Friday, February 24, 2006

Insanity Democracy in Action

And it begins (again).

South Dakota is likely to become the first state (Ohio, Indiana, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky are all in line as well) to ban abortion in virtually all situations. The bill has already passed both state houses and awaits only the signature of governor Michael Rounds, who isn’t expected to veto it.
The South Dakota law concludes that life begins at conception based on medical advances over the past three decades. Proposed amendments to the law to create exceptions to specifically protect the health of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest, were voted down. Also defeated was an amendment to put the proposal in the hands of voters.

If this bill is signed into law and upheld in the courts (and, sadly, I believe that it will be) it will represent a travesty for individual liberty in this country. I’m sorry but I want to meet the father or mother who has had their child raped, had her request an abortion, and then turned her town out of concern for the fetus.
There are, I suppose, reasonable differences of opinion on whether a woman should have the right to terminate a healthy, willfully consummated pregnancy and, if so, under what circumstances. But I fail to see how there can be any justification for punishing once again the victim of rape or incest by forcing her to continue with an unasked for and unwanted pregnancy.


Blogger Future Geek said...


A law prof's take on the SD law.

Fri Feb 24, 02:18:00 PM EST  
Blogger Tim Kanwar said...

Thanks for drawing my attention to that. Balkin certainly isn't the first I've heard suggest that Roe v. Wade will fall not in one fell swoop but through a series of peripheral attacks designed to gradually contain and weaken its holding. And that very well may be what happen. Then again, perhaps Stevens retires. Or perhaps the slow pace of attack on Roe speeds up considerably.

While I don't believe that Supreme Court jurisprudence is entirely political (nor do I believe that Balkin is suggesting this) I think that the abortion issue is more highly politicized than most. If the public debate on the issue boils over in the next year or two, which it well may, then I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility for the court, even as currently constituted, to accept cert.

But, of course, I hope I'm wrong...


Fri Feb 24, 07:46:00 PM EST  

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