Saturday, February 11, 2006

S.D. Provides Lesson for 6th Dist. Dems

A couple of days ago, I asserted that Christine Cegelis appears to be the only solidly pro-choice candidate in the 6th District Congressional race. Since then, a ficticious correspondant asked me if the issue of women's reproductive rights is really a decisive issue in this race.

After all, the argument goes, neither Duckworth nor Scott is calling for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, so why is it so important to send a strong defender of a woman's right to chose -- someone like Christine Cegelis -- to Congress?

Well, to see the answer to this query, we need to take a look at an example of what happens when the Democrats stop forcefully defending women's reproductive rights. Unfortunately, such an example is readily available in the form of the late, great state of South Dakota:
A bill to ban nearly all abortions in South Dakota and a constitutional amendment to protect the unborn will be debated in separate legislative committees on Wednesday. ***

Major points in the bill are:
  • The legislature accepts the conclusions of the task force "based upon written materials, scientific studies and testimony of witnesses'' that life begins at the time of conception. That conclusion, the bill said, "is confirmed by scientific advances since the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade, including the fact that each human being is totally unique immediately at fertilization.''
  • The legislature also finds that abortion should be prohibited in South Dakota to protect the rights, interests and health of the pregnant woman and the unborn child and the mother's "natural intrinsic right to a relationship with her child.''
  • No person may knowingly perform or assist an abortion. The penalty is a Class 5 felony, which carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison and $5,000 fine.
  • Contraceptives aren't prohibited if given prior to the time when a pregnancy could be determined through conventional medical tests.
  • A licensed physician can't be charged for performing a procedure to prevent the death of a pregnant woman, but the doctor must make what are called reasonable medical efforts to preserve both the woman and the unborn. The woman can't be charged, either.
The bill doesn't include an exception for victims of rape or incest.
The proposed constitutional amendment to ban abortion, sponsored by Sen. Julie Bartling (D), does not include exceptions either.

Didja notice that parenthetical letter following the name of the anti-choice amendment's sponsor? That's right, she's Democrat.

And that's what happens my Democratic friends and neighbors, when you head down the slippery slope of electing Democrats who are less than strongly pro-choice -- you eventually end up saddled with "Democrats" who sponsor constitutional amendments to end women's reproductive rights.

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