South Dakota abortion ban is bouncing back
Just months after voters rejected it, lawmakers are pushing a slightly revised version.
The Associated Press
PIERRE, S.D. | Legislators introduced a sweeping abortion bill Wednesday that supporters hope will lead to a legal challenge of Roe v. Wade.
The measure would allow exceptions for rape and incest with DNA evidence, making it slightly less rigid than a bill passed last year that contained an exception only to save the life of a woman. A petition campaign forced that bill onto the ballot, and voters rejected it in November by a margin of 56 percent to 44 percent.
Opponents of the legislation said the issue was settled in the November election and lawmakers should not have revived it.
This year’s bill would allow rape victims to get abortions if they report the rapes to police within 50 days. Doctors would have to confirm the report with police and would have to take blood from aborted fetuses and give that information to police for DNA testing.
In the case of incest, a doctor would have to get the woman’s consent to report the crime along with the identity of the alleged perpetrator before an abortion could be performed. Blood samples from fetuses would have to be provided to police in incest cases too.
Abortions could be done only until the 17th week of pregnancy in cases of incest and rape. The bill carries a tougher maximum penalty for illegal abortions than last year’s bill — 10 years in prison instead of five.
It would allow abortions to save women’s lives and in cases in which their health would be seriously jeopardized by a continued pregnancy. However, a doctor could perform an abortion only if a doctor from another practice concurs that a woman’s health is in jeopardy.