South Dakota Abortion Bill Passes State Senate

Passed on by Shaker Ann:

A contentious abortion bill passed the South Dakota Senate late this afternoon. The vote was 23 to 12…

It now goes back to the House, which passed an earlier version and must now decide whether to accept changes made by the Senate.

The bill would then go to Gov. Mike Rounds…
Rounds, as noted earlier, is a Republican who opposes abortion.

The SD State Senate is pretty chuffed with themselves. There’s more celebrating about how the time is right to criminalize abortion throughout the state—and confer rights and protections to fetuses while taking away rights and protections from women.

Democrat Sen. Julie Bartling of Burke said the time is right for the ban on abortion.

“In my opinion, it is the time for this South Dakota Legislature to deal with this issue and protect the rights and lives of unborn children,” she said during the Senate's debate. “There is a movement across this country of the wishes to save and protect the lives of unborn children.”

Republican Sen. Stan Adelstein of Rapid City had tried to amend the bill to include an exception for abortions for victims of rape. The amendment lost 14-21.

“To require a woman who has been savaged to carry the brutal attack result is a continued savagery unworthy of South Dakota,” he said.

Republican Sen. Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown objected.

Rape should be punished severely, he said, but the amendment is unfair to “some equally innocent souls who have no chance to stand and defend themselves.”

The Senate also defeated a proposed amendment to insert an exception to allow an abortion to protect the health of a pregnant woman. That was offered by Republican Sen. David Knudson. It failed on a 13-22 vote.

I don’t know if I can accurately convey my feelings about being an adult women, with a good mind and a purpose and a family and a home (all of which is one way of saying I have a life that’s important to me), who stands to have fewer rights and less value under the law than an unwanted fetus. That if I am raped, or my health is under threat, my soundness of mind and body are worth less than an unwanted fetus. That there are people who do not feel my uterus should be under my own control.

It’s insulting. It’s belittling. It’s unfair. It’s infuriating. And none of that matters to the people who would seek to protect a life that doesn’t exist at the expense of mine, which does.

This issue is not just about women who may, at some point, want or need abortions. It's about all women—and our standing in society, our autonomy. Control over my own body, of which legalized abortion is a significant part, is part of how I define and understand myself and my role in our culture. Taking that away from me is taking away a part of myself, and make no mistake, that's what this fight is really about.

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