March 6, 2006

PIERRE, SD - The American Civil Liberties Union decried the South Dakota Governor’s decision to sign into law today a ban on virtually all abortions.

“This extreme ban will threaten the health and lives of women in South Dakota,” said Talcott Camp, Deputy Director, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.  “History has shown that when women are denied access to abortion care they may resort to desperate measures.  Politicians in South Dakota have turned their backs on the women of their state.”

The law, which was passed by the South Dakota legislature last month and signed by the governor today, is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2006.  The ban applies to all abortions in South Dakota and may even prevent doctors from providing lifesaving abortions.  Doctors who fail to comply with this law are subject to five years in jail and fines of up to $10,000. 

“South Dakota should focus its efforts on ensuring that women have access to the full range of reproductive health services, including contraception and medically accurate sexuality education, instead of banning abortion,” said Jennifer Ring, Executive Director of the ACLU of the Dakotas.  “We would do well to focus our efforts on prevention instead of passing laws that not only threaten women’s health and lives but are also blatantly unconstitutional.”

Today’s ban takes the attack on reproductive freedom to a new level threatening to end abortion care for all women, the ACLU said. 

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