House Advances 20-Week Abortion Ban to Fight “Sex-Crazed Society”

Yesterday the House approved Senate Bill 72, South Dakota’s latest sex-hating, woman-hating, Constitution-hating abortion restriction. This time, we’re writing dubious “science” about fetal pain (see also here and here) into state law and banning women from having abortions in or after the twentieth week of pregnancy “unless it is a medical emergency.”

SB 72 hits doctors performing abortions after twenty weeks with a Class 1 misdemeanor—one year in jail, $2,000 fine. Nobody gets a Class A felony—life in prison or death—for homicide because nobody in the South Dakota Legislature really believes all those things they say about abortion killing “people just like you and me.” Similarly, SB 72 prohibits imposing any penalty on women obtaining or attempting such an illegal abortion, because no legislator really believes a woman seeking an abortion is hiring a contract killer, or that a woman has the rational capacity to make decisions for which she can be held culpable.

Well, wait. Rep. Rev. Scott Craig seems to think something like that. After opening his remarks in yesterday’s House floor debate (starting at 58:10 in SDPB’s video) with an anecdote about his wife’s complicated pregnancy, a doctor’s advice that she abort, and their decision (their decision, indicating Mrs. Craig can exercise rationality and bear moral culpability) to ignore that doctor’s advice, Rep. Rev. Craig lit into irresponsible women and men:

Abortion of course, about…what’s the percentage? How do we really know for sure?—upper 90% of abortions are simply because they are used for birth control. Birth control! We are a sex-crazed society, out of control. There’s a couple that in the heat of the moment, they don’t use some protection, and, lo and behold, somebody gets pregnant, then they choose something far worse—they end a life!—because there’s no self-control. We are a country with no control, no self-control [Rep. Rev. Scott Craig, floor debate on Senate Bill 72, South Dakota House of Representatives, 2016.03.07, timestamp 59:04].

Curse ye, vile fornicators! How dare ye have impious sex! Ye shall be punished!

Rep. Rev. Craig is so outraged by our “sex-crazed” society that he doesn’t notice that he in one breath says a number is unknowable and then makes up a number to support his argument (never mind taking time to discover we really can gather data, like the fact that 51% of abortion patients report having used contraception during the month in which they conceived). He is so outraged that he declares the women who can’t help responsible for their abortions guilty of moral turpitude.

And in his outrage, he makes clear the real intent of Senate Bill 72 and all the rest of South Dakota’s abortion restrictions. SB 72 isn’t about loving babies or protecting women or punishing killers. It’s not even about promoting responsible behavior, because if we’re really all in heat, if there’s no self-control, SB 72 isn’t going to stop us from rutting about. SB 72 is about taking one more step toward the ultimate goal of a total ban on abortion, which will force loose women to bear their babies like badges of shame. Take that, you (female) fornicators!

The House amended Senate Bill 72, so it bounces back to the Senate for concurrence tomorrow. I would like to think our sex-crazed legislators might rediscover their self-control and refrain from inserting themselves into any woman’s decision about her pregnancy. But you know how people are when they’re in heat.

34 Responses to House Advances 20-Week Abortion Ban to Fight “Sex-Crazed Society”

  1. Cory, did you hear about the suicide bill that SD voted in? I couldn’t believe I found common ground with Pastor Craig.

  2. But then from what I’ve heard SD is not providing any funds for suicide education for teacher – this foundation from TN will be funding it for SD (so that’s probably why ‘pubs voted for it)

  3. mike from iowa

    In 2015, in the United States, there were about 119,000 searches for the exact phrase “how to have a miscarriage.” There were also searches for other variants — “how to self-abort” — and for particular methods. Over all, there were more than 700,000 Google searches looking into self-induced abortions in 2015. […]

    The 700,000 searches included about 160,000 asking how to get abortion pills through unofficial channels — searches like “buy abortion pills online” and “free abortion pills.”

    There were tens of thousands of searches looking into abortion by herbs like parsley or by vitamin C. There were some 4,000 searches looking for directions on coat hanger abortions, including about 1,300 for the exact phrase “how to do a coat hanger abortion.” There were also a few hundred looking into abortion through bleaching one’s uterus and punching one’s stomach.



  4. mike from iowa

    Yo, Rev-the last time you chaifed your yard. how many lives did you end? 9 out of 10 people chaif their yard and the 10th one is a liar.

  5. Our societal angst over sex is hourly (or more so) fueled by advertising heated sexually as it is known that “Sex sells”!!

  6. But of course in South Dakota, we don’t tax advertising to our detriment. Especially during political campaigns–how that would help coffers, eh?

  7. Chaifed yard? Is that a word in Iowa? A thing?

  8. mike from iowa

    You’d prolly recognize it as spanking the monkey,you hairy onanist,grudz.

  9. mike from iowa

    ps-Puritans weren’t all that upset about people chaifing their yard,even around churches,unlike the ones ruling South Dakota today.

