Words By S.

Friday, 24 March 2006

And here we are

Filed under: News,Politics — S @ 11:10 am

In the news today, the article of how the battle to save abortion rights is being put into motion.

Battle to overturn S. Dakota abortion law begins

Friday, March 24, 2006 10:20 a.m. ET

SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota (Reuters) – Abortion-rights supporters planned to launch an attack on Friday on a new South Dakota abortion law designed as a direct challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion 33 years ago.

An abortion-rights coalition, South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, said it would lay out its strategy to take down the law in mid-morning news conferences in Sioux Falls and Rapid City.

The Sioux Falls local newspaper reported that the group would announce a petition drive to overturn the law through a referendum in November. The group has not publicly detailed its strategy, but participants in the campaign have said that a referendum had advantages over a lawsuit.

"When you take things to the courts you don't have the opportunity to engage the public in the process. You don't have the ability to build a movement," said Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Kate Looby.

South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds, a Republican, signed the law, widely considered the most restrictive in the nation, March 6. The measure bans nearly all abortions, even in cases of incest and rape, and says that if a woman's life is in jeopardy, doctors must try to save the life of the fetus as well as the woman.

To get the issue on the ballot for the November 7 election, abortion rights supporters must collect more than 16,700 signatures by June 19.

If they fail to get enough signatures by the deadline and there is no further legal challenge, the law would take effect on July 1.

A petition drive would fly in the face of the expectations of abortion opponents, who have been counting on a legal challenge to the law in the hopes that the case would eventually make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

With two conservative justices recently appointed to the high court, abortion opponents believe they have an improving chance of overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established the right to abortion.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

This is quite nerve-wracking for obvious reasons. For this reason (as well as others), look forward to a post about religion in the (very) near future.

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