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us_south-dakota
(03/20/06) -

South Dakotans Want Vote on Abortion Ban

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Many adults in South Dakota believe the regulations concerning pregnancy termination should be put to a vote, according to a poll by Robinson and Muenster Associates released by Focus. 71 per cent of respondents in the Mount Rushmore State think the proposed abortion law should be placed in the November ballot.

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Many adults in South Dakota believe the regulations concerning pregnancy termination should be put to a vote, according to a poll by Robinson and Muenster Associates released by Focus. 71 per cent of respondents in the Mount Rushmore State think the proposed abortion law should be placed in the November ballot.

The 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling gave women in the United States the right to an abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy, and regulated the procedure during the second trimester “in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health.” In the third trimester, a state can choose to proscribe abortion, except when necessary “for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.”

On Feb. 22, the South Dakota Legislature passed a bill that makes performing an abortion a crime unless the procedure is deemed necessary to save a woman’s life, and makes no exception for cases of incest or rape.

On Mar. 6, South Dakota governor Mike Rounds signed the bill into law. Rounds issued a statement, which read, “The sponsors and supporters of this bill believe that abortion is wrong because unborn children are the most vulnerable and most helpless persons in our society. I agree with them.” The law—which is scheduled to take effect on Jul. 1—is expected to be blocked by the courts, since it openly defies the Roe v. Wade ruling.

In order to hold a special election, opponents of the proposed legislation would have a 90-day period to collect 16,728 signatures of registered South Dakota voters. If a special election indeed takes place, 57 per cent of respondents say they would vote to overturn the abortion ban, because it makes no exceptions for cases of incest or rape.

Polling Data

Do you think the proposed state law seeking to outlaw should be put in the November ballot?

Yes

71%

No

17%

Not sure

12%

How would you vote if the issue is on the ballot?

To keep the ban in place

35%

To overturn the ban, because
it does not include exceptions
for cases of incest or rape

57%

Not sure

8%

Source: Robinson and Muenster Associates / Focus
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 630 South Dakota adults, conducted on Mar. 9 to Mar. 11, 2006. Margin of error is 4.5 per cent.