God's Little Helpers

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20 comments posted
South Dakotan here.

Gordon Howie wasn't the first South Dakota legislator to compare pregnant women to pregnant cows. I listened to floor debate on a bill two years ago where a legislator said that his cows don't mind giving birth to deformed calves, so he didn't understand why women would abort fetuses with deformities.

I also want to point out that before Greenfield was Senator and director of the Right to Life, he was a clerk at his father's convenience store in Clark.

There is a little good news - www.sdhealthyfamilies.com is the website for the people opposed to 1215, and the news reported that 1,500 signatures have been collected by a few local volunteers in a little over five days. I'm just circulating my petitions among friends, and I have about 40 right now.

I hope people will be interested in the Campaign for Healthy Families. It's all well and good to make fun of our insane legislature, but we need help to fix this.

anna's picture
Posted by anna (not verified) on 29 March 2006 - 12:24am
hi anna

I hope people will be interested in the Campaign for Healthy Families. It's all well and good to make fun of our insane legislature, but we need help to fix this.

Thanks for the info. I've looked at the site and have a question. In the long-term, does sdhealthyfamilies (i.e., the board) plan to oppose all bans, even with exceptions? Or is the opposition based strictly on the lack of exceptions in 1215? As a non-South Dakotan, yet interested in what is happening nationwide, I am more inclined to donate to groups working on general principle. I realize that immediate action is focused on HR1215, but if you could leave a few comments on mission, present and future, I would appreciate it. Thanks again.

dblhelix's picture
Posted by dblhelix (not verified) on 31 March 2006 - 1:28pm
I think the mission of the

I think the mission of the Campaign for Healthy Families is to repeal HB 1215. I have no idea if the organization will continue past November. I hope it does, because as you can see, it consists of a pretty broad, mainstream base of people in South Dakota who are disgusted with what's happening in the state. There are other groups (Common Sense South Dakota, is one) in South Dakota working to recruit and fund legislative candidates who are pro-choice, and they've had at least some luck in Sioux Falls and Rapid City in recruiting strong candidates of both parties. Whether they'll win is up to the candidate, but at least many of the people pushing this crap will have to be answerable for what they do. A couple of the worst anti-choice legislators (Kraus in Rapid City, Schoenbeck in Watertown) have decided not to run again. Others (Greenfield of Clark, Bartling from Burke) are facing primary challengers who think they're too extreme.

Our hope is that we won't have to deal with an abortion ban of any sort in the future because we'll have a more mainstream legislative body and governor.

This remains an uphill battle, though. The state legislature is completely dominated by crazy people of both parties, and the antis have an amazing organization throughout the state. The campaign to repeal HB 1215 and to elect non-insane legislators is going to have to deal with a huge amount of misinformation, much of it coming out of churches that take their lead on political issues from the Family Policy Council and other groups like that.

As much as I wish we South Dakotans could hash this out among ourselves, I'm realistic enough to know that it won't work that way. We need money and time from people who care about this issue.

anna's picture
Posted by anna (not verified) on 1 April 2006 - 1:20pm
Misinformation?
The campaign to repeal HB 1215 and to elect non-insane legislators is going to have to deal with a huge amount of misinformation, much of it coming out of churches that take their lead on political issues from the Family Policy Council and other groups like that.

Isn't it funny (odd) how such a comment can be made considering the reason HB 1215 passed and was signed into law was based on information provided by BOTH sides of the issue. They collected over 3,500 pages of scientific evidence and more than 2,000 affidavits from women who had abortions. Testimonies were taken from ALL sides of the issue.

Here's a thought ... take a look at their official report first hand and study the exhibits that were provided to assist them in making their determination. "Insane legislators" and churches didn't have much to do with any of it.

South Dakota Taskforce on Abortion Report

South Dakota Taskforce on Abortion Exhibits

Tammy's picture
Posted by Tammy (not verified) on 2 April 2006 - 11:29am
come on tammy, no BS in the thread

we're not stupid chicks here.

