But reporters evidently missed the comments of South Dakota State Rep. Roger Hunt (R), the main sponsor of the legislation, who said he carved “a little gray area” into the bill to allow for abortions in cases of rape or incest. TIME reports:
In other words, a woman presenting herself to an emergency room immediately after a rape, Hunt says, would be able to use emergency contraception; the trick is that she has to do within the first few days after the assault, before any test can determine whether she was pregnant in the first place. The lawmakers concluded that it’s OK for a rape victim to have an abortion, so long as she doesn’t know for certain that she’s doing it.
Additionally, as Digby pointed out, State Rep. Bill Napoli (R) said on PBS Newshour that exceptions can be made for rape or incest under the provision that protects the mother’s life. Napoli outlined one such scenario:
A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.
Therefore, according to lawmakers in South Dakota, you can have an abortion after rape or incest…but only if you are a virgin, religious, brutally sodomized, and not entirely sure whether the rapist or family member actually impregnated you.