As was expected, the latest incarnation of our legislator’s attempt to ban abortions passed through the House State Affairs Committee yesterday by a 10-3 vote which means that it is now headed to the full house. It did end up getting changed slightly as the committee members made things just a bit easier on the pro-choice side by requiring that if this bill does indeed pass and get signed into law that it will automatically go to a vote by the residents of South Dakota before making it’s long and expensive taxpayer funded trip through the court system. Not that this is a big deal as I have no doubt that like last year’s attempt, there would not have been any problem getting enough petition signatures to get it on the ballot but now that extra step will not be required.
Also on an interesting side note, South Dakota already has a trigger law in place that would have banned all abortions very similar to the bill that was defeated last November. This law would have automatically taken effect in the event that the Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade. This new legislation, if passed by the Legislature and later by voters would replace that trigger law if it somehow makes it to the SCOTUS and they end up overturning Roe.
My question is if all this eventually occurs, no matter how unlikely, how soon afterward are we facing this question again as you can bet that the zealots in Pierre will again be trying to get rid of any of exceptions that would be contained in this new trigger law and this time it would be a whole lot easier because the Roe question will no longer be hanging over their heads. I guess you can call this the gift that keeps on giving…
UPDATE: KELO is reporting that Gov. Rounds is questioning the Constitutionality of sending a bill directly to the voters without going through the usual petition referral process so it might not be a done deal yet in regards to getting this on the ballot without circulating petitions.