Last February, South Dakota lawmakers approved the nation’s most restrictive ban on abortion, setting the stage for new legal challenges that its supporters hope will lead to an overturning of Roe v. Wade.
The measure, which passed the state Senate 23 to 12, makes it a felony for doctors to perform any abortion, except to save the life of a pregnant woman. This law is clearly illegal. But the idea is to get the case heard by the Supreme Court on appeal after the law is struck down by an appellate court and then hope that the new Roberts/Alito axis changes the law.
As the Washington Post reported, even without this latest ban, South Dakota was already one of the most difficult states in the country in which to get an abortion. It is one of three states with only one abortion provider (Mississippi and North Dakota are the others), and its one clinic, the Planned Parenthood clinic in Sioux Falls, offers the procedure only once a week. Four doctors who fly in from Minnesota on a rotating basis perform the abortions, since no doctor in South Dakota will do so because of the heavy stigma attached. Planned Parenthood is also leading the charge against this repressive measure that would force the closure of its Sioux Falls clinic. Click here for info on the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which is effectively challenging the extremists in South Dakota and beyond.
And don’t believe the hype that this new law is what most South Dakotans want. There are some very angry women in the state, and one of them, Charon Asetoyer, recently announced her candidacy for the South Dakota State Senate. Asetoyer, the Executive Director of the Native Women’s Health Education Resource Center, is running against an opponent who compiled a zero voting rank on women’s health and safety issues during his previous legislative term. A fierce advocate for Native and women’s rights in South Dakota, Asetoyer has also long worked to prevent violence against women. We can all help her put her knowledge, experience and lifetime dedication to equal rights and social justice to good use crafting laws and policies that will work for ALL South Dakotans.
Most people reading this can’t vote in South Dakota, and most of us can’t even get there to do voter outreach, but we can make a donation to Asetoyer’s campaign, thus taking a small step toward helping a strong, progressive, feminist, peace-loving South Dakota female candidate for state office.
Asetoyer can win with much less money than it takes in larger state races, so your $25 or $50 can go a long way. South Dakota law limits individual donations to candidates to $250 so you can’t really break the bank on this one. She only announced her candidacy two days ago, and, at the moment, the only way to contribute to the campaign is through the mail. So please do that today. You can mail to Campaign for Change/Asetoyer, P.O. Box 472, Lake Andes, SD 57356, and click here to find out more about the candidate and here to find out more about her retrograde incumbent opponent.