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Petition likely to nullify South Dakota abortion ban

Published: Tuesday May 30, 2006

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A petition to repeal the South Dakota abortion ban is due to be filed today, with organizers claiming that nearly 38,000 signatures have been collected.

Under South Dakot law, just 16,728 of those signatures need to be valid in order to nullify implementation of the ban until after it goes before voters in the November election. The law was set to go into effect July 1.

At press events in seven communities, supporters of the repeal touted the strength of their efforts, boasting that all of the petition's 1,200 signature-gathering volunteers from 138 towns were unpaid volunteers.

"While the South Dakota legislature refused to let voters have their say on this important issue, we will offer them that chance," said Dr. Maria Bell, the official sponsor of the petition drive.

The South Dakota ban was widely seen as a post-Roberts/Alito challenge to Roe V. Wade, making no exceptions for rape, incest, or a mother's health, save death.