South Dakota abortion ban encourages other statesBMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7542.626 (Published 16 March 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:626
- Janice Tanne
- New York
On 6 March South Dakota's governor, Michael Rounds, signed a bill to ban abortions in the state unless they are necessary to save the life of the mother. The bill has no exceptions to protect the woman's health or in cases of rape or incest. Doctors who perform abortions face fines and jail terms.
The South Dakota law is a deliberate challenge to Roe v Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal in the United States. Since then, the Supreme Court has upheld several state laws requiring counselling, parental or spousal notification, and restrictions on clinics but has rejected state laws that do not have a health exception.
There are about 800 abortions a year in South Dakota, a rural state about a …