Friday, April 4, 2008

So begins the 2008 abortion ban fight

icon of web correspondent Shannon

by Shannon

Web Correspondent
South Dakota Community Organizer
Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota

Perhaps I'm the eternal optimist. There was a part of me that was holding my breath. There was a part of me that thought, hoped and prayed that by some odd chance, would not have the number of signatures they needed to get another abortion ban on the ballot. I knew in my heart of hearts this was not realistic. However, I continued to dream.

On Sunday I, along with the rest of the state, learned that they more than likely have what they need.

They are proud of their efforts and the battle we are about to embark on. I don't think I'd be so proud about sending this state into another divisive, emotional fight.

In 2006, South Dakotans had a thoughtful and thorough debate about banning abortion. We decided that such inflexibility and intrusion on personal, private decisions is wrong. Listening to the voters, that's something I would be proud of.

Certainly we can all appreciate the decision to end a pregnancy may be one of the most difficult decisions a person will ever make. And, even those who are strongly pro-life recognize that each person's circumstances are unique.

These are personal, private decisions to be made after careful consideration. And, I believe they are. I have met the women who come to this conclusion. I talked with them about their options. I have listened as they explained how they came to their difficult decision. This is not something that's being done because it's convenient. It is anything but easy. It is anything but convenient. It is difficult and a lot of thought and prayer has been put into it. This is not the place of the voters or the state to impose it's own arbitrary and impersonal judgment.

South Dakota already has some of the most strict regulations governing abortion. This ban will be the most rigid and inflexible ban on abortion in the United States.

After much deliberation, South Dakotans made a responsible decision when we voted against banning abortion in 2006. I am confident they will make the same reasonable decision this year... and that's not just the optimist in me.

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