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Elections & Politics

SD Campaign for Healthy Families Launches Effort Against the Most Restrictive Abortion Ban in the United States

Contact: Planned Parenthood Action Fund Media Office, 212-261-4433

For Immediate Release: 08.12.08

South Dakota is the Epicenter of a Legislative, Judicial and Electoral Assault on Women’s Health Care

Washington, DC – Today, the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families launched their campaign against Initiatied Measure 11 – a sweeping abortion ban which, if passed, would be the most rigid and inflexible in the United States. Organizations interested in protecting women and families, preserving civil rights, and enabling medical professionals to prioritize their patients' health joined hands in opposing the latest attempt to ban abortion in South Dakota.

"The same national activists who unsuccessfully attempted to ban abortion in South Dakota in 2006 are again working vigorously to create a challenge to Roe vs. Wade  that has implications for women's health and privacy in all 50 states," said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. "We are working vigorously with NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota, the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families and other state leaders to ensure that voters say no once again to government intrusion into personal, private decisions."

While admitting that this is a direct attack on Roe, out-of-state, anti-choice forces have falsely framed the law as a reasonable restriction on abortion. However, opponents of the ban view activists as empowering government to recklessly interfere with a personal and private decision best made by women and their families. The ban being proposed by national, anti-choice forces in South Dakota brings the United States one step closer to overturning Roe v. Wade; it may also ignore the complex realities of women’s lives, fundamentally endangering women’s health and forcing doctors to practice bad medicine.   

"The measure in South Dakota would allow politicians to interfere with personal decisions best made by women and their families.  Congress was wrong to interfere in Terry Schiavo's case, and this ban similarly empowers politicians to recklessly meddle in individual's private decisions," added Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU.

“This year, anti-choice extremists are once again trying to restrict women’s access to health care in South Dakota and mounting a full challenge to Roe,” said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “They are being deceptive by characterizing this proposed law as more reasonable and less restrictive than the 2006 ban, but the truth is that this ban would be the most rigid and inflexible ban on abortion in the United States.”  

Organizations united in publicly objecting to banning abortion in South Dakota were represented at today's conference by 

  • Nancy Keenan, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice America
  • Anthony Romero, executive director of ACLU
  • Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund
  • Sarah Stoesz, CEO of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota
  • Suzanne Poppema, board president of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health
  • Casey Murschel, executive director of NARAL Pro Choice South Dakota
  • Michelle Trupiano, campaign manager of SD Campaign for Healthy Families

The South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families is a grassroots coalition made up of groups and individuals throughout the State of South Dakota who are committed to defeating the 2008 abortion ban ballot initiative. The bipartisan group is co-chaired by two former legislators and educators  Jan Nicolay, a Republican, and Elaine Roberts, a Democrat. The coalition includes Pastors for Moral Choices, Medical Professionals, Democracy in Action, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, the South Dakota Advocacy Network for Women Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, the ACLU and hundreds of other volunteers and community leaders from all walks of life. For more information visit http://www.sdhealthyfamilies.org/

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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.