as a weekly practice I listen to npr and do a little sketch on one of the stories. take a look, you can click on the illustration to make it bigger!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

South Dakotans Again Consider An Abortion Ban

Its deja vu all over again in South Dakota, where voters are being asked for the second election in a row to approve or reject a ban on abortion. Two years ago, voters just said no to a ban so sweeping it allowed almost no exceptions. This year, the proposed ban is a little less rigid. But opponents say it's still too extreme. And partisans on both sides know it's not just abortions in South Dakota at stake: If the ban is passed, it could be used to mount a U.S. Supreme Court challenge to the right to abortion nationwide.

Limiting Exceptions

Initiated Measure 11 is the formal name of the abortion referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot. It would ban virtually all abortions in the state, with limited exceptions for rape, incest, and threats to the life or health of the woman. At this house, Moss scores a hit, as Flanagan says he'll be voting against the ban. "I don't believe in government telling people what to do," he says.But while a strong libertarian streak among South Dakota voters like Flanagan helped defeat the ban two years ago, South Dakota is still a very conservative state when it comes to abortion.

That's apparent around the corner, at the home of ZoAnn Trumbull. "I believe abortion is wrong, it's murder," she tells Moss' canvassing colleague, Hassan Ali. "And according to the Bible, thou shall not murder. … And there are a lot of people out there who need to adopt those babies that need to be adopted, and that's the way we stand," she says politely, but firmly.

"Countless people said, 'If you'd had an exception for rape and incest, then we'd have voted with you,' " he says. So in version 2.0, he explains, "we're giving the people of South Dakota what they wanted. This bill, this initiative, basically has exceptions for rape, incest and health and life of the mother."

Unruh says he recognized that some compromise was necessary. "Ideally, I'd like to save every child possible, but we don't live in that type of world right now. So to me, it's kind of like if the Titanic is sinking, would you say, 'Let's not lower the lifeboats because you can't save them all?' Let's save every person we can."

Across town, at the current Planned Parenthood clinic, CEO Sarah Stoesz says all the talk of limits on the ban is nothing but a smoke screen.

"If this ban is passed, it means that there will be no abortions performed in South Dakota," she says.

-excerpt from NPR

No comments: