Unplanned Democracy header image 1

2008 ballot measure text

April 1st, 2008 · 3 Comments

By Denise Ross  

Because of a South Dakota law that requires ballot initiatives to fit on a single page, the actual document that will be the abortion ban on the state’s 2008 ballot is nearly illegible – I believe in 6-point type, single-spaced.

So, as a public service, I have retyped the ballot measure, which so far lacks an official number as the Secretary of State’s Office is in the process of verifying the signatures. Abortion ban advocates gathered more than twice the number of signatures needed, so political observers fully expect this will be on the ballot. (Right now, it looks as though this will be Initiated Measure 11.)

As in 2006, the debate and discussion of this election centers on exceptions. The 2006 abortion ban didn’t have any. This one has some. Specifically:

The health exception would allow a doctor to perform an abortion when there is …

… a serious risk of a substantial and irreversible impairment of the functioning of a major bodily organ or system …

The rape exception would allow a doctor to perform an abortion when …

… the woman has reported to the licensed physician that her pregnancy is the result of a rape as defined in SDCL 22-22-1

The incest exception would allow a doctor to perform an abortion when …

… the woman has reported to the licensed physician that her pregnancy is the result of incest as defined in section 14 of this act …

There are two more layers to the rape and incest exceptions. Abortion in those cases would be allowed if the abortion is …

… performed before the completion of the twentieth week following the date of the pregnant woman’s last menstrual period …

And if the doctor reports the crime to law enforcement, collects biological samples to be used as evidence, provides the pregnant woman with information on where to get counseling and keeps the abortion records with the woman’s permanent medical records. (See Section 8 on the jump.)

To read the ballot initiative text in full, click “Read more”.

[Read more →]

→ 3 CommentsTags: South Dakota ballot measure 2008