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Ban on abortions

6th April 2006

A bill to ban abortions in South Dakota unless they are necessary to save the life of the mother was signed on On 6 March by South Dakota’s governor, Michael Rounds. Doctors who perform abortions face fines and jail terms. The bill has no exceptions to protect the woman’s health or in cases of rape or incest.

The law is scheduled to go into effect on 1 July but will be held up by court challenges by Planned Parenthood and other groups.  It may take three years for a challenge to reach the Supreme Court.

The law is a deliberate challenge to Roe v Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal in the United States. Since then, the Supreme Court has rejected state laws that do not have a health exceptions, though it has upheld several state laws requiring counselling, parental or spousal notification, and restrictions on clinics.

The ban has encouraged other states to follow suit.  Bans are under consideration by leislatures in Mississippi and Missouri and have been proposed in Ohio, Georgia, Tennessee, Michigan, and other states.

 

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