The BBC interviewed the woman who campaigned to get this legislation passed. She very pointedly stated that there were no exclusions for rape or incest by design. Her response to the question of why she had agitated for such a law with such provisions was to say that a rapist or incestuous man should be punished, but not a fetus.
I've found a couple of BBC stories on this topic, but have been unable to find a link to that interview. It was broadcast last night on the BBC World international television news service--maybe someone else would have better luck finding it.
Having said all that, this decision seem to be odd. Unlike the gay marriage thing, the question has been settled in Roe vs. Wade and I don't see how a state can just ban abortions merely because enough people want to in their state.
Does the same thing apply here?
Given that rape and incest were not mentioned as exclusions, I doubt this law will stand.
I'm of the opinion -- correct me if I'm wrong -- that a subjurisdiction (like a state) can pass a stricter law than the federal one, but not a looser interpretation.
When my brother was in college the students in town outnumbered the residents, and voted to completely legalize marijuana. That lasted about two days, as the town was informed that the stricter state law would take precedence... Does the same thing apply here?
The appellee and certain amici argue that the fetus is a "person" within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. In support of this, they outline at length and in detail the well-known facts of fetal development. If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment. The appellant conceded as much on reargument. 51 On the other hand, the appellee conceded on reargument 52 that no case could be cited that holds that a fetus is a person within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The Constitution does not define "person" in so many words. Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment contains three references to "person." The first, in defining "citizens," speaks of "persons born or naturalized in the United States." The word also appears both in the Due Process Clause and in the Equal Protection Clause. "Person" is used in other places in the Constitution: in the listing of qualifications for Representatives and Senators, Art. I, 2, cl. 2, and 3, cl. 3; in the Apportionment Clause, Art. I, 2, cl. 3; 53 in the Migration and Importation provision, Art. I, 9, cl. 1; in the Emolument Clause, Art. I, 9, cl. 8; in the Electors provisions, Art. II, 1, cl. 2, and the superseded cl. 3; in the provision outlining qualifications for the office of President, Art. II, 1, cl. 5; in the Extradition provisions, Art. IV, 2, cl. 2, and the superseded Fugitive Slave Clause 3; and in the Fifth, Twelfth, and Twenty-second Amendments, as well as in 2 and 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. But in nearly all these instances, the use of the word is such that it has application only postnatally. None indicates, with any assurance, that it has any possible pre-natal application. 54 [410 U.S. 113, 158]
All this, together with our observation, supra, that throughout the major portion of the 19th century prevailing legal abortion practices were far freer than they are today, persuades us that the word "person," as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn. 55 This is in accord with the results reached in those few cases where the issue has been squarely presented. McGarvey v. Magee-Womens Hospital, 340 F. Supp. 751 (WD Pa. 1972); Byrn v. New York City Health & Hospitals Corp., 31 N. Y. 2d 194, 286 N. E. 2d 887 (1972), appeal docketed, No. 72-434; Abele v. Markle, 351 F. Supp. 224 (Conn. 1972), appeal docketed, No. 72-730. Cf. Cheaney v. State, ___ Ind., at ___, 285 N. E. 2d, at 270; Montana v. Rogers, 278 F.2d 68, 72 (CA7 1960), aff'd sub nom. Montana v. Kennedy, 366 U.S. 308 (1961); Keeler v. Superior Court, 2 Cal. 3d 619, 470 P.2d 617 (1970); State v. Dickinson, 28 [410 U.S. 113, 159] Ohio St. 2d 65, 275 N. E. 2d 599 (1971). Indeed, our decision in United States v. Vuitch, 402 U.S. 62 (1971), inferentially is to the same effect, for we there would not have indulged in statutory interpretation favorable to abortion in specified circumstances if the necessary consequence was the termination of life entitled to Fourteenth Amendment protection. . . .
. . . In areas other than criminal abortion, the law has been reluctant to endorse any theory that life, as we recognize it, begins before live birth or to accord legal rights to the unborn except in narrowly defined situations and except when the rights are contingent upon live birth. For example, the traditional rule of tort law denied recovery for prenatal injuries even though the child was born alive. 63 That rule has been changed in almost every jurisdiction. In most States, recovery is said to be permitted only if the fetus was viable, or at least quick, when the injuries were sustained, though few [410 U.S. 113, 162] courts have squarely so held. 64 In a recent development, generally opposed by the commentators, some States permit the parents of a stillborn child to maintain an action for wrongful death because of prenatal injuries. 65 Such an action, however, would appear to be one to vindicate the parents' interest and is thus consistent with the view that the fetus, at most, represents only the potentiality of life. Similarly, unborn children have been recognized as acquiring rights or interests by way of inheritance or other devolution of property, and have been represented by guardians ad litem. 66 Perfection of the interests involved, again, has generally been contingent upon live birth. In short, the unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense.
In view of all this, we do not agree that, by adopting one theory of life, Texas may override the rights of the pregnant woman that are at stake. . . .
A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 55% of Americans believe abortion is morally wrong most of the time. Just 32% disagree. Americans under 50 are a bit more likely than their elders to believe that abortion is morally wrong.
The Rasmussen Reports survey found that 47% of Americans believe it is too easy for a woman to get an abortion in the United States. Twenty-one percent (21%) say it is too hard, while 21% say the balance is about right.
Among those who believe abortion is morally wrong most of the time, 74% believe it is too easy for a woman to get an abortion.
Among those who say abortion is morally acceptable, 49% believe it is too hard for a woman to get an abortion.
The fact that a solid plurality of Americans believe it is too easy for a woman to get an abortion helps explain the strong public support for legislation mandating waiting periods before an abortion and other limitations that stop short of an outright ban on the procedure.
I guess a follow up question could be "If YOU were made pregnant by a rapist or your Brother, how would you feel then?"
. . . The South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families said it had obtained more than 38,000 signatures on a petition aimed at repealing the abortion ban signed into law by Gov. Mike Rounds March 6.
The petition was filed Tuesday afternoon with the secretary of state's office. If at least 16,728 signatures are certified as valid, the scheduled July 1 implementation of the ban would be nullified and voters would be allowed to decide the issue in a November election. . . .
"The people of South Dakota ... do not support this extreme ban," said Jan Nicolay, a former Republican state representative and co-chair of the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families.
But Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League, a national anti-abortion organization, said his group and others already had started campaigning to keep the abortion ban alive, holding forums and distributing literature throughout the state.
"We have been fighting for just this sort of law for 26 years," Sedlak said. "It (the repeal effort) will be soundly defeated."
The ban's supporters have said they want the law to be challenged in court so it can make its way to a more conservative U.S. Supreme Court. They hope the law will help overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a woman's right to an abortion. . . .
I can smell a troll...