Last updated on 2011.03.02
I started the day criticizing Rep. Lora Hubbel for introducing not one but two really ill-informed pieces of legislation. Let me end the day by praising another Sioux Falls legislator, Senator Angie Buhl, for showing the kind of courage that deserves particular respect, the courage to stand alone.
The South Dakota Senate today took up Senate Concurrent Resolution 1, which honors "pregnancy care centers." The resolution praises operations like Leslee Unruh's Alpha Center in Sioux Falls with lots of nice code words about being nonjudgmental, giving grief assistance, and protecting life. The resolution pointedly ignores the contributions of Planned Parenthood and other women's clinics around the country that provide much more honest and comprehensive support for women facing unplanned pregnancies.
The Senate voted for this resolution today almost unanimously. Almost. Senator Buhl cast the lone nay. She explains her vote and her disappointment with pro-choice colleagues who went along with this resolution on Dakota Women (in the process demonstrating how legislative blogging should be done: straightforward and fast).
Gut check: when's the last time you stood up in front of 33 people and told them they're all wrong?
Sure, it's just a resolution. It doesn't actually change anything. But that's one more reason to respect Senator Buhl. It would have been easy to vote aye, not make waves, go along to get along, knowing no practical impacts would follow. But Senator Buhl took the harder route. She stood out, stood alone, saying that no, pregnancy care centers aren't that great and don't deserve even a mild cheer and wave from our Senate floor.
Meanwhile, Senator Buhl is supporting Senate Bill 118, which does actual good for women and babies by expanding and funding Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women. Now that's real pro-life legislation.
Give Senator Buhl a call or a tweet, let her know she's doing the right things.