South Dakota Legislature Passes Bill Banning Nearly All Abortions

The South Dakota Senate yesterday approved (23-12) a bill that would make it a felony for doctors to perform any abortions in the state except those necessary to save the life of the woman. The state House overwhelmingly passed the bill earlier this month. Because the Senate slightly changed the wording of the bill, the House must approve the new language, and the bill will then go to anti-choice Governor Mike Rounds (R) to become law.

Gov. Rounds vetoed a similar bill in 2004 because of concerns that legal challenges to the bill could weaken or eliminate existing state abortion restrictions, but he said in 2005 that he would feel “morally obligated” to sign such a bill banning abortion into law.

If signed into law, the bill is expected to face immediate legal challenges. According to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, an anonymous donor has already pledged $1 million to help defray South Dakota’s legal expenses in defending the law.

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Sioux Falls Argus Leader 2/23/06; New York Times 2/23/06

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