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