Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Warning: this may piss you off

My just wife got this sweet letter from Gov. Rounds in response to her email to him urging him to veto HB1215.

Uncharacteristically, the word that came to my mind was unprintable, but HER word was: condescending.

From: SDGovernor.MMichaelRounds@STATE.SD.US
Date: April 4, 2006 10:28:40 AM MDT
Subject: reply from Governor Rounds
Reply-To: SDGovernor.MMichaelRounds@STATE.SD.US

House Bill 1215

Thank you for contacting me about House Bill 1215. House Bill 1215 passed South Dakota's legislature with bipartisan sponsorship and strong bipartisan support in both houses, and I have signed it into law. Its purpose is to eliminate most abortions in South Dakota. It allows doctors to perform abortions in order to save the life of the mother. It does not prohibit the taking of contraceptive drugs before a pregnancy is determined, such as in the case of rape or incest. While this direct challenge to the Roe v. Wade interpretation of the Constitution is being argued in court, South Dakota's existing laws regulating abortions will remain in effect.

The reversal of a Supreme Court opinion is possible. For example, in 1896, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the Plessy v. Ferguson case that a state could require racial segregation in public facilities if the facilities offered to different races were equal. However, 58 years later, the Supreme Court reconsidered that opinion and reversed itself in Brown v. Board of Education. It proclaimed that separate could not produce equal. The 1954 Court realized that the earlier interpretation of our Constitution was wrong. HB 1215 will give the United States Supreme Court a similar opportunity to reconsider an earlier opinion.

Whatever the courts decide, South Dakotans will continue to care about both the unborn child and the mother. If we are pro-life, we must recognize the need to take care of women who are faced with a difficult pregnancy. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy, we cannot protect the innocent child unless we protect and care for the mother. We must help each mother to see the value of the gift that is a child, and nurture the mother for her own sake and for the sake of her child.

In the history of the world, the true test of a civilization is how well people treat the most vulnerable and most helpless in their society. The sponsors and supporters of this bill believe that abortion is wrong because unborn children are the most vulnerable and most helpless persons in our society. I agree with them.

Our state is committed to helping greater numbers of pregnant woman who will allow their babies to grow inside them and be born. In both the private and public sector in South Dakota, we have healthcare options, economic assistance before and after birth, adoption services, and, most importantly, people who want to help pregnant women, young mothers and their children.

There are also many people in South Dakota who will continue to help those women who have had abortions in the past. We want those women to know that we care about them, too. Thank you again for contacting me.


M. Michael Rounds


  1. Excuse me!?! South Dakota HELPS pregant women? The state has one of the highest infant mortality rate in the US. The available support for lower income women and their children in this state is pathetic. We posted yesterday a dissection of the first year costs for pregnancy and child costs. We compared that to the state support systems and most couples making near minimum wage would wouldn't even qualify for help. Those that do qualify are treated horribly by the medical community and pretty much everywhere they interact trying to use the limited services that do exist. Rounds statement are the most disengenious I have seen in a long while. Most of the conservatives in SD are the ones griping the loudest about doing away with public programs and complaining about anyone using welfare type services.
    Rounds, speaking on behalf of the state said how the state is pro life? He has now declared a position for the entire state now?

  2. This is essentially a revised version of the press release Rounds issued when he signed the bill on March 6.

  3. Anonymous14:57

    Gack! Pissed off indeed!

    "abortion is wrong because unborn children are the most vulnerable and most helpless persons in our society."

    A fetus isn't even a viable member of society yet. Perhaps we should protect all carbon atoms because one day they could become part of a person in our society. Sing with me: "Every sperm is precious"

    Gotta love these lawmakers... they care so much for the fetus, but don't give a damn once it's born, and are actively hostile if it grows up to be a woman.

  4. Gees, good answer, Anonymous!

  5. Anonymous01:42

    If a person believes that the "fetus" is a baby. Than they cannot be asked to believe it is up to the woman to decide. If you don't believe it?s a child in the womb than you cannot be asked to believe that it is murder. So what is the answer? If I hit a woman with the sole cause to end her pregnancy what could she charge me with besides assault? Who is right? I love all my children and am glad I have a wife who is aware to give life you give up a great many things. Just as I do everyday so my children can be happy and loved. If I could decide I did not want to be a dad could I choose not to be before the child was born. And so when it is born am I no longer legally responsible? Questions abound... I would ask all to only error on the side of caution.

  6. anonymous (btw, please do identify yourself in some way when you post!) said:

    > I would ask all to only error [sic] on the side of caution.

    For many reasons, including the anti-abortion movement, just about everyone is pro-life in this state and country (including me, although obviously I don't meet your definition). Please consider the situation where a woman has to choose between an 80% cancer survival chance if she goes through with a pregnancy and a 10% if she has the baby. And she has other children. These are not hypotheticals, they really happen.

    Not wanting the government to make these decisions for us is what this is all about. THAT's erring on the side of caution in my book. Why don't you trust women to work through these difficult choices?

  7. > If I hit a woman with the sole cause to end her pregnancy what could she charge me with besides assault?

    Um, aggravated assault? A judge were certainly take the heinousness of such a crime into account at sentencing time. I guess you don't trust judges either.