South Dakota: Anti-women legislators in for a fight Print E-mail
South Dakota -- March 7 2006

Abortion rights groups outline plan to oppose bill

By PETER HARRIMAN
When Gov. Mike Rounds signed into law a bill prohibiting abortions in South Dakota, he set in motion today what could be a fitful stirring of opposition or the first ominous swirl of whirlwind that pro-choice proponents hope to make the governor and legislators who voted for the ban reap.

Representatives of National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League Pro-Choice South Dakota, South Dakota Advocacy Network for Women, Planned Parenthood of South Dakota, and State Rep. Elaine Roberts, D-Sioux Falls, in a press conference this morning decried the new abortion law and outlined the major thrusts of challenges against it.

These include:

§ Denouncing legislators for failing to reach out to pro-choice advocates on a common agenda to reduce the use of adortions as birth control by ensuring contraception and sex education are readily available

§ Questioning the establishment of a legal defense fund to receive contributions to pay for court challenges to the new abortion law

§ Consolidating support among women to view the law as a dismissive attack on women’s rights

§ Recruiting legislative candidates to run against those who voted for the bill.

Kate Looby, Planned Parenthood state director, pointed out that while the abortion bill passed, bills before the Legislature to require hospitals to make women aware emergency contraception is available, to make insurance companies cover contraceptive drugs if they cover other prescription drugs and to require school districts to offer sex education all failed in committee.