Abortion Ban Returns to Ballot in S. Dakota

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South Dakotan voters on Nov. 4 will decide on another abortion ban that is less restrictive than the one they decided against in 2006.

It's been two years since voters there rejected a near total ban on abortion and now, an abortion ban with exceptions is back on this November's ballot.

If passed, the measure could send a legal challenge of Roe v. Wade to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This new initiative makes abortion illegal with exceptions for rape, incest and pregnancies that threaten the life or health of the woman.

Some voters said they wanted those exceptions when they rejected the tougher 2006 measure 56 percent to 44 percent.

Opponents argue that its exceptions are too narrowly defined and that it would force some women to carry an unhealthy fetus.

But Obstetrician-gynecologist Patti Giebink denies such claims. Giebink performed abortions at Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls in the mid-1990s and now is chairman of VoteYesForLife.com -- the measure's main proponent.

Still, she acknowledged the measure would bar abortions in cases where the fetus is found to have a likely fatal condition -- something the drafters debated at length.

"There's some doctors that are going to struggle with this. But we said, 'OK, let's err on the side of life. Let's err on the side of what we think is the best solution, what we see in our experience,"' Giebink said.

She said she has talked with mothers whose babies lived only small amount of time after birth, but brought the families great joy.

In other cases, she said, there were children diagnosed with an illness who grew into normal, health adults.

Colorado and California also have abortion-related measures on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Sources: The Associated Press, RealityCheck.org

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