Monday, March 06, 2006

Postmortem on Choice in South Dakota

In Pierre, South Dakota today, Governor Mike Rounds has signed into law the proposed bill to ban almost all abortions in that state. Effective immediately, abortion will be illegal in cases of incest, and rape in the state, and abortion will be permissible only to save the life, the physical life, of the mother. The idea that the psychological needs of the prospective mother are not being considered is, in a word, chilling.

This new law criminalizes a physician's decision to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, a decision that is made in confidence between a doctor and patient. Those who perform abortions, except to save a woman's life, will face up to 5 years of jail time. For any state, or federal, legislature to demonstrate the wanton hubris of strongarming a doctor, or any other health care provider, is one that defies reason, as well as endangers future medical treatment for all of us.

Planned Parenthood will vigorously oppose this new legislation which is not merely reactionary, but unconstitutional. Those of us who believe that the state should stay out of doctors' offices, and examining rooms, as well as out of decisions that a patient makes with their health care provider must also speak out against this legislation as vigorously as Planned Parenthood.
When you criminalize medical procedures, you compromise health care for all Americans.