Several South Dakota church leaders declared their support last week for a November ballot initiative that would ban almost all abortions in South Dakota. According to the The Argus Leader, church leaders announced at a news conference that they hoped to gain support for the initiative from close to 800 churches within the state. The outreach effort is being called The Lampstand Project.
Reverend Jon Sanders, pastor of Flandreau Bible Church and Project supporter, said, “we are sounding a clear trumpet call from the pulpit…far beyond November 4, Lampstand churches will remain committed and available to women and children, born and unborn,” according to The Argus Leader.
Not all church leaders and members in South Dakota plan to support the measure. Reverend Rodney Gist of First United Methodist Church said in an interview with The Argus Leader, “This sweeping ban allows government intrusion into families’ personal, moral decisions. Every single decision regarding pregnancy should be treated as an individual case.”
As listed in South Dakota’s 2008 Ballot Question Pamphlet, Measure 11 would prohibit abortions except those deemed necessary to prevent death or serious complications or are the result of a reported rape. In 2006, 56 percent of South Dakota voters rejected a similar initiative that would have banned abortions, including cases of rape and incest.