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Media Campaigns Launch Over SD Abortion Debate

September 17, 2008

Sioux Falls, SD – South Dakota voters will have another opportunity this November to decide whether they will support or reject a proposed abortion ban, and both sides are working aggressive grassroots education campaigns to get their messages out in the remaining weeks.

A "Vote Yes For Life" ad says Initiated Measure 11 isn't the same law that was voted on and defeated in 2006.

"Measure 11 includes exceptions in cases of rape, incest and to save the health and life of the mother. Measure 11 is reasonable."

But opponents, such as the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, have released a video this week featuring testimonials from South Dakota residents who say the abortion ban language is vague and complicated.

"Chapters 187 and 188 of the 2005 version, those are problems with Measure 11. There's no way for a doctor to give good advice. What I've read so far is just more lawyer talk and too much government involvement. I don't think people are really going to know what they're voting on with this measure."

Vote "Yes" advocates say Measure 11 is what the people of South Dakota have been asking for, but Michelle Trupiano with the Campaign for Healthy Families argues that the law threatens the well-being of women and families.

"I think South Dakota families need to ponder the question: 'If I were in a situation, who would I want to be making these decisions?' I believe they will realize that these very complex personal decisions should be made among families and doctors, not by the government."

South Dakota voters rejected an abortion ban by a 55 to 45 percent margin in 2006.

David Law/Steve Powers, Public News Service - SD