Friday, February 10, 2006

Is this the beginning of the end for Roe v. Wade?

CULTURE WARS: S.D. House approves sweeping abortion ban

Bill aims to set up court challenge to Roe v. Wade

Associated Press

The South Dakota House overwhelmingly passed a bill Thursday that would ban nearly all abortions in the state, ushering the issue to the Senate.

Supporters are pushing the measure as a means of drawing the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court, hoping to set up a legal challenge that ultimately will result in reversal of the high court's 1973 decision legalizing abortion.

The bill banning abortion, HB1215, was passed 47-22 in the House after more than an hour of debate.

Rep. Roger Hunt, R-Brandon, said the recent appointment of two new members on the Supreme Court and the prospect of one or two more replacements within a few years as older members retire makes it a good time to mount a challenge to the earlier Roe v. Wade decision.

"It is important, I believe, at this time in our history to protect the life of the unborn," he said.

Hunt is the prime sponsor of the legislation.

Although saying they personally abhor abortion, opponents made several unsuccessful attempts to make exceptions in cases of rape and incest, and to protect pregnant women whose health may be endangered.

The Supreme Court has ruled that abortion restrictions must contain exceptions to protect a woman's health, Jennifer Ring of the American Civil Liberties Union told legislators earlier.

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