Archive for Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Voters to decide fate of abortion ban

June 20, 2006

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— South Dakota's legislature passed a tough new law that bans almost all abortions, but the state's voters will have the final say on whether it goes into effect.

Secretary of State Chris Nelson said Monday that the law's opponents had collected enough signatures - about 38,000 - to put a question on the Nov. 7 ballot asking voters whether the law should go into effect as planned or be dumped.

The state's abortion law, among the strictest in the nation, bans the procedure in all cases except when necessary to save a woman's life, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

Supporters hoped it would prompt a court challenge that would give the U.S. Supreme Court an opportunity to overturn its 1973 Roe. v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

The Legislature passed the measure and the governor signed it in March. It was scheduled to take effect July 1 but is now on hold pending the outcome of the public vote.

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