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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Proposed South Dakota abortion ban fails in state Senate committee
Leslie Schulman at 7:59 PM ET

[JURIST] The South Dakota Senate State Affairs committee [official website] rejected a bill [House Bill 1293 materials] in an 8-1 vote on Wednesday that would have criminalized most abortions in the state with exceptions for rape, incest and life-threatening conditions to the mother. According to the bill,

the state has a right and duty to protect the life of the unborn child, and to protect the life, health, and well-being of any pregnant woman within its jurisdiction, and it is therefore necessary to reasonably balance these interests to allow abortions only in [these] certain circumstances.
Several senators who voted against the measure said they considered it patently unconstitutional given Roe v. Wade and doubted it would survive a court challenge.

The bill passed the House State Affairs committee last week [JURIST report] and would have been placed on the ballot of the next state general election had it passed in the Senate. Last year, the South Dakota legislature passed [JURIST report] a law banning most abortions [text, PDF] in the state, but voters rejected it [JURIST report] at the polls in November. AP has more. The Rapid City Journal has local coverage.

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