31 October 2006

South Dakota Abortion Ban Poll

A referendum on a proposal to completely ban abortion in South Dakota is currently trailing in a Mason-Dixon opinion poll by 42-52, in a survey of 800 likely voters (margin of error 3.5%), less than two weeks before election day. An earlier poll had shown the measure trailing 39-47.

The lack of an exception for rape or incest in the bill is driving opposition in the conservative state, even though these cases make up only a small percentage of all abortions in the state.

The bill would almost certainly be unconstitutional on its face under Roe v. Wade and likely would never be implemented. The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which includes South Dakota, yesterday sustained a preliminary injunction barring implimentation of a much more moderate measure in the state. South Dakota has only one abortion clinic. The purpose of the bill is to offer the U.S. Supreme Court an opportunity to reverse Roe v. Wade, something its recent abortion jurisprudence shows it has no intention of doing.

Rape and incest reached epidemic levels, in contrast, on Pitcairn Island where the convictions of six men from the island on those charges two years ago has survived a final appeal.

Only 50 people remain living on Pitcairn, which can only be reached by boat. The convicted men make up a quarter of the island's adult males.

The men had argued that rape and incest were not violations of the law on the island, which was settled by the Bounty's mutineers about a century ago.

No comments: