State officials have asked the South Dakota Supreme Court to rule on whether or not the identity of a major contributor to a campaign to uphold a state law that would have banned abortion must be disclosed. The contribution came from Promising Future, a corporation established by State Rep. Roger Hunt (R) that gave a total of $750,000 to VoteYesForLife.com, which campaigned in favor of the ban.
A Circuit Judge ruled last month that Hunt and his corporation had not established a ballot question committee, which would have required the donor’s name to be reported. South Dakota Secretary of State Chris Nelson, however, told the Associated Press that Promising Future acted like a ballot question committee by distributing the $750,000 to a campaign. According to South Dakota law, a ballot question committee has two or more members who raise funds to influence a ballot issue.
After the state Legislature passed a law in 2006 banning abortion except to save the woman’s life, women’s rights groups fought successfully to put the law to a referendum. In November 2006, voters rejected the ban by a margin of over 10 points.