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Support Pain Capable Legislation in South Dakota

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While SDRTL applauds all efforts in educating the public on the humanity of the unborn and the coercive and manipulative practices of abortion providers, itis now focusing pro-life efforts toward enacting proven legislation such as the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

Presently, five states have enacted the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect the unborn 20 weeks postfertilization. Why? There is compelling, irrefutable scientific evidence that the unborn at this stage of development experience pain.

If the horror of extremely and painfully aborting the unborn with methods commonly employed at this stage of development, such as dilation and evacuation, is not graphic enough, imagine not having an “off switch” to this pain. Dr. Paul Ranalli, a neurologist at the University of Toronto, aptly sums up this tragic juncture of development: pain for a 20-week fetus is a “uniquely vulnerable time, since the pain system is fully established, yet the higher-level painmodifying system has barely begun to develop.”

It is nothing short of a scathing indictment against our shared humanity when we fellow human beings overlook induced pain and suffering on the 20-week post-fertilization unborn on a scale perhaps not even physically perceivable by an adult human being.

While it can be widely agreed upon that such a practice should be banned, it still leaves one wondering why a small, rural state like South Dakota in its upcoming legislative session needs to enact a law similar to the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act now. Many people are under the impression that abortion as late as 20 weeks or later do not occur in South Dakota. Unfortunately, that assertion is incorrect. In 2009, for instance, at least nine unborn babies 20 weeks gestation or later were terminated in South Dakota, in instances that did not involve the life of the mother.

Secondly, one may again assume that a small, rural state like South Dakota would never attract exceptionally reckless, profiteering abortion providers, but sadly South Dakotans have had to only point to largely-rural, conservative states like Kansas and Nebraska to show that such an assumption is not true. Kansas and Nebraska went through a seemingly endless series of legal battles with abortion providers who thought that they were above the law only to helplessly stand by and witness the horror of liberal-and-loose abortions in their own backyard. It was not until Nebraska passed the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that notorious late-term abortionist Leroy Carhart was sent packing and left the state.

Finally, Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection legislation is legislation that pro-abortionist groups are highly unlikely to take pro-lifers to court over. SDRTL is very much mindful of the fact that we are fighting the good fight on two key pro-life laws presently in the courts as it is and do not want to jeopardize their prospects with another lawsuit.

A South Dakota Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act carries a very low risk for any type of court challenge. Pro-abortion forces, oddly enough, are having great difficultly in finding cases that wrap a warm and fuzzy aura around the prospect of killing paincapable unborn children. Despite the constant threat of lawsuits by Planned Parenthood, five states have passed this law, and none of them are currently being challenged by a sue-happy abortion lobby.

With all the threats of pro-abortion lawsuits and none of them materializing into successful challenges, one has to wonder to what extent pro-abortion forces fear the prospect of having Pain Capable successfully make its way to the Supreme Court. They seem to realize that this would give the states an expressed interest in protecting the unborn based on aspects of their humanity and development. That is the scenario that haunts the pro-abortion lobby--and that is why we must refuse any more delays in enacting the Pain Capable Unborn Child Act and steadfastly insist that it be passed this session in South Dakota to protect some of our most vulnerable South Dakotans!

Help us enact this legislation in 2013. Please sign the petition.

Spencer Cody

Vice President

South Dakota Right to Life




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