Tuesday, January 24, 2006

S.D. not doing Alito any favors

I have always maintained that if Roe v. Wade were overturned, no state would ban abortion. Well, I may have been mistaken, because it looks like South Dakota is trying to do just that. From KSFY:
If Brandon Representative Roger Hunt has his way all abortions will soon be banned in South Dakota.

Tomorrow Republican Roger Hunt's bill outlawing the procedure is expected to get it's first reading. When it does South Dakota will join a growing list of states. In fact several states are already debating similar proposals.

In the next month and-a-half South Dakota lawmakers will decide if the state will ban abortion, setting up a challenge to Roe vs. Wade.

Representative Hunt says there's a reason to act now.

"There's a momentum. There's a window that's developing now," he said.

It's momentum lawmakers in other state's are also feeling. In Ohio, legislation has been introduced that would not only ban the procedure, but also make it illegal to transport women across the state line to get an abortion.

In Indiana all abortions would be banned except if the mother's life is in danger. The proposal being considered in Indiana would also require women seeking abortions to wait 18 between getting required material about the abortion and actually having the procedure.

Hunt says with one new justice and a second justice soon to be appointed to the U-S Supreme Court, the states are ready to act.

"There are a lot of states that have been dealing with abortion legislation, and so I think yes, it's just a matter of time," he said.

Planned Parenthood's Kate Looby is lobbying against the South Dakota ban. She agrees that with the new make-up of the high court, if it's passed, the South Dakota statute could one day be in the national spotlight.

"Anything that they pass could potentially find it's want to the Supreme Court. With now Roberts and Alito sitting on the court, we could easily see an over-turn of roe," she said.

Hunt believes at the earliest, it would be three years before the South Dakota bill could be argued before the high court. And in the meantime, at least two other states are moving in the same direction.

15 states, including South Dakota also have trigger laws. Those would immediatly ban or substantially restrict abortions if Roe vs. Wade were ever reversed.
There are a handful of Democrats who are teetering on whether or not to filibuster Alito, a move which would likely be futile since Frist has vowed to nuke the option should Dems try it. However, despite a wonderful committee showing by Alito, Dems had their minds made up to vote against him. Their only question was whether or not to filibuster him, and with South Dakota publicly challenging Roe v. Wade with the rationale that the new justice (Alito) will help them, Dems will possibly fight even harder than they already planned on doing.

Point to ponder: if South Dakota passes the abortion ban, how will their Democrat U.S. Senator Tim "I won the dead Indian vote to eke out a shady win in '02" Johnson vote on Alito? I mean, if South Dakotans want the bill passed in their state, and Johnson votes against Alito on the grounds that Alito would actually side with Johnson's constituents, would Johnson not be acting Daschle-like in ignoring the wishes of South Dakotans? Johnson is up for re-election in 2008.

You have to wonder if Sam Alito is looking at South Dakota and saying "Thanks for nothing, folks!"