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Value Every Voice Raised to Protest South Dakota’s Unjust Abortion Ban

Hundreds of South Dakotans gathered in downtown Sioux Falls yesterday to protest South Dakota’s ban on abortion and the concomitant demotion of women to second-class citizens who lack the intelligence and dignity to make their own reproductive decisions. The inopportune comment of the rally came from April Carrillo, member of the Equality South Dakota board of directors and assistant professor of political science at the University of South Dakota:

Black, brown and indigenous women have been fighting this fight for years. If you’re white, sit down and listen to the Black, brown and indigenous women [April Carrillo, tweet-reported by Annie Todd, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 2022.07.10].

When you have a rally that gets hundreds of South Dakotans to overcome their Midwestern niceness, not to mention their innate and entirely just summer Sunday aspiration to go to the lake, and make good trouble on a hot Sioux Falls street at high noon, one of the last things you want to do is tell the majority of them to “sit down” and be quiet. Do not create divisions or hierarchies or priorities. Make all of the protestors in that crowd feel their voices are of equal importance, that they all have a vital role in speaking truth to power and overturning this unjust law.

Abi Benson and her daughter Willa were also in attendance. They say it’s important to show support for women regardless of political beliefs.

“Even if they’re not engaged in politics and even if they don’t have skin in the game. Knowing that they can fight for their wives, their mothers, their daughters,” said Abi Benson, Sioux Falls resident [Baylee Peterson, “Planned Parenthood Hosts Abortion Protest in Sioux Falls,” KSFY, 2022.07.10].

South Dakota’s abortion ban is a grave injustice. Let’s not let talk of other injustices that we have to solve disrupt our focus on rectifying this injustice. Let’s raise every voice to overturn this bad law and restore women’s rights to control their bodies.


  1. Allen Jeris 2022-07-11 08:20

    I see having medical autonomy is important. Wondering why this group was not outraged when our service members were “let go” because the didn’t get a mandated Covid “vaccine”. Really sucks having big government take your rights away.

  2. Loren 2022-07-11 08:48

    MAGA logic alert, but thanks for playing, Allen.

  3. Jake 2022-07-11 10:06

    Allen Jeris-you have no ‘qualms; regarding the person next to you in the workplace or subway beingable to infect you and others nearby with his disease?
    Because, not even a law can make you do something you don’t want to?

  4. P. Aitch 2022-07-11 10:48

    April Carrillo’s statement is valid.
    “If you’re white, sit down and listen to the Black, brown and indigenous women.”
    Cory’s pedagogue side may have been salved had she added, “If you’re white, when you return home, sit down and listen to the Black, brown and indigenous women.”
    White privilege being a sensitive thing in SD.

  5. Allen Jeris 2022-07-11 10:53

    Jake- maybe we should have no human to human interaction’s because there is always risk.

    Loren-you have not even played the game yet because you have added no relevance to the discussion.

    My argument is that medical autonomy is important and can see why the abortion issue upsets certain people. I am just wondering why those same individuals readily accept vaccine mandates for Covid.

  6. bearcreekbat 2022-07-11 11:31

    I don’t recall any “vaccine mandates” threatening people with felony prosecution if they failed to get a vaccine Allen, like South Dakota laws that now threaten women, doctors, and anyone else that even helps a woman in need with a Class 6 felony or, as I read the SD homicide and murder statutes, with the death sentence.

  7. Allen Jeris 2022-07-11 11:49

    I didn’t think they are criminalizing women but I could be wrong.

    My focus is medical autonomy and allowing people to make their own decisions.

  8. bearcreekbat 2022-07-11 12:06

    Allen, read the homicie statutes I have cited multiple times, and then let us know whether you think they are criminalizing a woman that obtains an unauthorized abortion: SDCL 22-16-1, 1.1, 4 and 12.

    And as best I can recall, no one in South Dakota was required by the government to get a Covid vaccine or face a fine or any punishment at all. I recall that we all had a choice, in contrast to a woman that has no choice, and that choosing not to be vaccinated might, at worst, limit some opportunities that we had to be around other people, but that is it. We remained free to stay home or walk the streets whether or not we got the vaccine. No such choice exists in SD for women today when it comes to her personal pregnancy related decisions.

  9. Anne 2022-07-11 14:25

    Having worked in court administration for years, I have witnessed numerous times when public health officials have sought legal advice about requiring certain health measures such as vaccines and quarantines to protect the public health. Over the years, people have challenged the requirements that children receive small pox, diphtheria, rubella, etc., vaccines before being allowed entry into school programs. Refusal to obtain such precautions without a valid medical or religious reason was generally held as sufficient cause to exclude people from engaging in school-sponsored activities. I recall the firing of a school superintendent for dereliction of duties being upheld because he had not enforced the requirement that children be inoculated to join in school activities.

