David Bereit, of American Life League
Pro-abortion forces are converging on the bucolic state of South Dakota in unprecedented waves because they know that when voters go to the polls on Nov. 7, their future will be at stake, organizers on both sides of the critical life battle say.
“The next few decades in America are going to be shaped by what happens in South Dakota,” David Bereit, a spokesman for the American Life League, told WND this week. “They (pro-abortion forces) know what’s at stake, this is their ground zero. They realize this is going to be the fight that shapes what happens next.
“Unfortunately, I don’t think as many Christians have recognized that yet.”
He was talking about the election in which voters will decide whether to affirm or reject their state Legislature’s ban on abortion. Approved by lawmakers and signed by the governor last winter, it immediately was challenged by Planned Parenthood, the abortion industry’s largest operator nationwide with $272 million in income from taxpayers this year and the sole provider of abortions in the state.
South Dakota Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth, a prominent abortion supporter, told others during a strategy-planning telephone conference call with Planned Parenthood and others recently that it is important for the pro-abortion movement to win in South Dakota.
U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth, D-S.D.
Herseth, a Democrat picked by the same voters who just a few years ago threw Senate Majority Leader Tom Dashle, another Democrat, out of office, said the new law just “forces one narrow set of opinions on others,” and she fears that “red states” like South Dakota would not continue to allow abortions when Roe vs. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court opinion striking down state abortion limits, is overturned.
Bereit said the battle’s importance is obvious. Planned Parenthood on a recent weekend held 220 fundraisers around the nation just for money to be poured into its campaign in South Dakota.
He said the pro-abortion forces are planning an $8 million flood of campaign ads to try to convince residents to reject the ban.
South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, the group seeking to destroy the ban on abortions, has a TV ad calling for people to “honor and protect human life, reduce the number of abortions.” But it also says the ban “just goes too far.”
“This really is a David and Goliath story,” Bereit, a motivational speaker, told WND. “There are 775,000 people in South Dakota and they are standing up against the Goliath of the abortion industry.”
“This is the first complete abortion ban passed in America since Roe vs. Wade,” said Bereit. “This is exactly what pro-lifers have been working for for 33 years plus.”
Lawmakers in the plains state did their homework before approving the law, researching and attaching to the legislation a 72-page report with interviews from dozens of life experts, documentation of medical technology, the effects of abortion on America and vast resources of other information.
That means if the ban would end up in a court challenge, that information would be entered into the court record, since it was attached to the original legislation.
The longterm goal goes way beyond overturning Roe vs. Wade, Bereit said, because that would simply lift federal restrictions on abortion limits, and turn that responsibility back to the states.
Those states, he said, already are watching.
“We are aware of at least a dozen states waiting to see the outcome of the Nov. 7 election. If this law is upheld, (activists in those states) are prepared to launch similar abortion bans,” Bereit said.
“South Dakota is a state with a small population but they’ve set the stage, they’ve raised the bar, set the gold standard for anti-abortion legislation,” he added.
“There’s a tremendous amount at stake in the vote in South Dakota.”
No longer are people willing to wait for someone else – whether it be Congress or the courts – the determine the status of abortion.
There already are people on the ground in South Dakota reviewing its actions and advances, determining what to use in their own states, he said.
Even with the $8 million poured into the campaign by Planned Parenthood and its interests – against the $85,000 donations reported by those supporting the abortion ban – the issue still is a statistical tie in recent polls.
“We are calling on people to pray, go out and volunteer, and raise money to send to South Dakota,” said Bereit, who recently returned from meetings in both Washington and Oregon where not only was support raised for pro-life South Dakotans but there also was interest generated in duplicate efforts.
Alan Keyes, a former Reagan administration official and 2000 Republican presidential candidate, has weighed in on the side of affirming the ban, noting that the original decision that created a federal “right” to abortion itself notes the possibility of its own downfall.
That 1973 opinion by Justice Harry Blackmun said the core of the original argument was whether a baby unborn is a “person” or not. If such a designation is achieved, Blackmun noted, the “right” to abortion collapses because “the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment.”
What Blackmun failed to acknowledge, Keyes writes, is that the U.S. Constitution specifically notes that the final and ultimate objective of the people in establishing the Constitution is “to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”
“The word ‘posterity’ in both general and legal parlance, includes reference to those who will come after us, those who have not yet been conceived, much less born,” Keyes noted.
“This means that in its very statement of purpose, the Constitution acknowledges the standard of God’s will, and requires an interpretation that prefers, in our use of liberty, results that secure His favor,” he wrote.
“The governor and Legislature of South Dakota have acted courageously on this obligation. Even if the courts decide against them, we the people should remember that the final judgment is our responsibility,” he said.
“The Founding Fathers would be enraged to learn that the Constitution they wrote has been twisted to disgracefully assert that it guarantees a right to kill innocent unborn children at will,” added Congressman Trent Franks.
“Our true heritage as Americans is breathtaking in its simplicity. We are not born equal. We do not become equal when we reach a certain stage of development or age or status. All human beings are created equal,” he said.
Bob Ellis, editor of the Dakota Voice, said the fight was simple: it’s over retroactive birth control.
“In an October 10 piece in the Washington Times entitled ‘Giving Up Too Much on Choice,’ Ruth Marcus has provided one of those rare moments of candor from the Left. After she goes on a while about how ‘chilling’ and extreme the ban is, she then cuts to the chase:” Ellis wrote.
“‘Why does this matter? Because contraceptives fail – and not only in ways that can be remedied by resorting to emergency contraception.’ That’s what it’s really about: retroactive birth control,” Ellis said.
“Pro-life folks draw the line at killing another human being to achieve their goals of a bigger home, more income, a college degree, a career. Pro-life folks believe that the right to simply LIVE trumps the right to all the nice things another’s life might interfere with. More money we can live without; more education we can live without; a bigger home or a new boat we can live with; LIFE … we can’t live without.”
The VoteYesForLife.com website supporting the abortion ban is simply presenting the stories of real people with real situations.
One is Kayla, who had an abortion several years ago. She recalls the procedure being over. “I lifted my head up and watched as the doctor took a silver metal basin, looked down into it, and sloshed around the remains of my child. ‘What did she see?’ I wondered. ‘Did she see my child there?’ … I wanted to scream, but my mouth couldn’t move. I wanted to cry, but my tears would not flow… yet. I wanted to go back – reverse everything I had just done. But I couldn’t go back.”
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