Commentary by Jim Sedlak
The situation in South Dakota is beginning to get desperate for those who support the "right" to kill babies in the womb through medical and surgical abortions. Although publicly proclaiming that victory is in sight, the rank-and-file of the "pro-choice" movement in the state is becoming increasingly frustrated.
As well they might.
American Life League has had people working in South Dakota for most of this year and the reports we are getting from the state show how much trouble the abortion proponents are in.
For those who are not familiar with what is going on in South Dakota, let me quickly recap the situation. In February of this year, the state legislature passed a bill that will ban all medical and surgical abortions in the state without exception. The bill passed with overwhelming support of men and women, Democrats and Republicans. In March, it was signed into law by the governor.
The first effort of abortion supporters to try and show that the people of South Dakota did not support the legislature's action was to run pro-abortion politicians in the primary elections against those legislators who voted in favor of the law. Much to their dismay, this effort failed completely. When the primaries were held in June, every legislator who voted in favor of the law and was challenged in the primary won. In addition, four legislators who voted against the law were defeated.
The law's opponents then took advantage of a South Dakota system that allows the collecting of 18,000 signatures to put the law on the November ballot for an up-or-down vote by the people. Thus, on November 7, the citizens of South Dakota will go to the polls and vote yea or nay on this law, designated on the ballot as Referred Law 6. A "yes" vote is in support of the law, a "no" vote is against the law. That is what the current activity is all about.
The abortion backers did an early blitz attacking the law and polls taken after their activity showed 47% of voters opposed to the law, 31% in favor, and the rest undecided. But pro-life forces have mounted an aggressive campaign in defense of babies and their mothers and current polls show 47% are still opposed, but 44% are now in favor. Because of the limits of polling, this is now a dead heat, with the pro-life forces clearly having the momentum.
Our own reports from people in the state show a clear pro-life advantage. As one of our people in the western part of the state wrote recently, "Yard signs supporting Referred Law 6 are popping up everywhere. You're pretty much guaranteed to see at least one on every street in the Rapid City/Box Elder area."
In addition, pro-life activity is high on the Native American reservations in the state. The report cited above also told us that "the Rapid City Lakota community is overwhelmingly pro-life, and the 'Life is Sacred' signs that are used specifically for outreach to the Native American communities in South Dakota are up all over North Rapid City."
With all this momentum on the pro-life side, the pro-abortion side is taking out its frustrations in various ways. They are not only becoming verbally hostile, but they are engaging in physically destructive activity.
We have received reports of a great deal of vandalism from the pro-abortion side. Among the incidents reported to us:
- Vandals extensively damaged the interior of a VoteYesForLife.com volunteer's car. The perpetrator broke into the vehicle during a Sioux Falls youth rally.
- Vandals spray-painted an unborn memorial sign at Bible Baptist Church in Brookings. Additionally, the culprits attacked more than 100 crosses staked in remembrance of those aborted. Four of the 826 crosses displayed were destroyed.
- Vandals spray-painted the wall of O'Gorman Catholic High School in Sioux Falls with a slogan opposing the law.
- Spray-painting of the South Dakota State University Newman Center church (directly tied to the cemetery of the innocents next to the church, which was also vandalized).
- Vote Yes signs in Rapid City stolen
- Vote Yes signs in Sioux Falls set ablaze
- Vote Yes signs in Sioux Falls spray-painted with coat hangers
- Vote Yes signs in Sioux Falls stolen (20 in one night alone)
In one of the more outrageous incidents, a number of the Vote Yes signs were spray-painted with a stencil. The top of the stencil is an outline of a baby in the womb (approximately 10 weeks of age) complete with an umbilical cord. Under the baby's outline is the two word slogan ? "Eat Babies."
It is difficult to imagine the reaction that is taking place because one of the states in these United States wants to protect innocent human life. The South Dakota law, which was based on a state task force that clearly showed life begins at fertilization and that abortion hurts women, simply wants to protect women and their babies. Yet those who want to take these babies' lives are becoming desperate in their efforts to defend the killing and the harm they cause women.
It must be noted that the lead organization opposing the law in South Dakota is Planned Parenthood. It runs the only free-standing abortion facility in the state. Its national president has repeatedly said that Planned Parenthood will do everything it can to stop this law from taking effect.
With the growing violence, we have watched to see if Planned Parenthood would issue a statement condemning these acts. To the best of our knowledge, it has not. Planned Parenthood has kept silent while its supporters spread the word in South Dakota to "Eat Babies."
That should tell you all you need to know about Planned Parenthood.
The next three weeks will be hectic ones in South Dakota. As the November 7 vote approaches, the message of both sides will be heard. One side will be fighting for the right to dismember babies and hurt women. The other side will be trying to save the lives of children in the womb and for the right of women not to be injured by abortion.
Let us all pray that God will grant victory to those who see each child as sacred.
Release issued: 20 Oct 06
Read more about the battle in South Dakota.