    There was some controversy during the Viet Nam War about whether evading the draft and avoiding vaccines were similar offenses. One law professor said that evading the draft was an attempt to save ones own life while refusing inoculation was choosing to spread the risk of death. Of course, the draft was ended eventually. The professor also remarked that measures to save public health and life could not be interpreted as government interference with the life being saved. Refusal to submit to such measures was a matter of choice, and if one chose not to participate in them one was choosing to be excluded from the benefits that came from protection.

  10. TGA 2022-07-11 14:49

    We white people are the worst. Telling minority women to play nice when white people had the legal authority to rape them, sell their children, put their children in cages, send their children to Xtian schools/homes, strip them of their parental rights overall due to skin color, take their reproductive rights away – and did it! – is peak white person.

    There isn’t a minority woman in the country that is surprised by Dobbs. But white people suddenly are and now it’s serious.

    Where were we when this was happening to minority women?

    California’s “Asexualization Acts” in the 1910s and 1920s led to the sterilization of 20,000 disproportionately Black and Mexican people who were deemed to be mentally ill. Hitler and the Nazis were reportedly inspired by California’s laws when formulating their own genocidal eugenics policies in the 1930s. When discussing the Asexualization Acts of California, Hitler wrote, “There is today one state in which at least weak beginnings toward a better conception [of citizenship] are noticeable. Of course, it is not our model German Republic, but the United States.”

    Throughout the 20th century, nearly 70,0000 people (overwhelmingly working-class women of color) were sterilized in over 30 states. Black women, Latina women, and Native American women were specifically targeted.

    Black women were also disproportionately and forcibly sterilized and subjected to reproductive abuse. In North Carolina in the 1960s, Black women made up 65 percent of all sterilizations of women, although they were only 25 percent of the population.

    Additionally, many Native American women were sterilized against their will. According to a report by historian Jane Lawrence, the Indian Health Service was accused of sterilizing nearly 25% of Indigenous women during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1973, the year that Roe v. Wade was decided by the Supreme Court, supposedly ensuring reproductive rights for all American women, the reproductive rights of thousands of Indigenous women were entirely ignored as they were forcibly sterilized.

    Forced sterilization, especially in exchange for a sentence reduction, occurs often in the criminal legal system today. In 2009, a 21-year-old woman in West Virginia convicted of marijuana possession underwent sterilization as part of her probation. In 2018, an Oklahoma woman convicted of cashing a counterfeit check received a reduced sentence after undergoing sterilization at the suggestion of the judge. According to a report by the Center for Investigative Reporting, almost 150 women considered likely to return to prison were sterilized in California prisons between 2004 and 2003.

    If you want to know what the real pulse of local, state and national politics is, pay attention to the minority women. Their needs are the least met economically, socially and politically and they are very basis for the temperature of the entire country.

  11. Allen Jeris 2022-07-11 15:05

    bearcreekbat- my initial complaint about medical choice comparison came from the service members who were let go because they wouldn’t get a Covid “vaccine”. That’s poor policy. I do however acknowledge your point.

    For Anne- I guess based on your philosophy, you can just be a good lad and just except that the courts are always right and know what’s best for each individual.

  12. mike from iowa 2022-07-11 15:21

    magats believe in choice as long as it is the one dictated to expectant mothers

  13. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-11 15:47

    OK, well, we could all just sit down and not come to the rallies. We could all just sit down and not vote.

    We can have a nuanced discussion of the intricacies of inclusiveness and intersectionality any time. But right now, we need to raise hell, vote out every Republican we can get our hands on, and codify Roe v. Wade. Let’s keep it simple: if you’re coming to the rally, we’re glad to have you. Stand up, speak up, and vote, vote, vote!

  14. bearcreekbat 2022-07-11 15:47

    TGA, while your points are valid, there is also a “white side” to the sterilization nightmarish history, all before Roe v. Wade and similar cases establishing the now defunct “right of privacy” that protected reproductive choice for 50+ years.

    In 1927 in the case of Carrie Buck, a 17 year old white girl was also denied the ability to reproduce because the State of Virginia deemed her intellectually inferior after she became pregnant outside or marriage. After Carrie gave birth to a daughter, Carrie was then committed to the State’s “Lynchberg Colony” where she was forcibly sterilized. The SCOTUS upheld Virginia’s power to forcibly sterilize Carrie because, in the words of the famous Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

    Despite being deemed such an unworthy “imbecile” Carrie Buck

    . . . was paroled from the colony shortly after the operation with the stipulation that she report to officials annually. Over the years, Buck worked at odd jobs in households and on farms. She married, was widowed, and later remarried. She died in a nursing home in 1983. People who knew her remarked on her kindness and recalled her enjoyment of reading. Her daughter Vivian died from an infection in 1932, at the age of eight. School records show that she was a good student who made the honor roll at least once.