HB1215 is a human rights violation under treaties signed by the United States government. It's completely uncontituational too, and won't stand as law even with the present extremely conservative surpreme court.

the "facts" of the matter are that the conclusions of the South Dakota Taskforce were rigged from the inside from day one. the task force testimony was merely an american show-trial. The insiders even had to revise the report after it was adopted because it seemed to contain statements made about a researcher at Guttmacher that some considered to be libelous. Even many of the republicans who sat on the committee walked out in protest at the blatant propagandaization of the conclusions reached and the agenda of many on the taskforce.

For a more balanced opinion on the report, please go to The Well Timed Period where that blog has taken a close look the report.

I started reading the report issued by the South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortions (via feministing). Unfortunately, I am unable to characterize for you what I've read so far; words fail me. So I will let one of the task force members do it for me:

Sen. Stan Adelstein, R-Rapid City, said he was upset that the report is filled with dishonest statements and is biased toward one religion....

"The report is theologically based, has patent untruths and misrepresentations, and no reasonable attention was paid to any amendments," the senator said.

Thats a republican talking by the way. Here's the original report, before the afterhours cuts were made, is available here:

The report is available online, courtesy feministing: South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortions. Please note that while this is the report adopted by the task force it is not the one presented to the legislature. This one contains all the info concerning Dr. Stanley K. Henshaw that has since been removed.

Abortion Task Force chair disappointed with final report, process

Several of the task force members, including those who support abortion rights, walked out of Friday's meeting before the final vote. They said the majority rejected proposals that could reduce abortions by reducing the number of unintended pregnancies in South Dakota.

It seems that the task force was dominated by such extremist elements that even anti-choice members walked out of the report approval meeting. The anti-choice chairwoman, Dr. Marty Allison, who remained in the meeting in order to vote against the report adoption, had this to say:

"The final report was authored by a few people on the task force, and it is less than completely objective and factual. It is biased and opinionated," said Dr. Marty Allison of Pierre.

:::snip:::

"Even though I'm pro-life and it's a pro-life report, I couldn't support the entire document because of those reasons," Allison told The Associated Press.

"The process through which we came to the final report, through our meetings we had, I was disappointed with that. It's not reflective of all the information we spent so much time gathering," the physician said.

:::snip:::

"The mentality of the task force was really an us-against-them mentality - pro-life, pro-choice," Allison said.

Allison said she believes the task force should have approved a proposal requiring the report to include only rigorous scientific research that is accepted by the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American College of Gynecology and other professional organizations.

Well Tammy, where's your lofty scientific standards? Turns out real scientific standards were conveniently not adopted and not adhered to. According to the head of the task force the "facts" you attempt to fluff in this thread might not be accepted as "fact" using the standards and methods of fact gathering which American professional health-care organizations have adopted as their guides in fact determination.

Evidently the report contains enough bogus faith-based "scientific" evidence to offend even the anti-choice chairperson!!!!!! Of course there was some outstanding testimony given. One example is that of Lynn Paltrow, Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW). It goes without saying it was completely ignored by those on the committee with the moralistic agenda.

Paltrow offered a grim assessment of the harm that “pro-life� legislation has done in the name of “protecting� the “unborn.� She outlined three actual cases in which hospitals successfully advocated for a cesarean section over the objections of pregnant women and their families by using the anti-abortion argument that fetuses are separate legal persons with independent rights.

The first case ends tragically, with the death of the mother and the fetus; in the second, the forced surgery turns out not to have been necessary; and the couple in the third scenario — devout Christians who are expecting their seventh child — leave the hospital that is trying to force a cesarean section on the mother and successfully have their baby elsewhere, through vaginal delivery.

Having eviscerated the argument that “pro-life� policies support the health, well-being, and autonomy of women who want to carry their pregnancies to term, Paltrow turns to the larger task of outlining genuine protections and supports for pregnant and parenting women.

