South Dakotan Anti-Choicers Gearing up for Roe Challenge

Fasten your seatbelts. We’re in for quite a ride, I fear.

Lawmakers here are preparing to vote on a bill that would outlaw nearly all abortions in South Dakota, a measure that could become the most sweeping ban approved by any state in more than a decade, those on both sides of the abortion debate say.

If the bill passes a narrowly divided Senate in a vote expected on Wednesday, and is signed by Gov. Michael Rounds, a Republican who opposes abortion, advocates of abortion rights have pledged to challenge it in court immediately — and that is precisely what the bill's supporters have in mind.

Optimistic about the recent changes on the United States Supreme Court, some abortion opponents say they have new hope that a court fight over a ban here could lead to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that made abortion legal around the country.

"I'm convinced that the timing is right for this," said State Representative Roger Hunt, a Republican who has sponsored the bill, noting the appointments of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the court.

…[Referencing] conjecture that Justice John Paul Stevens, 85, might soon retire, [Mr. Hunt added], "I think it will all culminate at the right time."
Bravo, Mr. Hunt. What an impressive victory this could mean for you, being the man who stopped safe and legal abortions in America.

But make no mistake, sir—even if you succeed, you won’t be stopping abortion. Even if your own state, where people just like you have managed to intimidate every last doctor in the state into not performing the procedure, it hasn’t stopped women who want control over their own bodies and lives from getting abortions.

In this state of some 770,000 people, about 800 abortions are performed each year, nearly all at one clinic in Sioux Falls. Several years ago, the political atmosphere in South Dakota became such that no local doctors felt comfortable performing abortions…so doctors are now flown in from Minnesota.
Banning safe and legal abortions and criminalizing doctors who perform them won’t stop abortions. Women with unwanted pregnancies will go to underground clinics, seedy hotel rooms, the proverbial back alleys—because of the truth that anti-choicers cannot bring themselves to face.

When a woman does not want to be pregnant, the drive to become unpregnant can turn into a force equal to the nature that wants her to stay pregnant. And then she will look for an abortion, whether it's legal or illegal, clean or filthy, safe or riddled with danger. This is simply a fact, whatever our opinion of it.
There are women who would give anything to be pregnant. These women we understand. They go through tests and take hormones and subject themselves to round after round of costly fertility treatments, all in the pursuit of pregnancy and babies of their own. We have compassion for them. We sympathize when their hopes are dashed, and celebrate when their goal is achieved. They are, after all, seeking to fully realize their womanhood, and that is to be applauded.

But what of the women who would give anything not to be pregnant? These women have neither our understanding nor our compassion. They have instead our judgment. Why did you have sex if you didn’t want a child? Why can’t you just carry the pregnancy to term and give up the baby for adoption? We speak of women who seek abortions as a caricature that makes disdaining abortions justifiable—a callous, irresponsible slut, who could have that baby if she really wanted to, but her jet-setting career and martinis are just more important to her. Not 14-year-olds, or victims of rape or incest, or women whose birth control failed, or mothers who simply can’t afford one more mouth to feed, or women who have just been left by the men who impregnated them, or women whose lives are in danger, or women who made a mistake and don’t want to pay for it with the rest of their lives. No, we don’t think of them, because it wouldn’t be quite as easy to think of women who seek abortions as heartless, selfless wenches who reject their womanly destiny to mother, who deserve our disdain.

What is there to celebrate, really, in banning abortion? Will it stop ill-formed 14-year-olds from having unprotected sex? Will it stop rape? Will it stop birth control from failing? Will it stop married couples who don’t want any more children from having sex? Will it stop mistakes? No, not in this imperfect world. It will mean more crime, more unnecessary injuries and deaths, more women left sterile, more unwanted children.

"The strong possibility of a third appointee sometime soon makes this all very real and very viable," Mr. Hunt added.
Let their blood be on your hands if you’re right, sir.

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