South Dakota Abortion Ban Fails Again

PIERRE, South Dakota, February 15, 2005 ( – A proposed bill that would have made abortion illegal in South Dakota has failed for a second time. Lawmakers there rejected the all-out ban in favor of gradually increased restrictions on access to abortion.

The bill, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Frank Kloucek*, was voted down 7-2 by a Senate State Affairs Committee Monday. It would have made abortions illegal except when pregnancy posed a grave or life-threatening risk to the mother.

A similar measure proposed last year was voted down after changes to the bill proposed by Gov. Mike Rounds were rejected. Rounds rejected the bill, fearing that a court challenge would open the doors to unrestricted abortion access.

“It was a great bill last year,” Kloucek said. “It’s an even better bill this year. This is the right time,” he said, according to an AP report.

 “If we let this bill go again, 800 to 1,000 more babies will die.”

Sen. Lee Schoenbeck, who sponsored last year’s failed bill, voted against the new measure, claiming a more incremental approach would have more success.

“It’s important this year to have a united, bipartisan approach that I hope will make an incremental difference,” Schoenbeck claimed. “We’re going to have our day.”

Several people testified in support of Kloucek’s measure. Teacher and Minister Dan Flyger bemoaned the lack of support for the bill from the Senate.

“Let’s not play a political game with precious God-given life,” he said. “Let South Dakota lead the way in putting an end to the bloodshed of the innocents.”

The same Senate committee unanimously approved a new bill making parental notification laws more stringent.

(Note: This article originally stated that Sen. Frank Kloucek had tabled the bill, when it should have said that Kloucek sponsored it. We regret the error.)

Read related coverage:

Abortion Bill Introduced in South Dakota Legislature 


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