South Dakota has taken a brave step.

A bill entitled the “Woman's Health and Life Protection Act” was scheduled to be introduced in the state’s Legislature this week. Lawmakers will consider the bill in the next six weeks. If it passes, it would make abortion a crime.

Rep. Roger Hunt, who planned to introduce the bill, and other anti-abortion advocates say now is the time to pass it, because other states are considering similar bills and because with new Chief Justice John Roberts, and possibly Samuel Alito, the federal Supreme Court is changing.

I think they may have jumped the gun a little bit. It might have been better to wait until Alito was actually confirmed. But they are on the right track in getting a test case out there to challenge Roe v. Wade. It’ll take a while for this bill to make it through the state’s legislative process. Even if it passes, it could take months or years more for it to reach the Supreme Court.

I find it amusing that people are running around like the proverbial chicken sans head over the prospect of the demise the 1973 decision. They bring up images of coat hangers and “back-alley abortions” — and predict it starting the day after Roe finally dies.


The Supreme Court can’t make abortion illegal. All that would happen is that the decisions would be left up to the states, which is how it should have happened in the first place.

Striking down Roe v. Wade isn’t really about whether you support abortion (admittedly, I don’t). It’s about bad law. The supposed rights the Supreme Court foisted on all of us 33 years ago are not found anywhere in the Constitution. The court simply invented it. This, by the way, is what is meant by an “activist judge” — someone who uses the legal system to push through an agenda with total disregard for our laws and Constitution.

What will happen if Roe v. Wade is overturned? The issue will be debated in individual states. The individual legislatures will make their own laws. Some will probably strike down abortion altogether. Some will probably make it even more accessible than it is now. That is the way our system is designed to work.

Admittedly, I don’t understand the supposed logic behind abortion on demand.

The most common argument you hear is a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body. Sounds reasonable — at least on the surface. It’s actually just about the most reprehensible and selfish thing anyone can say.

There is another person there. True, it’s not fully developed and can’t live outside the mother’s body for quite some time. What of it? Some conjoined twins can’t survive independently because of shared organs and the like. Suppose one of them got tired and just decided he wanted to separate regardless of what might happen to the other?

People also bring up laundry lists of birth defects, unfit parents, poor conditions, rape or incest and (the one that really irks me) “I just don’t want a baby.” Birth defects can be a trial, true. No parents are perfect, and plenty of people should never have children.

Sometimes living conditions are less than ideal (or even downright hazardous). I can certainly understand not wanting to be reminded of a traumatic experience like rape or incest, and maybe you don’t want to have a child.

But are any of those truly valid reasons to take it out on the child? If you can’t or don’t want to handle it, the list of people wanting to adopt is miles longer than the available babies. Finding a good home that does want the child should be no problem at all.

As far as those who simply use abortion as birth control, the idea is simply repulsive. With one notable exception, no pregnancy has ever just happened on its own. Even if you didn’t make the decision to get pregnant, you made the decision to have sex. It shouldn’t be about your convenience after that. There is a moral responsibility to protect this new life.

The only case I can see even being remotely valid is where the life of the mother is actually threatened. I’m still not sure it would be right and hope and pray that I’m never faced with that kind of decision.

It’s an argument the pro-life side is not likely to win anytime soon (if ever). Despite what many liberals fear about judicial nominations, abortion isn’t going anywhere as long as a majority of people in this country view abortion as a right and see it purely as a medical issue rather than a moral one.

All I know is that when I see my daughter dancing in the middle of the living room or my son smiling at me over the rail of his crib, I can take no other stand.

Jeff Parish is managing editor. He can be reached at or 903-455-4220 ext. 323.

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