But there’s just one small problem: the South Dakota legislature, despite its alleged interest in the health and welfare of women and their children, has never convened a task force to explore any of the issues she raises, let alone approved any of the measures she suggests.

This, of course, is Paltrow’s point.

“The leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths in American today is murder,� Paltrow coolly informs the SDTFSA. Perhaps “a Task Force to examine why men commit violence against women…would reflect true valuing of mothers, pregnant women and their families, and life itself.�

Lynn M. Paltrow's testimony in its entirety may be found here: Testimony To The South Dakota Task Force To Study Abortion. I urge all of you to read it.

now "here's a thought" for you tammy. go sling your monkeyshit up against the cage walls on someone else's blog. your propaganda won't fly here. i told you once already. we're not stupid chicks.

bayprairie's picture
Posted by bayprairie on 2 April 2006 - 12:53pm
Just as I would expect ..

How convenient of you to leave out or ::snip:: certain portions of her statement to suit your purpose here. For example, you ?forgot? to include this part:

Allison said she agrees with the report's call for a ban on abortion, with further restrictions on abortion in South Dakota until a ban can be accomplished.

In fact, her argument/upset wasn't at all about the ban on abortion itself, as she supported it - but rather the task force not addressing other issues, such as

such as improving schools' sex education programs, including education on abstinence, Allison said. The report also should have addressed ideas for reducing unintended pregnancies and whether some exceptions should be included in a ban on abortion, she said.

And of course she would be upset -- the task force found that "an examination of the facts supported by virtually all of the credible evidence, compels the opposite conclusion" to she and Kate Looby's claims that abortions in South Dakota are "voluntary" and "informed". When in fact, through OVERWHELMING testimony by real women who have actually 'been there, done that' - the decisions to abort are done so uninformed and that there are many pressures and coercive forces and elements that render most abortions truly voluntary. Simply put - she didn't offer anything that was truly believable or anything solid to substantiate her claims. As a matter of fact, Planned Parenthood was pretty well exposed to the bare bones with their failure to properly inform women who come to them for "help" on anything that was about to happen to them and they flat out admitted that they would "refuse to answer" any woman who asked them straight up if there was a human life growing inside of them.

Furthermore, based upon admissions by Dr. Ball, Ms. Looby and the agents of Planned Parenthood, the abortion providers make misrepresentations of fact to women. For criminy's sake - they even try scare tactics to convince women to have abortions! They cite statistics from the CDC such as: "The risk of dying from a full-term pregnancy and childbirth is at least seven times greater than that from early abortion." These statistics were found to be FALSE and very dangerous for women to rely upon. The CDC statistics are NOT a reliable basis for determining death rates due to women and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has expressly stated that their statistics should NOT be used for that purpose. Yet Planned Parenthood does it anyway.

Go figure. Whatever it takes to make another buck.

Tammy's picture
Posted by Tammy (not verified) on 2 April 2006 - 2:18pm
who cares a whit for what you expect?

tammy, don't you see? you're simply further reinforcing my point. the very fact that the head of the task force holds anti-choice views, but isn't unethical, doesn't negate the illicit fact cookery. it proves how unethical the "facts" used in the report truly were. even anti-choicers, who're otherwise believers in fairness and factuality and are professionals, couldnt stand the outrageousness of the fact-fudging...they must stink to bog's high heaven! that's how bad your task force was tammy. it wasn't a task force...

...it was a task farce.

quit trying to sell it as being otherwise. nobody's buying.

as far as my :::snippage::: i cut that piece "to fit" several months ago for this post:

Reproductive Rights, Week in Review, Dec. 11-17

because its unethical for a blogger to run entire news stories from other sources. guess you don't blog much though, do you? or perhaps your simpy ill-informed or accusatory. i hope you don't flatter yourself in thinking i'm somehow shading the truth just for an argument with you. you're worth little of my precious time and IMHO are probably beyond all logic ensconced in a world of magical belief.

put up or shut up time.

