Wednesday, March 22, 2006

SD Abortion Legislation....What Does It Really Say?

Since the Women's Health and Human Life Protection Act (HB 1215) passed the legislature a month ago, there has been much discussion about what the bill allows for and doesn't allow for. Section 2 of the act establishes that abortion is illegal in the state of South Dakota. The precise text of that section of the bill is as follows:
No person may knowingly administer to, prescribe for, or procure for, or sell to any pregnantwoman any medicine, drug, or other substance with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination of the life of an unborn human being. No person may knowingly use or employ any instrument or procedure upon a pregnant woman with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination of the life of an unborn human being.

In Section 3 of the bill, there is an exception for the abortafacients that have become known as emergency contraception drugs, so long as they are taken before a pregnancy can be determined. For those who have expressed concern that there is no rape & incest exception, it was pointed out on the Senate floor that this section of the bill would allow a victim of rape or incest to legally use a so-called emergency contraceptive measure. The text reads,
Nothing in section 2 of this Act may be construed to prohibit the sale, use, prescription, or administration of a contraceptive measure, drug or chemical, if it is administered prior to the time when a pregnancy could be determined through conventional medical testing and if the contraceptive measure is sold, used, prescribed, or administered in accordance with manufacturer instructions.

The fourth section of the bill discusses the "life of the mother" exception. Section 4 in its entirety is included below.

No licensed physician who performs a medical procedure designed or intended to
prevent the death of a pregnant mother is guilty of violating section 2 of this Act. However, the physician shall make reasonable medical efforts under the circumstances to preserve both the life of the mother and the life of her unborn child in a manner consistent with conventional medical practice.

Medical treatment provided to the mother by a licensed physician which results in the accidental or unintentional injury or death to the unborn child is not a violation of this statute.

Nothing in this Act may be construed to subject the pregnant mother upon whom any abortion is performed or attempted to any criminal conviction and penalty.

The full text of the final version of the bill can be found here if you have adobe acrobat reader or here for those people who do not. The bill history, including audio links may be found on this page, which is found on the SD Legislative Research Council website.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Abortion Pill Claims Two More Women's Lives

On Friday, March 17, 2006, the Associated Press reported that two more women have died after taking the abortion pill, RU-486. These most recent tragedies represent two more strikes against the use of the highly controversial drug.

According to the AP report, Planned Parenthood and most other clinics in the abortion industry have been recommending that women use the abortion drug in a way that is not consistent with FDA instructions. The article states,

Those women did not follow FDA-approved instructions for the pill-triggered abortion, which requires swallowing three tablets of one drug, followed by two of another (drug) two days later.

Instead of swallowing the final two tablets, the second course of pills was inserted vaginally in the four women, an "off-label" use that studies have shown effective and that has been recommended by a majority of the nation's abortion clinics. That use does not have federal approval though studies have indicated it produces fewer side effects.

A move is underway in the US Senate to suspend sales of RU-486 until a review is conducted concerning the process the FDA followed in granting approval of the drug. Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina stated, ""RU-486 is a deadly drug that is killing pregnant women. This drug should never have been approved, and it must be suspended immediately."

The article goes on to say,

Monty Patterson, a California man whose 18-year-old daughter, Holly, died in 2003 after taking the abortion pill, also said the drug should be pulled from the market. The Senate bill is informally called "Holly's Law."

"The bottom line is that this is not about the abortion debate. This is about the safety, health and welfare of women," Patterson said.

According to the article, Planned Parenthood has ceased recommending that the final dose of the abortion drug be inserted vaginally. According to Dr. Vanessa Cullins, Planeed Parenthood's vice president for medical affairs, four of the women who have died from using the abortion drug have received the pills from affiliates of Planned Parenthood.

A related article discusses a possible reason for the harmful effect the abortion pill has on women (and unborn babies). Brown University professor Ralph P. Meich has conducted research on the effects of RU-486. The article reports,

His study shows that during an abortion, mifepristone works by blocking the effects of progesterone, shutting off nutrition to the placenta and fetus.

But Miech points out the anti-progesterone effects of mifepristone also cause changes in the cervix that allow a common vaginal bacteria, called C. sordellii, to enter the cervical canal.

The bacteria thrives in the low-oxygen environment and derives nutrition from the decaying fetal tissue. Mifepristone also disrupts the immune system, which "impairs the body's ability to fight off C. sordellii and may help spread the bacteria's toxic by-products, a combination that sometimes results in widespread septic shock," Miech says.

He points out that the women don't exhibit the usual warning signs of an infection, mainly, a fever.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Abortion Legislation Defense Fund

Governor Rounds has signed HB 1215, the Women's Health and Human Life Protection Act, into law. The Governor has also inked his name to SB 154, which establishes the Life Protection Subfund. There have been a number of inquiries from people who wish to make private contributions to the fund.

Now that both bills have been signed, individuals interested in contributing to the funds should make their checks payable to the State of South Dakota. Be sure to include "Life Protection Subfund" in the memo line.

You may send your contributions to the following address:

Bureau of Administration
500 E. Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501

Thank you for your interest in helping to defend the South Dakota legislation.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Abortion Ban

As many of you know, House Bill 1215 passed the Senate floor last week (2/22/06), with the House concurring with Senate amendments on Friday. The bill was delivered to the Governor's desk on Tuesday, February 28. The Governor now has fifteen days in which to decide whether to sign or veto the bill, or to simply allow it to go into law without his signature. We encourage you to contact the Governor and ask him to sign the bill. You may click here to drop the Governor an e-mail or call him at (605) 773-3212.