In polling released this weekend by the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, a measure to ban abortion in South Dakota is currently running dead even. Forty-four percent of 800 registered voters surveyed said they would vote Yes on Initiated Measure 11, and an equal number said they would vote No. Twelve percent remain undecided.
Jan Nicolay of the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, which opposes Initiated Measure 11, told the Argus Leader, “We believe we will continue to gain ground as more South Dakotans learn about the medical community’s opposition to this abortion ban because of the dangerous government intrusion into the private medical decisions that affect how doctors treat women.”
South Dakota voters rejected a similar ban in 2006; this time, its supporters added so-called exceptions for a woman’s health and in cases of rape and incest. However, doctors are concerned that the language of the health exception is so vague that it could have serious legal ramifications. The ban would make doctors liable for criminal prosecution and sentences of up to 10 years in jail. South Dakota already has among the nation’s most rigid regulations to complicate access to safe abortions.