South Dakota Anti-Abortion Group Uses Misleading TV Ad

The South Dakota anti-abortion group Vote Yes for Life has launched a misleading television advertisement to gather support for Referred Law 6, a bill on South Dakota’s November ballot that will affirm the state’s current abortion ban. The ad features a group of doctors who claim inaccurately that, “science now proves that life begins at conception” and that the bill “does provide exceptions for the life and health of the mother.”

Three weeks before the upcoming election, outraged pro-choice feminists in South Dakota and neighboring states have geared up to combat the anti-abortion group’s false information. “Their ad is full of blatant lies,” said Lindsay Roitman, the campaign manager for the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, in a phone interview with Ms. magazine. “The law explicitly says there are no exceptions except to prevent the death of a woman,” Roitman said. “I think that they’ve reached a new level of desperation. The opposition knows that this law is too restrictive and the only way they can respond, the only way for them to win people over is to lie to them.”

Roitman also questioned the medical expertise of the doctors in the ad because “most of these doctors aren’t doctors who are treating women with pregnancies, and there’s only one ob-gyn who has been identified.”

South Dakota doctors who oppose the bill have united under the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), hosting several press conferences expressing their concerns about the ban. Meanwhile, the Campaign for Healthy Families has launched a political offensive to correct the false information in the ad. “We can cite everything we say in our ads or our information,” Roitman said. “We’ll continue to communicate with our voters about the true impact of this law through television ads and grassroots organizing.”

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SD Secretary of State Web site; South Dakota Section of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; cleancutkid.com 10/13/06; Vote Yes for Life Web site; phone interview with South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families

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