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Kavanaugh now expected to meet his accuser at an open hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. Also on the Tuesday rundown: An Albany rally calls for a million solar households; and #GetCaughtReading – a weeklong campaign for readers of all ages.

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South Dakota Back in the Crosshairs of the National Abortion Debate

March 12, 2008

Sioux Falls, SD – An advocacy group that worked to defeat a South Dakota abortion ban in 2006 is speaking out in opposition to a new petition drive that would bring the issue to a vote again this fall. Campaign for Healthy Families' co-chair Jan Nicolay says claims that the ballot measure would make exceptions for rape, incest and a woman's are misleading.

"They're putting this kind of an issue on the ballot so they can, down the road, come back and take out the exceptions. They're doing it now just to get it passed, and then they'll come back through the legislative process and attempt to take out the exceptions."

The "Vote Yes For Life" proponents say the new initiative is less restrictive, and that women who are victims of rape and/or incest would have access to abortion services. However, Nicolay sees the new initiative as having a chilling effect on the relationships between doctors and patients; that doctors would fear being criminalized, even for refusing to do what may be in a patient's best interest.

"I think of birth anomalies that are so severely deformed and, in this particular case, the doctor who might say that it would be in the best interests of both the woman and fetus, will hesitate - there's no doubt in my mind - because of the potential of being charged with a felony, and the malpractice that could prevail from it."

Nicolay says the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families is a bipartisan group that supports the rights of women to make their own childbearing decisions.

David Law/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - SD