    . . .

    The ruling encouraged other states to enact sterilization laws. By 1930, 24 states had passed similar measures and about 60,000 people were sterilized under these statutes. Virginia alone sterilized more than 7,500 people between the Supreme Court ruling in 1927 and 1972 when the law was finally replaced.

    Most of the people who were sterilized came from poor or working-class backgrounds, much like Carrie Buck’s. Patients from well-to-do families were cared for at home or private facilities. They rarely underwent sterilization. African Americans and other people of color were also unlikely to be sterilized—mainly because they were not admitted to public mental hospitals or institutions.”

    One can speculate that the good news for the anti-Roe folks is that now the States should again be able to start sterilizing men and women that are deem undesirable by government officials. And, given the focus on the power to regulate abortion itself in Roe, that State power should now include the power to order mandatory abortions of unwed children and other folks deemed unfit, maybe even voters that foolishly register Democrat or otherwise hold themselves out as hated “liberals.”

    Unfortunately, however, that is really bad news for people that value personal privacy and reproduction freedom over the power of bureucrats and politicians. In any event, it is worth knowing that a substantial number of white people without power or money are part of the historical groups harmed by the States’ control over reproductive freedom of choice.

  15. TGA 2022-07-11 18:44

    There is a whole lot to unpack from the original post to Corey’s follow up comment.

    I applaud this woman saying ” If you’re white, sit down and listen to the Black, brown and indigenous women” because if we had, we wouldn’t be in this sh*t.

    She’s 100% correct. This entire current loss of women’s reproductive rights and privacy is born from anti-feminism and anti-segregation in the 1970s after Roe v Wade. The anti movement did not start out against Roe, but started with the convergence of Jerry Falwell’s church (fighting segregation) and Phyllis Schlafly’s New Right group (fighting women’s advancements) which fell into a nice little package that satisfied both their needs. The black women were begging us to see this but we did not listen.

    It should never be that a woman fighting for her own personal reproductive rights is chastised by a man as to what she can and cannot say about it. But here we are.

    A man telling a woman what she cannot say about her own rights is misogyny. A man telling a woman what she cannot say when she is pointing out other races have already endured the same is racism. Which one are we aiming for or are we just doubling down?

    “OK, well, we could all just sit down and not come to the rallies. We could all just sit down and not vote.” A lot of privilege going on with this statement.

    You’re never going to hear a minority voter say because white people told me to be nice at a rally, I’m not going to vote.

    Minorities vote in spite of rarely being campaigned to (except peak campaign season – the white people photo op to show diversity! farce), their needs rarely considered and certainly not met, always being blamed for the ills of the nation, being racially profiled, their children not having the same opportunities because of systemic oppression and on and on. They get stomped on and blamed for everything. ***They still vote.

    One black POTUS, one black VP, 0 Indigenous POTUS/VP, 0 Latino POTUS/VP, 45 white POTUS, 48 white VPs. Yet minorities still show up to vote.

    Eligible Black people registered to vote: 69% (91% of Black women voters, 80% of Black male voters, voted for Biden.)

    Eligible Indigenous registered to vote: I cannot determine this number but 84% voted for Biden

    Eligible Latinos registered to vote: 61%, (66% for Biden)
    (with apologies to other minorities I am not including)

    And they’re all voting again. It’s the WHITE vote you cannot count on, especially white women who voted 51% for 45 in 2016 and 53% for 45 in 2020. White women betray themselves faster than any voting bloc then wonder what the hell happened.

    When white people do not want to hear minority needs or the way they express themselves, or they say things at a rally we don’t want to hear, we always shut them down by calling them out in public and discounting them, which further marginalizes them, which eventually leads to minorities losing voting rights and reproductive rights, and suffering further harm with possible imprisonment and death.

    I do not speak for any racial minorities. I do, however, speak as a privileged racist (because of the advantages of my skin color) white woman who tries (and often fails) to listen to and take heed of the stories of the women before me and the current fighting women. They all told us this was coming and there’s a lot more to come.

    Corey – I post this in the most respectful way I am able to right now; what I am posting has been toned down considerably from first draft. I understand this is your blog and you provide a free service for communication. However, I strongly encourage you to read your original post through a different lense and consider whether your effort on this issue is helpful for women/minorities overall or if it is coming from a limited thought process.

  16. TGA 2022-07-11 18:45

    Bearcreekbat – I will respond to your comment at a later time.

  17. Mark Anderson 2022-07-12 18:41

    Get those iron lungs ready Allen Jeris. Why have any vaccine mandates? Pick and choose?

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