Friday, October 20, 2006

Trying To Have It Both Ways

UPDATED BELOW


Exceptions or no exceptions you be the judge, the Argus has an article about complaints lodged about the recent ads being run by the pro-life crowd that touts that the abortion ban does indeed contain exceptions for rape and incest. So with this in mind I thought I would post some information on a couple of prominent pro-lifer's and their take on the exception debate.


Roger Hunt, the primary sponsor of the abortion ban earlier this year from the Washington Post 2/23/2006:


"The momentum for a change in the national policy on abortion is going to come in the not-too-distant future," said Rep. Roger W. Hunt, a Republican who sponsored the bill. To his delight, abortion opponents succeeded in defeating all amendments designed to mitigate the ban, including exceptions in the case of rape or incest or the health of the woman. Hunt said that such "special circumstances" would have diluted the bill and its impact on the national scene


President George Bush from an AP report on 2/28/2006:


WASHINGTON — At a news conference Monday, White House spokesman Scott McClellan suggested that President Bush does not support a South Dakota bill that would ban nearly all abortions in the state.McClellan did not say that Bush opposes the state bill but reiterated the president’s long-standing position on abortion. Bush is “pro-life with three exceptions,” McClellan said.


Those exceptions are rape, incest or when a woman’s life is endangered. The South Dakota bill allows abortion only in the last case.


John Thune from the Sioux Falls Argus Leader on 9/28/2006:


Thune acknowledged his own view differs from the new state law, which makes no provisions for abortions following rape or incest or to protect the health of the mother.Thune says he supports an abortion ban but with those exceptions.


So the author of the bill, the President of the United States, and South Dakota's own Republican Senator have stated that this legislation carries no rape or incest exceptions.


Is this ad deceptive? If you listen to the 3 individuals above it sure looks like it and now it seems that issue has been brought to the attention of South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long. Mt Blogmore has a copy of the letter sent by the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families.


Dear Attorney General Long:In an effort to allow the voters to hear honest debate over Referred Law 6, I would like to bring your attention to a very serious legal concern.


The Vote Yes for Life ballot committee has run television and radio advertising in which Dr. Mark Rector states Referred Law Six “does provide exception for the life and the health of the mother.” As you know, you describe HB1215/Referred Law 6 in the official ballot question guide as containing only an exception for those abortions performed “to prevent the death of the pregnant woman. ” Dr. Rector erroneously asserts that a health exception exists in the ban.


In a mass mailing paid for and authorized by the Vote Yes for Life ballot committee, the following statement is presented as fact: “under this law women have the option of terminating pregnancies that are the result of rape and incest.” In the official ballot question, however, you state, “1215 would prohibit any person, at any time, from providing any medicine or other substance to a pregnant woman for the specific purpose of terminating her pregnancy.”


Apart from simply misleading the voters, Campaign Manager Leslee Unruh, Campaign Treasurer Jim Miles and ad spokesman Dr. Mark Rector have broken the law. According to South Dakota law: “Any person knowingly printing, publishing, or delivering to any voter of this state a document containing any purported constitutional amendment, question, law, or measure to be submitted to the voters at any election, in which such constitutional amendment, question, law, or measure is misstated, erroneously printed, or by which false or misleading information is given to the voters, is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.” [SDCL 12-13-16]


The people of South Dakota gathered the required number of signatures to refer this law to the ballot and allow the voters to decide whether HB 1215 should remain in effect. The voters expected – and deserve – an honest debate. The Vote Yes for Life ballot committee has failed to do so. They’ve purposefully distorted the truth for political benefit and in the process of lying to the public they have broken the law.


We ask that you take this criminal offense seriously, address it immediately and set the record straight with the voters.


Sincerely,
Jan Nicolay


Anyone want to give odds on what will become of this?


Vote you conscious on November 7th, but if the main reason you would vote to pass this is because of the supposed rape and incest exceptions that are touted in the campaign ads, you might want to think twice and you should also read Tim over at Progressive on the Prairie's post on the possible heath implications of the one real exception that covers only cases in which the life of the mother is in danger.


UPDATE: KELO TV breaks down the claims made in this ad and finds several mis-statements and outright falsehoods.

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