortion procedure, are faced with making a profound decision most often under stress and pressures from circumstances and from other persons, and that there exists a need for special protection of the rights of such pregnant women, and that the State of South Dakota has a compelling interest in providing such protection. (emphasis added)
So there you have it. Silly women of South Dakota, we shall protect you from your clouded judgment and emotional crises, in all our Republican infinite wisdom.

The only saving grace about this law is its overreach, making it unlikely to mount a challenge with any teeth to Roe. Still, this state's emboldened action in the wake of the new composition of the Supreme Court is a wake-up call to the silent majority of voters who absolutely do not support this kind of extremism.