Tuesday, July 25, 2006

SD's abortion fight makes for strange bedfellows -- Divisions not clearly defined by common boundaries

[This article was written by a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer].
From the rocking chair on his back porch, Roger Hunt can see beyond the apple trees, vegetable garden and neighboring fields to the future.

"The appointment of (Samuel) Alito and (John) Roberts gives us four of nine justices," said Hunt, the legislator who sponsored South Dakota's new law that bans virtually all abortions. "Maybe (Anthony) Kennedy or another justice would vote with them. But even if not, Stevens is 86 years old.

"So there is a strong likelihood that President Bush will get an opportunity to appoint another judge to the Supreme Court. I think that within three years, we will have five pro-life judges. And it will take this legislation three years to get there."

That's the calculus of abortion politics in South Dakota, as the state prepares for a showdown on the nation's most restrictive abortion law: The time is ripe to topple Roe v. Wade, and this is the case to do it.

But there's a wrinkle. Those opposed to the abortion ban have gathered enough signatures to block the new law until a referendum in November. For the first time in the 33 years since Roe, voters will decide whether to outlaw abortion.

So America's abortion war - with its religious and political and moral overtones - has moved to the prairie. The wholesome, unpretentious land of Laura Ingalls Wilder ("Little House on the Prairie") is girding for an ugly season of politicking over fetuses, rape and incest.
[snip] Aberdeen American News

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