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Bush disagrees with South Dakota abortion ban
March 01, 2006


Bush balks at S.D. pro-life bill


WASHINGTON -- US President George W. Bush signalled his opposition to a South Dakota abortion ban that forbids the procedure even in cases of rape or incest, saying he favors such exceptions.

But Bush declined to predict the outcome of any legal challenges to the legislation, which would make it illegal to terminate a pregnancy except in rare cases when it may be necessary to save the life of the mother.

"That, of course, is a state law, but my position has always been three exceptions: Rape, incest, and the life of the mother," the US president told ABC news in an interview.

Asked whether he would include "health" of the mother, Bush replied: "I said life of the mother, and health is a very vague term, but my position has been clear on that ever since I started running for office."

The bill, which recently gained final approval from South Dakota's House of Representatives, directly contradicts the precedent set in 1973 when the US Supreme Court ruled that bans on abortion violate a woman's constitutional right to privacy.

The bill grants no allowances for women who have been raped or are victims of incest. Doctors who perform abortion would be charged with a crime. It also prohibits the sale of emergency contraception and asserts that life begins at fertilization.

The governor of South Dakota has indicated he is likely to sign the bill.

A leading pro-choice advocacy group has already vowed to challenge the ban in federal court. But that seems to be exactly what many promoters of the legislation seek.

Advocates of the ban do not deny they aim much higher than South Dakota, a rural and socially conservative state, which even today has only one abortion clinic.

Instead, they are hoping the bill will offer a full frontal assault on legal abortions now that the balance of power in the Supreme Court appears to have shifted with the confirmation of conservative jurists John Roberts and Samuel Alito, both of whom are seen as pro-life.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060228
/hl_afp/uspoliticsrights_060228234030

Posted by Editor at March 1, 2006 06:43 AM
 

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