  10. Ah, galloping the ol’ lizard, eh? Yes, I’m sure Rev. Craig is familiar with that practice.

  11. Another chubby, old, bald, white guy telling women how they should behave!

  12. Donald Pay

    It’s kind of clear, isn’t it, from the transcript provided that when the good Reverend was having his verbal orgasm, he had no self-control. There’s a kind of hilarious parallel between sex and the Reverend’s spewing of his verbal seed.

    God, being God, would have had the self-control to have the relevant facts and figures in hand before He spoke. But when a sex-crazed sinner, like the good Reverend, gets into a good verbal rhythm and he’s pounding away faster and faster before the climax he can’t be bothered with the protection of a few good facts. Fact-control. Who needs it? And then what happens? They choose something far worse. They pass another dumb bill! Because there is no self-control.

    Yes, indeed, the South Dakota Legislature has no control. No self-control.

  13. Shirley Moore

    Patriarchy, misogyny and sexism may end with women BUT THEY ALWAYS START WITH MEN. –Brian Sims, PA state legislator.

    Or as another woman posted on Facebook, “just slap the Viagra/Cialis out of his hand and tell him to turn over and go to sleep.

  14. Nick Nemec

    I don’t know how many times I’ve said this over the years but it bears repeating. If we as a society want to reduce the incidence of abortion we need to implement a program of mandatory, comprehensive, fact based sex education and make contraceptives free and easily available. Any other approach will not work and is doomed to failure.

  15. Craig’s simple-minded hyperbole makes my head spin.

    Women have always sought abortions in dire circumstances. Legalization provides for safer abortions. Mothers do not make this decision lightly. The way to reduce abortions is to ensure each child born will have food, clothing, shelter, and a good education including sex education.

  16. For the record, I feel pretty strongly that abortions for non-medically necessary reasons are immoral. I do agree with Mr. Nemec’s public health policy stance of ensuring a high-quality sex ed program, combined with access to contraception, is the BEST way to reduce the demand for abortions.

    Looking at the bill, this section bothers me:
    Section 5. That chapter 34-23A be amended by adding a NEW SECTION to read:
    No medical emergency may form the basis for an exception to section 3 if it is based on a
    claim or diagnosis that the pregnant mother will engage in conduct which she intends to result in her death or other self harm.

    So Mr. Craig is okay with a woman attempting suicide (and thus potentially killing her and the fetus)?


  17. (Jenny, are you referring to SB 129, the mandate for suicide prevention training? Great—more work for which the Legislature is unwilling to pay teachers.)

  18. Wayne, I’m not even going to wade as far into the waters as to declare non-medically necessary abortions immoral. The law has no business passing judgment or making these decisions for women. Those of us who aren’t pregnant have little if any business passing our moral judgment. You know I resist relativism, but the uniquely personal, irreplicable nature of pregnancy leaves me unwilling to intervene in a woman’s decision unless she asks me for my advice… and even then, I will not claim any moral authority to overrule her decision.

  19. A more sensible thing for our fetus obsessed legislature to do regarding our ‘sex crazed society’ is to try do something about the easy availability of pornography on the internet. I’ve read more men than ever are addicted to porn (I’m assuming b/c of the internet). It is such a different time from when there was just the one porn magazine that was passed around days.

  20. Cory, are you saying you’re against the suicide education law?

  21. Jenny, do you have evidence on the “more men than ever” claim on porn addiction? I’d be very interested in seeing numbers that could link such addiction to easier online availability of such materials… but then, for this discussion, we’d need to see those numbers also aligning with increases in rape and/or unwanted pregnancy. I’m not saying porn isn’t a serious issue with implications for discussions of abortion and our “sex-crazed” society; I’m just saying I’d like to see firm connections.

    The porn industry certainly reflects sex-crazedness better than any abortion stats cited in the SB 72 debate. I wonder: would Rep. Craig more directly challenge society’s sex-crazedness by attacking porn and the commodifcation of sex?

  22. bearcreekbat

    Cory, you have argued that under the plain language of the proposed anti-transgender bathroom bill that the language in the bill would have the effect of excluding all adults from a student bathroom. The plain language of the house abortion bill has the effect of making medical personnel (and probably and pregnant woman who obtains a prohibited or unauthorized abortion) subject to capital murder charges with either the death sentence or mandatory life in prison. Just as in the bathroom bill, perhaps our anti-sex legislators did not intend such a result, but the plain language of our statutes require it.

    You are correct that the House bill itself apparently has amended the penalty for a violation of this statute down to a misdemeanor and explicitly prohibits punishment under the statute of the woman obtaining the illegal and unauthorized abortion. But as we learned from many prior cases, including the Boswell prosecution, one act may violate more than one statute and a person may be punished twice for one act if two criminal statutes are violated. In Bosworth’s case the single act was incorrectly attesting to a signature on her petition (6 signatures to be exact). For this single act, she was convicted of two separate crimes: perjury and making a false statement, each a distinct felony.

    That brings me back to the House abortion bill. Under that bill, certain abortions are no longer authorized and become criminal acts.

    SDCL 22-16-4 provides that: “Homicide as murder in the first degree. Homicide is murder in the first degree: (1) If perpetrated without authority of law and with a premeditated design to effect the death of the person killed or of any other human being, including an unborn child. . . .”

