SIOUX FALLS, SD – The ads that the abortion proponents (“Healthy Families”) placed on their website today, in an effort to defeat Initiated Measure 11, is deliberately misleading in an effort to confuse the voting public. At the same time, the abortion proponents exploited and misrepresented a personal tragedy.
Vote Yes for Life has the following response to that misleading ad:
1. The law that appears on the ballot as Initiated Measure 11 is an extremely well written and well crafted law. The law was drafted by South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long at the request of leaders of the State Legislature. Attorney General Long assembled and presided over a panel of eleven legal experts for the purpose of insuring that the law was well crafted. It was drafted over a period of about eight months.
Any suggestion that the law is anything other than well drafted and well thought out is false and deliberately misleading. The voters of South Dakota can trust their Attorney General.
2. The ad claims that South Dakota “already voted on this.”
This is a false representation.
In 2006, the Legislature passed a law that prohibited abortion, but it did not contain exceptions for rape, incest or the health of the mother. That law was referred to the election in November of 2006 and was voted on.
The 2008 law is totally different and represents what the voting public said they wanted in place of the 2006 law.
In 2006 and again in 2007 and 2008, every poll taken in South Dakota, showed that the vast majority of South Dakota voters (between 58% and 67%) wanted abortion prohibited. But many thought that there should be exceptions for rape, incest and the health of the mother. Although 44% of the voters voted for the 2006 law with no exception, the 2008 Initiated Measure 11 prohibits abortions but incorporates the exceptions for rape, incest and the health of the mother, and represents what the South Dakota voters wanted as their law.
3. The ad implies that a procedure resulting in the death of a twin that has “Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome” is illegal under the law. That claim is not only false, but a shameful exploitation of the mother shown on the ad who lost her child.
Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome is a very rare complication that threatens the life of the babies in utero. However, today there are modern medical procedures that are used to save the children.
If, however, one of the children dies in utero as a result of those medical interventions, the loss of the baby does not violate the law under Initiated Measure 11. The claim that the mother, under the new law, could not have had a procedure to save the life of one or both of those children is totally false.
There is no reason for a doctor to deliberately kill one of the twins in an effort to save one of them, and physicians do not do so as part of accepted standards of medical practice. Under Section 2 of the law, only if the procedure is designed to deliberately and intentionally kill the baby, is it prohibited – unless it is permitted by one of the exceptions. An unintended death is not a violation of the law, and the law permits the procedure even if there is a risk that one or both babies could die from the procedure.
Section 2 specifically requires that the doctor’s act is “with the intent of causing the termination of the life of an unborn human being.” Medical treatment intended to save the lives of the babies is not prohibited. Further, Section 13, paragraph 1 of the law states:
“Medical treatment … that results in the unintentional injury or death of the unborn child is not a violation of this Act.”
It is offensive that the abortion proponents would use this personal tragedy to mislead the public, and it is exploitive of a mother who suffered a tragic loss.
4. The ad says that there is no way for a doctor to “give good advice” and that every case should be judged on an “individual case” basis. The implication is that the law prevents both.
That implication is deliberately misleading. Section 4 of the law specifically preserves the right of a doctor to make “a judgment that an abortion is necessary because there is a serious risk “of injury to a major bodily function of the mother. A doctor is not liable under the law if he performs an abortion to preserve the health of the mother, unless the “physician knowingly disregards accepted standard of medical practice.”
This means that only if the doctor knows good medicine does not require the abortion, is he prohibited from performing the abortion.
5. The ad makes the false claims that the voters can’t know what they are voting on.
The abortion proponents make these false claims because they cannot win a debate about this law if they made candid admissions about its content.
The law simply says that it is illegal to deliberately and intentionally kill an unborn child except in the case of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is at risk or there is a serious risk to the health of the mother.
Having actors read Section 15 (chapters 187 and 188 etc.”) is intended to create the false impression that the law is difficult to understand. Section 15 is a technical section meant for the courts to let them know that one other law is not repealed.
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