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With Ban in Place, Abortion-Rights Rallies Planned for SD


Friday, July 8, 2022   

Opponents of South Dakota's abortion ban are mobilizing efforts to get the attention of policymakers. Rallies will be held this weekend as organizers hope to channel their frustration into civic engagement.

The state's ban only includes an exception for a life-threatening medical emergency for the pregnant person. It was put in play by the recent Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade.

Janna Farley, communications director for the ACLU of North and South Dakota, said for a long time, it seemed mostly activists and nonprofits were speaking out against the restrictions. She feels it is time more citizens not happy with the ban lend their voice.

"It is important to bring abortion access up in conversations and make it known that we do support the right to make the best decisions for ourselves and our families without government interference," Farley urged.

Rallies will be held Sunday in Rapid City and Sioux Falls. With elections near, Farley hopes attendees feel encouraged to reach out to legislators. Political experts say issues such as partisan gerrymandering have led to decisions unpopular with the public, such as the end of Roe.

Gov. Kristi Noem defended the state's ban, saying the decisions are made by policymakers closest to the people.

In North Dakota, a lawsuit was filed this week to block enforcement of the state's ban. Farley emphasized collective efforts create more awareness about other rights at stake.

"The same politicians who are seeking to control the bodies of pregnant people are also coming for the right to access birth control, or gender-affirming care, marry who you love and vote," Farley outlined.

In the Supreme Court's opinion related to Roe, one of the justices suggested other federal protections be reconsidered. And this fall, the court will hear arguments in a case questioning whether a state legislature can have broad authority over federal elections, and bypass oversight from state courts.

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