Measure speaks of who we are: Vote yes on Initiated Measure 11

Initiative Eleven is a reflection of who we are as a people in South Dakota, a reflection of our values and love of life.  It speaks to our culture that cherishes children and the true rights of their mothers. It speaks to the sovereignty of South Dakota that chooses to assert its own values and have those values reflected in the laws of our State. An abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.  Our state was the first state in our nation to require an abortion doctor to disclose this biological fact to a pregnant mother considering submitting to an abortion. The entire U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that it is proper for our state to require disclosure of that fact.  In the public hearings over the past five years before our legislature and a special Abortion Task Force, almost 2,000 women testified, in person, or in writing, about the pain, despair, isolation, depression and even attempted suicides resulting from their realization that they were involved in terminating the life of their own child.  The pain of these women was so profound that even the hardest of hearts were moved to compassion and tears.  Initiative 11 was drafted by South Dakota’s Attorney General and a panel of 11 legal experts.  It is well thought out, and well crafted to meet the wishes of the majority of South Dakotans.  It eliminates the use of abortion as a means of “birth control.”  While many would like to see a prohibition on abortion without exceptions, this bill reflects the will of the majority to limit use of abortions only to those circumstances where the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or where there is a substantial risk of serious permanent injury or death to the mother. A mother’s unique relationship with her child during pregnancy is the most intimate, most important, and one most worthy of protection.  The unique bond between mother and child creates a human relationship that may be the most rewarding in all of life. As the South Dakota Abortion Task Force wrote in 2005, we have a duty to choose life over death; the mother’s beautiful interest in her child’s life over its destruction; the protection of innocent children over the misguided philosophies and trends in social thought that come and go. If there are any self-evident and universal truths that can act for the human race as a guide or light in which social and human justice can be grounded, they are these: that life has intrinsic value; that each individual human being is unique and irreplaceable; that the cherished role of a mother and her relationship with her child, at every moment of life, has intrinsic worth and beauty; and that this relationship, its unselfish nature and its role in the survival of the race is the touchstone and core of all civilized society.  Its denigration is the denigration of the human race. This relationship,  its beauty, its survival, its benefits to the mother and child, its benefits to society, all rest in the self-evident truth that a mother is not the owner of her child’s life – she is the trustee of it.  Vote “yes” on 11 Nov. 4. Give South Dakota’s unborn a voice.