New Hard-Line Abortion Bill Introduced in South Dakota

Three months after South Dakota voters rejected an abortion ban at the polls by a 56-44 margin, state legislators have introduced another “sweeping abortion bill…that supporters hope will lead to a legal challenge of Roe v. Wade.”

The ban rejected in November was “extreme, allowing for abortion only in instances to prevent the death of a woman. The revised ban, titled the ‘Women’s Health and Human Life Protection Act,’ offers additional exceptions, though they are very narrowly defined.”

Ms. Magazine reports:

In addition to preventing the death of a woman, an abortion may be obtained in cases of rape or incest, but the victim must report the rape to the police within 50 days, the physician must obtain a copy of the report record, and the victim must provide either the name and last known address or a description of the alleged rapist to law enforcement. Furthermore, the physician would be required to take blood samples from the woman and the fetus to be submitted to law enforcement.

In the case of incest, a doctor “would have to get the woman’s consent to report the crime along with the identity of the alleged perpetrator before an abortion could be performed. Blood samples from fetuses would have to be provided to police in incest cases too.”

Also, the penalties outlined in the new bill are “much more severe than last year’s bill. Any physician who performs an abortion outside the guidelines of the bill would be guilty of a class-four felony and could face up to 10 years in jail.”