Thursday, February 23, 2006

abortion banned in south dakota

The South Dakota Senate has passed a ban on abortion that was proposed by the State House of Representatives. It was sent back to the House, who must agree to a small change made by the Senate, and then will be sent to the anti-abortion governor of South Dakota, Republican Mike Rounds.

"It is the time for the South Dakota Legislature to deal with this issue and protect the lives and rights of unborn children," said Democratic Sen. Julie Bartling, the bill's main sponsor.

The bill, carrying a penalty of up to five years in prison, would make it a felony for doctors or others to perform abortions.

Bartling and other supporters noted that the recent appointment of Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito make the Supreme Court more likely to consider overturning Roe v. Wade.

It's quite unnerving that there are Democrats in South Dakota that are so ultra-conservative that they could sponsor, let alone support, this sort of outright ban on abortion. Many conservatives will allow exceptions for limited cases, such as rape, incest, and the mother's health. This is obviously a political ploy to challenge the new makeup of the United States Supreme Court.

I personally think that the new Supreme Court will override this South Dakota legislation and will not overturn the precedent of Roe v. Wade. The "conservative bloc" of the Court is made up by Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Chief Justice John Roberts. The "liberal bloc" is considered to be made up by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, John Paul Stevens, and David Souter. The new swing voter, after the departure of Sandra Day O'Connor, will be Anthony Kennedy. He has already shown the propensity to side with the liberal voters on key issues, even though he is considered by some to be conservative. He has actively supported abortion in most cases, other than late-term abortions. I feel that Kennedy will side with the four liberal justices and Roe will be saved in a 5-4 decision. The jury may still be out on Alito, too. If he decides to vote in favor of precedent, Roe v. Wade could possibly be upheld 6-3.


Jo Smith said...

One of the guests on MSNBC has indicated that although Roberts wants to reverse Roe v Wade, he probably wants to do it gradually and not all at once as indicated by the So Dakota vote. If the Supreme Court ends up voting, on what So Dakota has passed, it could be a 6-3 vote. Hard to say. It will be interesting to watch the outcome. By the way Bradley, this was a great idea to set up the Blog. Thanks.

Bradley said...

Another thing to consider is that the Supreme Court is king at sidestepping the issue. They may just strike the bill down and say it must include exceptions for rape, incest, etc.

Anonymous said...

This is kind of an odd move. I don't think abortion is ever going to be illegal, but it appears over the next decade or so the trend is moving towards restrictions. Excellent analyis of the Supreme Court. There are still 5 solid votes in favor of Roe. This law seems doomed on arrival. Although in hindsight, this is how laws are supposed to be passed. Abortion became a right b/c of a weak ruling (even Justice Ginsburg agrees).