you say:

based upon admissions by Dr. Ball, Ms. Looby and the agents of Planned Parenthood, the abortion providers make misrepresentations of fact to women. For criminy's sake - they even try scare tactics to convince women to have abortions! They cite statistics from the CDC such as: "The risk of dying from a full-term pregnancy and childbirth is at least seven times greater than that from early abortion." These statistics were found to be FALSE and very dangerous for women to rely upon.

thats an inoperative statement tammy. 7 times is actually low too. some organizations rate the risks of live birth as opposed to surgical abortion as being 11 times greater, overall. From Induced Abortion in the United States (note: I have intentionally used the respected guttmacher institute for my cite, an institute all sides in the culture war use, both pro-choice and anti-choice. I do so in a comical sense, that i hope people realize is linked to the way the task farce of south dakota dismissed guttmacher's rather inconvienent facts and then had to rewrite the references to guttmacher on the sly after adoption for reasons that are only known to them!!!!)

The risk of death associated with abortion increases with the length of pregnancy, from 1 death for every one million abortions at 8 or fewer weeks to 1 per 29,000 at 16-20 weeks and 1 per 11,000 at 21 or more weeks.[25]

The risk of death associated with childbirth is about 11 times as high as that associated with abortion.[26]

:::snip:::

25. Bartlett LA et al., Risk factors for legal induced abortion-related mortality in the United States, 2004, Obstetrics and Gynecology, 103(4):729-737.

26. Ibid.

go sling your innaccurate monkeyshit elsewhere, tammy. i told you twice already. we're not stupid chicks. nobody is buying your arguments. you want to play logic with us you have to bring a few real facts with you, not peter pan, invisible-friend beliefs masquerading as fact.

bayprairie's picture
Posted by bayprairie on 2 April 2006 - 4:42pm
oh come on tammy...you can't be serious

you really think that the dedicated women and men who work at Planned Parenthood and other medical offices and organizations that provide abortions are in it for the bucks? they put up with the harrassment, death threats, and abuse because it makes them rich? believe me, it doesn't. there are much easier ways to get rich. and do you think any one of those doctors, nurses, support staff, and security guards have a vested interest in whether a woman has an abortion or not, such a vested interest that they would lie to or mislead a woman into having one? get serious. the only women who get abortions are women who want them. period.

and if you are going to rely on that south dakota task force report for any argument to the contrary, you will have no credibility whatsoever. Bayprairie and others have done a lot of research into that so-called "report". it was nothing but a radical anti-choice manifesto written with complete disregard of the facts. it was so full of distortions and lies that even anti-choice activists had to disassociate themselves from it.

and if you want to talk about distortions and lies, go to a CPC some time. Or check this out

artemisia's picture
Posted by artemisia on 3 April 2006 - 2:05pm
Well, bless your heart

Downthread you mention "the reality of abortion." I've forgotten more about the reality of abortion since I got up this morning than most people ever know, and if you thought that this warmed-over tripe was worth typing, then all that's left to say is that the quality of troll posts around here has fallen off to a lamentable degree.

And even that is a more considered response than such silliness deserves.

moiv's picture
Posted by moiv on 2 April 2006 - 2:28pm
Done.

campaign to repeal HB 1215 and to elect non-insane legislators is going to have to deal with a huge amount of misinformation, much of it coming out of churches that take their lead on political issues from the Family Policy Council and other groups like that.

As much as I wish we South Dakotans could hash this out among ourselves, I'm realistic enough to know that it won't work that way. We need money and time from people who care about this issue.

I am also against interfering w/ out-of-state issues, but you and others make compelling arguments about a well-funded opposition spreading misinformation. Hope this helps to air all sides so that South Dakotans can make an informed decision come ballot time. As it stands now, although I'm far away, I hear more from Leslee Unruh than anyone else from your state on this issue.

dblhelix's picture
Posted by dblhelix (not verified) on 2 April 2006 - 1:35pm
Distortion

It is really starting to get frustrating to see how the facts on this issue continue to be so distorted.

