Trust the Voters on Abortion?


The defeat of South Dakota's abortion ban by a substantial 10-point margin suggests that fears about the consequences of overturning Roe v. Wade are overblown. Voters in a conservative state decisively rejected a ban that would not have taken effect even if its opponents had stayed home. Presumably the opposition would have been even stronger if there were no Supreme Court–imposed obstacles to the law's implementation. Testing Roe, of course, was the goal of the law's backers. In stopping that from happening, abortion rights supporters won a short-term victory, but at the cost of less credibility the next time they portray the horrors of a post-Roe America.

Addendum: The 58-to-42 defeat of the vocally pro-life Kansas Attorney General Phil Kline, in a race where his harassment of abortion clinics was a major issue, provides further evidence that voters in fly-over country are more supportive of abortion rights than is commonly thought.

NEXT: What's the Matter With... Everyone Who Doesn't Agree With Me?

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  1. I suspect the ban would have passed if it had included exceptions for rape victims, or incidents where carrying a pregnancy to term would endanger the mother’s health.

  2. Jennifer is correct. Most polls showed that only 25% of SD voters supported a complete ban on abortion- most SD pro-lifers (45%) support a ban with the exceptions listed above.

    The bill was bad policy, and most pro-lifers I know- the ones who aren’t moonbats- were strongly opposed to it. It’s not suprising that it went down.

  3. “The defeat of South Dakota’s abortion ban by a substantial 10-point margin suggests that fears about the consequences of overturning Roe v. Wade are overblown.”

    I disagree. The state legislature was wingnutty enough to pass the ban, after all.

    In a post-Roe world, these things wouldn’t all come down to voter referenda. In South Dakota’s case, it seems to be a quirk of the state constitution that pro-rights factions used instead of a court challenge.

    The pro-lifers next move in South Dakota will probably be to change the constitution to remove the option, so that a court challenge is required.

  4. I think what you’ll find in many conservative districts is extremely silent opposition to abortion bans from conservative women.

    When we start to talk about “partial-birth” abortion and things like that, that may change.

  5. I suspect that a lot of folks who are outwardly anti-abortion also privately had a thought or two that ran along the lines of “Goodness, what if I / my daughter / my grand daughter / my Sig O / my wife and I got a little preggers and I / we weren’t able to cope with that situation for whatever reason?”

    Sure, it’s fun to hate on the fornicators and the killers of womb-babies when there’s no downside, but if there were no abortion procedures allowed at all, what the hell is going to happen when I / she gets in a jam?

    Minneapolis is a hell of a long drive from Rapid City.

  6. When we start to talk about “partial-birth” abortion and things like that, that may change.

    True. It’s all about how it’s perceived.

    All snarky implications about conservative women aside, the overwhelming majority of folks in flyover country would and do support abortion restrictions that would make East Coast NARAL supporters scream.

    The idea that there’s a massive, silent pro-abortion-on-demand-for-any-reason majority in America is hogwash.

    Roe will eventually go down, given the right law. This initiative was not the right law.

  7. “Minneapolis is a hell of a long drive from Rapid City.”

    Literally, culturally and politically, Sioux Falls sits right between the two of them. And the Sioux Falls state senators (Republicans, for the record), who opposed the bill in the legislature, made a good point- we don’t need the heavy hand of the government in this matter; doctors, not judges, should be left to make this decision. Which is, IMHO, a conservative and libertarian way of approaching the pro-choice position, and much more South Dakotan, at heart, than the ban ever was.

  8. “The idea that there’s a massive, silent pro-abortion-on-demand-for-any-reason majority in America is hogwash.”

    It is hogwash; but having lived in flyover country for 99% of my life (the other 1% being spent in Seattle and Northern California), I can tell you this- there is a quiet majority that wants their right to privacy protected and would prefer that their decisions regarding this matter be between them, their families, their physicians and their conscience, without government busybodies getting involved.

  9. I think Boosh is jumping the gun. He should’ve waited until the heat spiked up even more, and THEN throw Rummy to the wolves.

    The Dems are going to be screaming for blood once they settle in, and will need another sacrifice. Cheney, maybe?

  10. Stoopid, ignorant, fucks in flyover country. Despite the fact that they voted generally in agreeance with what I believe, I’ll just presume that they are still in-bred, corn-fed, pot-bellied, sloth-footed hicks I always thought they were.

    Or of instead of insulting those that could agree with me, I can just take Jacob’s position: the debate on abortion (like the debate on gun control) is essentially over.

  11. My sources on the ground tell me South Dakota only has one abortion clinic anyway, and it’s in Sioux Falls. They have to fly in doctors to perform the operations, as local ones won’t do it.

    And if you live in Rapid City, you’d drive to Denver, not Minneapolis. Closer than Sioux Falls, even.

  12. Jennifer is partly right, the other factor I suspect is Bushes war mongering.

  13. ‘Flyover country.’ The national equivalent of calling one’s wife ‘the Old Lady.’

  14. ‘in agreeance?’ It looks even stupider in print than it sounds when the cretins say it out loud.

    Even the traditionally rigid center of the country has bent in this election. Rather than insulting those folks, I am glad at the glimmer of optimism votes like this give me. There is hope.

  15. Something for Pro-choicers to concider 🙂

    If conception is NOT when life begins,and a clump of cells is just that and not a living human being.
    Then at least concider this-

    Soon after you were conceived you were no more than a clump of cells.
    This clump of cells was you at your earliest stage, you had plenty of growing to do but this clump of cells was you none the less. Think about it.
    Aren’t you glad you were left unhindered to develope further.
    Safe inside your mother’s womb until you were born.

    World estimations of the number of terminations carried out each year is somewhere between 20 and 88 million.

    3,500 per day / 1.3 million per year in America alone.

    50% of that 1.3 million claimed failed birth control was to blame.

    A further 48% had failed to use any birth control at all.

    And 2% had medical reasons.

    That means a stagering 98% may have been avoided had an effective birth control been used.

    People have to stop using abortion as birth control.

    I’d like to see effective birth control made available to all who can’t afford it.

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