Kate Looby is the South Dakota State Director for Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS).
Last week I had a painful experience. Casey Murschel, Executive Director for NARAL Pro-Choice SD, and I faced off at a forum against State Representative Roger Hunt, the prime sponsor of the abortion ban legislation, and Alan Unruh, the spouse of Leslee Unruh, long-time anti-abortion activist and manager of the campaign working to pass Referred Law 6, the abortion ban. The forum was held at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion; however, many people in the audience were not students but rather people from off campus sporting Vote Yes for Life (VYFL) shirts.
While it was not an actual "debate," we each gave opening remarks and then took questions from the audience for approximately forty-five minutes.
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One of the unbelievable comments from the supporters of the bill was that there is a "provision" in the law for rape and incest victims because they can use EC up until the time they can get a positive pregnancy test through "conventional medical testing" – at least nine to ten days after sex. When we pointed out that EC is approved by the FDA for use up to 72 hours, Roger Hunt noted that he had drafted the bill to apply not only to current medical technology, but future technology as well. Always the forward thinker he is.
He also believes there is a health of the woman exception because any treatment provided to a pregnant woman which results in the accidental or unintentional death or injury to the fetus is exempt from criminal prosecution. I pointed out that if a physician KNOWS that treatment is LIKELY to produce death or injury to the fetus it could not possibly be considered "accidental or unintentional."
It would be bad enough if Roger limited his deceit to a relatively small campus forum but they have taken this show on the road. They have TV ads saying the ban has a health exception. They have a direct mail piece that actually says "under this law, women have the option of terminating pregnancies that are the result of rape and incest." Unbelievable.
So the virulent debate continues. As I like to point out to the VYFL supporters who talk a lot about how abortion hurts women….what really hurts women is when they are lied to over and over and over again.