This is NOT an attack against women's rights! It is about protecting human life - period!

The killing of any human being has been outlawed in this state/nation for years - right down to people being held responsible for “accidentally� killing someone! For that matter - anyone who ends the life of an unborn child by way of automobile accident (such as in drunk driving cases) or any other indirect way such as by killing the pregnant mother is held accountable and is typically charged with at minimum - manslaughter. In cases such as this, the unborn child all the sudden is considered a “human being� and is “allowed� a “right� to life, yet it’s acceptable for a woman to deny that right if it interferes in her own life and she should be allowed to end it? Hell of a contradiction, pro-choicers!

My guess is that the majority of people who support abortion are hung up in the “right to choose� issue more than the reality of abortion.

Tammy's picture
Posted by Tammy (not verified) on 1 April 2006 - 12:05pm
I agree that it's

I agree that it's frustrating to see the facts on this issue being distorted. It's frustrating to me to see legislators telling newspapers throughout the state that there really IS an exception for rape and incest in HB 1215 when there isn't. It's frustrating for me to see Elizabeth Kraus and people of her ilk talk about emergency contraception like it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, when two months ago in Pierre they were bemoaning how awful it is that rape victims who know about the drug might kill their babies by taking a dose of EC, and how EC promotes promiscuity and any number of other social ills.

That's pretty frustrating to me. It's pretty frustrating to see you people backtrack now that you see the effect of what you've done. It's frustrating that you have to lie and run away from the bill you supported.

anna's picture
Posted by anna (not verified) on 1 April 2006 - 1:25pm
Facts Only, Please
It's frustrating to me to see legislators telling newspapers throughout the state that there really IS an exception for rape and incest in HB 1215 when there isn't.

Read Section 3 of HB 1215

Section 3. That chapter 22-17 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:

Nothing in section 2 of this Act may be construed to prohibit the sale, use, prescription, or administration of a contraceptive measure, drug or chemical, if it is administered prior to the time when a pregnancy could be determined through conventional medical testing and if the contraceptive measure is sold, used, prescribed, or administered in accordance with manufacturer instructions.

It is not illegal, nor is it "not" available when/if a woman and/or her doctor "choose" to use it.

Tammy's picture
Posted by Tammy (not verified) on 2 April 2006 - 11:07am
I am not talking about

I am not talking about contraception, I am talking about abortion. Abortion for victims of rape and incest is illegal under this law. You have a hard time admitting that because you know most people in South Dakota don't want a law like that.

Anna's picture
Posted by Anna (not verified) on 2 April 2006 - 2:19pm
Admitting what?
Abortion for victims of rape and incest is illegal under this law.

Abortions that slaughter a human life after it is known to be in existence are illegal, yes - taking precautionary measures after rape or incest and before it is known to have resulted in pregnancy is not illegal. That being said, it's rather ridiculous to even consider such a thing since only 0.1% of all abortions are performed due to pregnancy resulting from rape or incest and in doing so, it would only open the door to every woman wanting an abortion to all the sudden become temporary rape victims. Understand that I am the mother of a child who at the age of 16 was raped - luckily I was informed enough to make sure she got appropriate help and the support she needed - she was given excellent medical care, she was given EC (her choice), her victimization was reported to the proper authorities and her violator was held accountable for his actions. That being said, I would never, EVER deny a woman who has been raped that right to having an option, but let's be honest here, there would be a real potential for [some] women who clearly for social reasons do not want to be pregnant to abuse this outlet and it would be a HUGE violation - a real slap in the face to those women who truly are raped and are victims to incest. A line has to be drawn somewhere.

Most people in South Dakota want laws that are based on reality and that are necessary to protect themselves and their families. Because of money-grubbing agencies like Planned Parenthood whose main objective is to make $$ rather than actually "help" women in distress over pregnancy by presenting false and misleading information to South Dakotans, they [South Dakotans] are being victimized and don't even realize it.

