The historic South Dakota law that ends abortion on demand is described in its opening paragraph as “An Act to … reinstate the prohibition against certain acts causing the termination of an unborn human life. …”

By the passage of this bill, artfully crafted by a bipartisan majority of the South Dakota Legislature and signed by Gov. Mike Rounds, we have the hope of beginning to reverse a tragic epoch in the way we treat women and babies.

The Legislature acted on the twin findings of a task force that found irrefutable scientific proof that abortion hurts women and life begins at conception. In passing this bill, the Legislature sought to protect women and save the lives of hundreds of children every year. The good citizens of South Dakota will have the opportunity to ratify the legislation in November by voting “yes” on Referred Law 6.

While this seems on the surface simply to be the right thing to do, those who profit from abortion, such as Planned Parenthood, are directing their formidable national resources against the success of the effort. Their strategy seems to be to confuse and frighten the voters. But South Dakotans are not easily manipulated.

One thing that the opponents of the legislation will not admit to is that there are limited exceptions for abortion in instances of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. This means that abortion will no longer be used as a method of birth control, which most people object to. Instead, it will be used only in situations where women have been the victim of abuse or are at risk of losing their lives. Once South Dakotans know this, they will overwhelmingly vote yes for life.

Hollywood elites such as Jane Fonda and Robin Williams have given money to “enlighten” the heartland about the virtues of abortion. Groups such as the National Organization for Women are working in South Dakota to reverse the ban. One wonders why leading feminists support an act that so harms women and makes them more subject to exploitation by men. Where are the real women’s advocates when you need them?

In a more tragic act of misguided morality, a small group of South Dakota ministers recently weighed in at a press conference. These ministers are supposed to represent Christ in South Dakota, yet they argued that protecting women from exploitation and saving the lives of babies is not a simple matter of right and wrong. I am sure that many of their parishioners were shocked to see their ministers echoing the Planned Parenthood position. Thank God for the hundreds of faithful ministers in South Dakota who have endorsed the campaign.

What the South Dakota Legislature did is not radical. The Legislature is standing in our great historic Western legal tradition. It was paganism, like that in ancient Rome, that practiced abortion on demand. This was always rejected throughout history wherever Christian values were followed.

Christ honored women and did more to exalt women than anyone in history. We must also seek to protect them from sexual exploitation, including abortion. Christ valued children and tenderly blessed them. We, too, must love them into the world, because all life is created in the image of God.

This is the hope we have from the heartland – the simple, common decency that South Dakotans have always exhibited. There is no confusion here – only the hope of the end of this most egregious exploitation of women and loss of precious human life. For the sake of women and babies, I urge a “yes” vote on Referred Law 6.

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