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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

CONTACT:

NAF Communications Department
202-667-5881

The National Abortion Federation Condemns Unconstitutional South Dakota Abortion Ban

Washington, DC - Reacting to today's action by the South Dakota Senate that would ban almost all abortions in the state, Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation, called the move "an outrageous and dangerous step backward for women's lives and health." The bill, already passed in the South Dakota House, disregards established legal precedent regarding abortion and aims to become the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the country. The measure now goes back to the House of Representatives for procedural purposes and then to Governor Mike Rounds for approval.

"South Dakota women deserve better than this," said Saporta. "South Dakota legislators have put politics ahead of the well-being of the state's women. They have passed a bill that is unconstitutional and endangers women's lives and health."

House bill 1215 would prohibit all safe abortion procedures at all stages of pregnancy and contains only a limited exception for the life of the woman. The bill would force women in South Dakota to carry a pregnancy to term even if it jeopardizes their health or if it is the result of rape or incest.

"Not only does this dangerous bill not contain an exception for rape and incest, but it also does not contain a constitutionally required health exception. We fully expect that the courts will recognize how far outside of established precedent this bill is and will strike it down.

"For more than 30 years, Roe v. Wade has protected the lives and health of American women. There is too much at stake to allow the South Dakota legislature to deny women safe and legal access to reproductive health care services. The citizens of South Dakota will not tolerate a return to the days of back-alley abortions when a woman had to sacrifice her life and health to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

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The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers in the United States and Canada. Our mission is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care to promote health and justice for women. Our members include health care professionals at clinics, doctors' offices, and hospitals, who together care for more than half the women in both countries who choose abortion each year. For more information, visit our website at www.prochoice.org

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