Tammy's picture
Posted by Tammy (not verified) on 2 April 2006 - 2:51pm
Why should YOU draw that line?

If you admit that women who've been raped should be able to abort any resulting pregnancy, then you're admitting that there are good reasons for abortion.

So why do you decide what those good reasons are? Who are you to decide? If you don't want to abort a pregnancy, then don't. Nobody's forcing you to do anything.

But you want to force women to bear pregnancies to term. That is slavery, plain and simple.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 2 April 2006 - 5:51pm
So you oppose HB 1215.

So you oppose HB 1215. Would you like to sign my referendum petition?

Anna's picture
Posted by Anna (not verified) on 2 April 2006 - 7:37pm
You got one part right
yet it’s acceptable for a woman to deny that right if it interferes in her own life and she should be allowed to end it?

Absolutely. After all, it's the woman's life, not yours. It's her body, not yours. It's her decision, not yours.

If you're really against abortion, then why not push for universal access to birth control to help prevent unintended pregnancy, universal access to prenatal healthcare to help reduce risks and complications during pregnancy that might force a choice of aborting that pregnancy, and universal access to sex education to teach teens that there are alternatives to just hoping it never happens?

Laws such as this one accomplish nothing. Countries with outright bans on abortions have thriving black-market healthcare industries providing pregnancy abortion services. AND they have the highest rates for women dying during pregnancy and childbirth.

Really, you spit out the word "life" an awful lot, but it doesn't seem like you really mean it.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 1 April 2006 - 6:29pm
Exactly My Point
If you're really against abortion, then why not push for universal access to birth control to help prevent unintended pregnancy, universal access to prenatal healthcare to help reduce risks and complications during pregnancy that might force a choice of aborting that pregnancy, and universal access to sex education to teach teens that there are alternatives to just hoping it never happens?

This is EXACTLY what I mean by facts being distorted. Apparently, you haven't checked your facts:

Service Availability

In South Dakota, 69 publicly funded family planning clinics provide contraceptive care to 22,950 women—including 6,990 sexually active teenagers.

Family planning clinics in South Dakota serve 48% of all women in need of publicly supported contraceptive services and 51% of teenagers in need.

70% of counties in South Dakota have at least one family planning clinic.

Funding for Publicly Supported Services

In 2001, the federal and state governments together spent $1,723,000 in South Dakota on contraceptive services and supplies. Of this amount, 24% was allocated to contraceptive services at the state’s discretion. (The funds came from either state revenues or federal dollars under the state’s control.) The remainder came from the federal government.

In South Dakota, $37 was spent on contraceptive services and supplies per woman in need (adjusted for the cost of health care in the state).

Impact of Publicly Supported Services

Publicly funded family planning clinics in South Dakota help women prevent 5,300 unintended pregnancies each year.

Every public dollar spent on family planning services saves the federal and state governments three dollars in Medicaid costs for prenatal and newborn care.

The Key Role of Title X

Title X of the Public Health Service Act, the only federal program devoted solely to the provision of publicly supported family planning services, supports 45 family planning clinics in South Dakota. These clinics serve 15,970 women, including 5,060 teenagers.

Title X–supported clinics in South Dakota help women avert 3,700 unintended pregnancies each year.

Source: "Contraception Counts"

Tammy's picture
Posted by Tammy (not verified) on 2 April 2006 - 10:45am
Going off your talking points, it seems

You're not supposed to support contraception. Don't you know that?

I wouldn't exactly be proud of a less-than-50% coverage rate. Seems like there's a problem there.

How was all that money spent? How much of it went into sex education? How much of it went into realistic and effective programs?

I'm delighted to claim to support contraception, but your movement as a whole is stridently opposed to contraception -- as well as effective cancer vaccines. The right wing is really pretty damn fucked up in its dogma, and that is why I don't believe a thing you say. You've made your bed. Now YOU can lie in it, and leave everyone else alone, because whatever you're selling, we're not buying.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 2 April 2006 - 5:56pm