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sarahlee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-12-06 02:03 AM
Original message
Abortion Ban Foes Petition for a Choice
Edited on Mon May-15-06 12:10 PM by newyawker99
STURGIS, S.D. Volunteers pushing to overturn the nation's most far-reaching abortion ban are surprised and delighted by the response as they circulate petitions to put the law up for a public vote.

Even in the most conservative corners of this conservative state, both Republicans and Democrats including a few who say they oppose abortion are eagerly signing the petition. In two weeks, volunteers have collected a third of the signatures they need to get a November referendum on the ban.

Some voters dismiss the abortion-rights activists as out of touch with South Dakotan values. "People here have a sense of morals and ethics," said Darcy Patterson, 40. "I don't want to change the law."

But others say their legislators went too far when they voted last month to prohibit all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest, unless the mother's life is at stake.


Supporters expected the measure to draw an immediate court challenge from Planned Parenthood, which operates the only clinic providing abortions in South Dakota. Abortion opponents wanted a legal fight that could lead the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 decision establishing a constitutional right to abortion.

But abortion-rights forces chose not to sue. Instead, they're appealing directly to voters.


Places to pick up Petitions:

Rapid City
Planned Parenthood
619 Mountain View Rd., 341.2545
Monday, 3 - 7 p.m.
Wednesday, 5 - 7 p.m.
Thursday, 3-7 p.m.
Friday, 2-5 p.m.
First Sat of the month, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Asio Studios
616 West St. at Main, 343.8222
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Black Hills Celtic Shop
523 7th St., 388-0281
Mon-Sat, 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Sioux Falls
SD Campaign for Healthy Families

The Crane Company Building
326 E 8th Street, Suite 105
Mon-Fri 8:00 5:30pm

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sarahlee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-12-06 02:42 AM
Response to Original message
1.  South Dakota abortion ban
Good stuff here:

Referendums are not new.
It comes as a small surprise here in initiative-mad California, to learn that South Dakota was the first state (1898) to adopt initiatives and referenda. As in most places, putting measures to direct vote was a populist, vaguely progressive effort to overcome the power of entrenched interests. As in most states, the power was relatively little used until the 1970s but has become common since. The Aberdeen News reports that 42 laws passed by SD legislators have been put to referendum, and 83 percent were rejected by voters. Sounds good for pro-choice campaigners, who must gather 16,728 signatures (5 percent of registered voters) by June 19 to force the vote.


...In mid- March, Focus: South Dakota, a Democratic group which employed Robinson and Muenster Associates of Sioux Falls, interviewed 630 voters. They reported:

Sixty-two percent said the legislation is too extreme, 33 percent said they support the bill and the rest were undecided.

When people were asked if they thought the abortion ban should be put on the November ballot, 72 percent answered yes. Pollsters found that 79 percent of Democrats, 67 percent of independents, and 65 percent of Republicans favor a statewide vote on the issue.

Fifty-seven percent of those polled said they would then vote to override the proposal, 36 percent would keep the ban and the rest were undecided about the measure.

Anti-abortion leaders scoffed at the results, claiming 64 percent of South Dakotans are "pro-life."

Probably all results on this highly charged issue depend on how the question is asked. In early March, the reputable, Republican-oriented Rasmussen Reports surveyed South Dakotans and found them absolutely evenly divided on the ban, 45 percent in favor, 45 percent opposed. Interestingly, "the poll also found that most South Dakota voters (55 percent) know someone who has had an abortion. Sixty percent (60 percent) say abortion is morally wrong most of the time."

Campaign messages
The Focus: South Dakota poll certainly point to the right message for South Dakota Healthy Families: The legislature's ban goes too far. The lack of exceptions for rape, incest, or the mental health of the potential mother moves this particular law over into wacko-land for most voters. That "goes too far" message is pretty much the universal message in negative initiative and referendum campaigns, playing well everywhere to majorities of citizens who oppose any measure that can be stigmatized as "extreme."

An interesting potential sub-theme that could play a lot of ways will also be at work. I'm sure that most South Dakotans don't want their state branded as a wacko place, by either side. This referendum will undoubtedly get huge amounts of national attention and money from all concerned groups. The ban does have national implications so there is nothing wrong with that, but South Dakotans can expect to feel somewhat invaded. A local blog, Moderates from South Dakota predicts what is coming:...

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Broca Donating Member (524 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-12-06 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
2. Updated story on petition

Foes of South Dakota abortion ban claim progress By Carey Gillam
Fri May 12, 3:38 PM ET

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - Opponents of a new South Dakota law designed to challenge the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion said on Friday they are well on their way to stopping the measure from going into effect this summer and letting the state's voters decide its fate.

The anti-abortion law, described as one of the most restrictive in the nation, would take effect in July unless opponents collect 16,728 signatures by June 19 on petitions designed to put the law on the November ballot for an up or down vote.

The South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families said the petition drive is on track with more than 10,000 signatures and it believes it would easily obtain the required number to put the law on the ballot. ...

Full story at:
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Focus South Dakota Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-16-06 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Great News
I also wanted to point out Focus South Dakota at

They are the national group working with the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families (the in state group) to overturn HB 1215 (the abortion ban)
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