South Dakota is moving too fast
A little time has passed since the South Dakota Legislature, and Gov. Mike Rounds, agreed on a virtual ban on abortions in the state, setting up an inevitable confrontation with Roe v. Wade. Upon further study, however, there seems less than meet...
A little time has passed since the South Dakota Legislature, and Gov. Mike Rounds, agreed on a virtual ban on abortions in the state, setting up an inevitable confrontation with Roe v. Wade. Upon further study, however, there seems less than meets the eye about this.
Indeed, a lot of fireworks are being spent on this dud. The abortion opponents who are touting this direct assault on constitutional law are deluding themselves if they think this will be the missile that unravels Roe. The courts will strike this law down, and the Supreme Court -- if it takes the case at all -- will allow the lesser courts to prevail. And so, the frothing this issue has generated among pro-choice advocates serves them well as a rallying issue and as fund-raising tool, but not much more. There is a petition drive under way now by abortion-rights advocates to send the abortion ban issue to voters on Nov. 7, but it's unlikely to succeed. If it fails, no matter. The courts will hand pro-choice advocates their desired result.
The irony in all this is that a great many abortion opponents, themselves, agree that South Dakota has erred. The state has certainly managed to gather a lot of national publicity for itself, but the timing of this "all or nothing" approach is likely to produce results unhelpful to the pro-life cause.
Before this, many intelligent pro-life people have been quite pleased that the strategy of attacking Roe around the edges has proven fairly successful. They argue, correctly, that a precise, targeted strategy should continue as opposed to nuclear legislation.
With or without South Dakota's nuclear anti-abortion law, Roe V. Wade has an uncertain future, anyway. As a legal opinion, it has always been shaky. In the future, it may indeed be abandoned and replaced with some other understanding that allows individual states to set their own policies. When and if that happens, many other states will be ready to join South Dakota in regulating the abortion trade according to the will of their own people. South Dakota, then, could have afforded to wait.