South Dakota Considers Several Anti-Choice Bills

South Dakota’s Republican-dominated House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday that would outlaw abortion in the state if a woman’s right to choose was no longer protected by the federal government. The bill, known as a “trigger statute” and sponsored by state Representative Joel Dykstra (R), would not offer exceptions for rape or incest or for the health of the woman, but only for the life of the woman, the Associated Press reports. The bill would make performing an abortion a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison.

An attempt to amend the bill to protect the health of the mother was voted down 45-25. Similarly, an attempt to make abortion legal in the event of rape or incest also failed, 46-24. According to the Associated Press, Representative Elizabeth Kraus (R) compared being raped to having an abortion, saying that “In a sexual rape, a woman is robbed of her purity. In this medical rape, she is robbed of her maternity.”

The South Dakota legislature has also recently considered two other anti-choice bills. On Monday, a bill that would ban abortion unless the woman’s life was in danger died in the state Senate’s State Affairs committee by a vote of 7-2. The other bill, which was approved by a Senate committee on Monday, would require parental notification within 24 hours of a minor having an emergency abortion, unless the minor could obtain a court order permitting confidentiality, the Associated Press reports. Under the current law, parental notification is not required for emergency abortions.

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Associated Press 2/14/05, 2/15/05; Kaisernetwork.org 2/16/05

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