South Dakota's Republican-dominated House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday that would outlaw abortion in the state if a woman's right to choose was no longer protected by the federal government. The bill, known as a “trigger statute” and sponsored by state Representative Joel Dykstra (R), would not offer exceptions for rape or incest or for the health of the woman, but only for the life of the woman, the Associated Press reports. The bill would make performing an abortion a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison.
An attempt to amend the bill to protect the health of the mother was voted down 45-25. Similarly, an attempt to make abortion legal in the event of rape or incest also failed, 46-24. According to the Associated Press, Representative Elizabeth Kraus (R) compared being raped to having an abortion, saying that “In a sexual rape, a woman is robbed of her purity. In this medical rape, she is robbed of her maternity.”
The South Dakota legislature has also recently considered two other anti-choice bills. On Monday, a bill that would ban abortion unless the woman’s life was in danger died in the state Senate’s State Affairs committee by a vote of 7-2. The other bill, which was approved by a Senate committee on Monday, would require parental notification within 24 hours of a minor having an emergency abortion, unless the minor could obtain a court order permitting confidentiality, the Associated Press reports. Under the current law, parental notification is not required for emergency abortions.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defundÂ Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).Â Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell asÂ out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of twoÂ heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .