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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Activist Voters

(Keywords: , , , this won't even get to an 'activist judge' - what the hell will the complain about now?)

Good news from Reuters; theocracy runs up against that pesky democracy in S. Dakota.

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - South Dakota abortion rights supporters said they will file a petition on Tuesday to halt -- at least temporarily -- a new ban on abortion in the state, which became law in March as a direct challenge to the 1973 Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion.

The South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families said it had obtained nearly 38,000 signatures on a petition aimed at repealing an abortion ban signed into law by Gov. Mike Rounds on March 6.

The petition would be filed with the Secretary of State's office on Tuesday afternoon, and if at least 16,728 signatures are certified as valid, the scheduled July 1 implementation of the ban would be nullified and voters would be allowed to decide the issue at the ballot box in November.

"This law is just not feasible and is just very extreme," said Dr. Maria Bell, an obstetrician who helped sponsor the petition drive, in a press conference.

The South Dakota measure is considered one of the most restrictive in the United States. It bans nearly all abortions, even when pregnancies result from incest or rape. The law says that if a woman's life is in jeopardy, doctors must try to save the fetus as well as the woman. Doctors who perform an abortion could receive a $5,000 fine and five years in prison.

With over twice as many signatures as they need, SDCHF is virtually certain to get the measure on the ballot. And, given the success of the petition drive, S. Dakota's blanket abortion ban is doomed. It was meant to be a Supreme Court challenge to Roe v. Wade, but it's extremely likely it'll never even become law.

The fundie right can scream and cry about 'activist judges' all they want, but they'll always have to deal with activist voters. And, as long as they remain the lunatic fringe, they'll always lose in a democracy.