Revenues are dwindling, the budget is in peril, but Happy Valentine’s Day, ladies! The South Dakota Legislature spent this afternoon chipping away at your bodily autonomy. House Bill 1101 boosts the penalty for violations of last year’s ill-advised, unscientific fetal-pain/abortion law from Class 1 misdemeanor to Class 6 felony.
In the floor debate leading up to the House’s passage of this culture-war distraction, Rep. Steven Haugaard (R-11/Sioux Falls), who loves dropping culture-war bombs, said, “The fact is, half of the abortions include the death of a girl, so it’s certainly not an attack against women.”
NARAL Pro-Choice SD can’t let Rep. Haugaard’s crass distraction pass:
“Abortions are one of the safest medical procedures performed in America,” said Samantha Spawn, interim executive director for NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota. “Representative Haugaard’s statement is not only erroneous, but irrelevant to the bill that was under deliberation. Elective abortions are not performed in South Dakota after thirteen weeks gestation; this bill does not address elective abortions, but rather further penalizes doctors for executing their best medical judgement with patients who are already suffering the loss of their wanted pregnancies. Perhaps Representative Haugaard should better research existing abortion restrictions in South Dakota before misinforming his colleagues on the House floor” [NARAL Pro-Choice SD, press release, 2017.02.14].
HB 1101 is just one more step toward the Republican Party’s goal of completely overturning women’s rights to make their own decisions about their wombs.