South Dakota Wants To Ban Abortion At 20 Weeks, Nebraska At Six

South Dakota has so many unresolved lawsuits from injuncted anti-choice abortion restrictions that the Governor was forced to add an additional $100,000 in legal fees to the 2012 budget.  Nebraska introduced the first in the country “fetal pain” ban, a piece of legislation that outlaws abortion at 20 weeks, despite the non-viability of the fetus and against the protections of a right to chose established in Roe v. Wade, based on a belief that fetuses “have the potential” to feel pain that almost all doctors and gynecologists say is faulty science.

The two states share more than just a border.  They also share anti-choice dominated legislatures that are more interested in finding every possible way to restrict abortion imaginable, to the detriment of women, bills that could grow the economy, and the state budgets that get spent defending unconstitutional laws.

Despite already having two abortion regulation laws being defended in the courts, and pleas from legislators to leave the issue alone this session, anti-choice lawmakers are discussing plans to introduce their own “fetal pain” abortion ban in 2012.  And despite the fact that some politicians were adamantly against adding any new anti-abortion laws, they are beginning already to rally around this cause.  According to the Rapid City Journal, “Rep. Don Kopp, R-Rapid City, said earlier this month that he believes it might be time for the state to take a break and let its current abortion laws work their way through the courts. But when told about the 20-week ban, Kopp said that sounds important enough that he could support it. ‘I think that if you’re saving a life, that’s probably more important than lawsuits or money,’ he said.”

Nebraska, having been the predecessor for the 20 week ban, is now looking to pass some of the legislation other states have pioneered, despite how unsuccessful those laws have been at making it pass the state houses or the voters.  Anti-choice Republican Mark Christensen says he is looking at introducing either a Personhood bill, which would grant full legal rights to fertilized eggs, or a heartbeat ban, which would essentially ban all abortion after a heartbeat can be detected — as early as 6 weeks in most cases.

Personhood bills have been cast down by voters in every state that they have been introduced, most recently in Mississippi.  And the “heartbeat” ban is so controversial that the state of Ohio, where it was proposed, still hasn’t been able to get the bill through the state senate, despite a huge anti-abortion majority.  But none of this daunts Christensen.  “I’m more than willing to introduce them…I’m willing to take on a fight.”

More unconstitutional bills that will likely end up blocked and in expensive court challenges?  The 2012 legislative year already sounds an awful lot like 2011.

Photo credit: wikimedia commons


Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener4 years ago

And they want to re-enter the dark ages....

Amanda M.
Amanda M4 years ago

Constarnded counter-bring the thing back so I know when I'm gonna hit the wall!!!!!

Anyway, with two daughters ages 9 and 4, I have DOUBLE the reasons to continue the fight for choice and reproductive freedom. I want both my daughters to be free to decide FOR THEMSELVES when and how many children they have, including the freedom to NOT have any if they don't want to.

The anti-choice attitude is not truly pro-life, it is ANTI-WOMAN.

Dakota Payne
Dakota Payne4 years ago

Some of these western Rocky states are still sponsoring and allowing Wolf Hunts for trophy hunters, too. How backward is our country becoming.. WE better get it back in check.

Amanda M.
Amanda M4 years ago

If you're against abortion, the answer is simple: DON'T HAVE ONE! However, you rights to decide not to have one stop where MY rights to decide what does and does not happen to my body start! NOBODY has the right to tell a woman she can or cannot have an abortion if that's the right decision for her, and it's high time these anti-choicers got that through their heads. Women are thinking, breathing, sentient individuals and therefore their rights trump any perceived rights a nonsentient zygote/embryo/fetus could have. To say that a Z/E/F has rights that trump the woman's is tantamount to slavery, and that was illegal last time I checked.

Debra V, if I had had to get my husband's permission to get my tubes tied (and believe me, I was prepared for a fight when I wanted that done because of horror stories I'd heard about how some doctors refuse to allow women to get that done for whatever BS reason they have), I'd tell him he had a simple choice: Either let me get "spayed," or spend the rest of his life suffering from a serious case of "lackanookie!" Thank the Goddess that doctors here in Maryland actually seem to possess and use their brains, because I was able to get my tubes tied with no trouble at all. I just hope that the anti-choice tide doesn't turn things for the worse for women because even though my childbearing years are for all intents and purposes over, I have two daughters who will be coming into childbearing age in another few years (they're 9 and 4 now),

Frances C.
Frances C4 years ago

Most women do not take abortion lightly. They have their reasons, and the right to an abortion. The righties use Late Term Abortion as a cudgel to stop a woman's rights. I can't think of any woman who would carry a fetus for nine months and then for no reason decide to abort. That doesn't happen. It is not easy being pregnant for nine months, only women who want a child would do that. It is horrible for the woman to be in that medical situation that would force an abortion in that late case. Most women know when they first realize that they have an unwanted pregnancy that they can choose an early abortion.

Frances C.
Frances C4 years ago

These religious right wingers are not pro-life, they are pro-fetus. If they were truly pro-life they would be against the death penalty, wars, and causing suicides by young people who have hate flung at them by those Holier-Than-Thou Republicans.

Frances C.
Frances C4 years ago

Please, Please! you religious right wing nuts get out of our life. You old men in Washington stay out of women's physician visits, hospital stays, reproduction rights. Stay out of our vagina, womb, birth decisions, and our most personal decisions. Go feed and clothe some very needy children. Do something useful and helpful for those who need and want your help.

William Baylor
William Baylor4 years ago

Hopefully all Pro-Life woman will get raped and have to keep the baby! When the rapist gets out of jail in 3 years and comes to your house with his lawyer for rights to visit his child, I suppose you will offer him a cup of coffee and invite him into your bed room where you and your daughters will take good care of him! Good for you! Hopefully you will get the opportunity to demonstrate you Pro-Life position!

nath s.
natasha stone4 years ago

womens deserves all rights except aborting a one minute old baby and above. women commits abortion commits "premature murder".

KS Goh
KS Goh4 years ago

Thanks for the article.