    An abortion that violates the House bill is an abortion “without authority of law and with a premeditated design to effect the death of . . . an unborn child.”

    Next, SDCL 22-3-3 provides, “Any person who, with the intent to promote or facilitate the commission of a crime, aids, abets, or advises another person in planning or committing the crime, is legally accountable, as a principal to the crime.” On its face this implicates any nurse or PA who assists the doctor and means they face the same penalty. Likewise a pregnant woman who seeks such an abortion appears to be covered by the plain aiding and abetting language of the statute.

    We have a mandatory life sentence for 1st degree murder, and under SDCL 23A-27A-4 a jury may impose the death sentence if they find one statutory aggravating factor. SDCL 23A-27A-1 list various aggravating circumstances and provides at subsection (6) ” The offense was outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible, or inhuman in that it involved torture, depravity of mind, or an aggravated battery to the victim. Any murder is wantonly vile, horrible, and inhuman if the victim is less than thirteen years of age. . . .” Since a fetus is under the age of 13, the jury may impose the death sentence on the doctor, the nurses and medical personnel who assist, and the woman who aids and abets by seeking the abortion.

  23. Eve Fisher

    South Dakota: more money for lawsuits, less for teachers. Every time.

  24. I’m not convinced, Bearcreekbat. We have a separate statute defining “fetal homicide” that appears to exempt any abortion from prosecution for homicide. See SDCL 22-16-1.1:

    Fetal homicide–Felony–Application. Homicide is fetal homicide if the person knew, or reasonably should have known, that a woman bearing an unborn child was pregnant and caused the death of the unborn child without lawful justification and if the person:

    1. Intended to cause the death of or do serious bodily injury to the pregnant woman or the unborn child; or
    2. Knew that the acts taken would cause death or serious bodily injury to the pregnant woman or her unborn child; or
    3. If perpetrated without any design to effect death by a person engaged in the commission of any felony.

     Fetal homicide is a Class B felony.

    This section does not apply to acts which cause the death of an unborn child if those acts were committed during any abortion, lawful or unlawful, to which the pregnant woman consented.

    I share your concern about unintended consequences of abortion restrictions, but I don’t see the clear textual path that gets me from the explicit text of SB 72, through existing statute exempting abortion from consideration as homicide, and on to a murder trial.

  25. bearcreekbat

    Cory, I initially thought that statute controlled abortion decisions, but the disclaimer at the end of the statute seems to remove it from the question:

    “This section does not apply to acts which cause the death of an unborn child if those acts were committed during any abortion, lawful or unlawful, to which the pregnant woman consented.”

    While this exclusion takes care of the section outlawing fetal homicide, I could find no similar exclusion in the first degree murder statutes. How do you get around that definition when it explicitly includes the intentional and unauthorized killing of an “unborn child?”

  26. bearcreekbat

    As with the transgender potty statutes, perhaps this is just careless drafting. On the other hand, perhaps the legislature that adopted this definition of First Degree Murder intended to cover abortions. If later legislatures do not repeal the “unborn child” language from the First Degree Murder statute, then how can you ignore the plain language of that statute based on a different statute that does not even mention the First Degree Murder statutory language?

  27. I still disagree that the potty bill would have courts interpreting exclusion of adults. spit balling….

    well, grudz definitely, if he really is an adult.

  28. mike from iowa

    Here is what awaits Dakota’s future.

    Oklahoma Senate overwhelmingly passes bill that says doctor who perform abortions can’t get license to practice medicine in Chokelahoma.

  29. mike from iowa

    bcb-is closer to reality than one might imagine-

    Senate Bill 1118 is an even more transparent attempt to outright outlaw all abortions in Oklahoma:

    A person commits murder in the first degree when that person performs an abortion as defined by Section 1-745.5 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes. […]

    1. “Abortion” means the use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug or any other substance or device to intentionally kill an unborn human being; 2. “Unborn human being” means the offspring of human beings from the moment of conception[.]


  30. Bear, if the law can be read that way, if the fetal homicide exception for abortion doesn’t trump the first-degree homicide statute, why have there been no prosecutions? I understand the sloppy drafting possibility, but legislative intent on every abortion bill appears to indicate that our Legislature is unwilling to treat abortion as the crime to which they only rhetorically but never seriously equate it in their campaign speeches.

  31. bearcreekbat

    Since the revision of our criminal code that added the “unborn child” to the homicide statute, most, if not all, of the legislature’s attempts to restrict abortion have been challenged in court, and enjoined from taking effect. To the extent that any provisions have survived, I have not seen a single allegation that medical health providers have committed an unauthorized abortion in this state. That would explain why there have not been any abortion doctors prosecuted for murder to date.

  32. Bear, I would accept your brief in committee as testimony in favor of repealing SB 72 and the rest of our challenged abortion restrictions. Let’s not wait for the court; let’s just acknowledge women’s rights, acknowledge the danger of these laws to women and doctors, and get the Legislature out of the courts and the doctor’s office. Ditto with medical cannabis: if the FDA approves certain drugs and doctors prescribe them, our hands are off that wheel.

  33. bearcreekbat

    Cory, I will be glad to help.