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Allen Unruh Flogs HB 1217 with Triple Truth Twist

No, it's not ice cream: it's propaganda from Allen Unruh. The Tea Party chiropractor takes to the opinion page of that Sioux Falls paper to make his own last-ditch pitch for Governor Daugaard to sign House Bill 1217, his cronies' attempt to give his wife the power to stop every abortion in South Dakota. Allen Unruh defends this poorly written bill with complete bushwah:

This bill does not outlaw abortion [Allen Unruh, "Abortion Bill Aims to Halt Coercion of Women," that Sioux Falls paper, 2011.03.21].

But Senator Russell Olson (R-8/Wentworth) has said this bill is about stopping abortions.

Its intent is to prevent women from uninformed and coerced abortions [Unruh, 2011.03.21].

But HB 1217 does not criminalize this awful coercion. It does not guarantee that women receive any more information than currently required under South Dakota law: women may walk into and out of a crisis pregnancy center without getting one word of advice. And even if the women do stick around, there is no guarantee that the unlicensed, uncertified, probably volunteer "counselors" at the CPCs will offer useful or even scientifically valid information. HB 1217 provides a select group of activists an opportunity to persuade, propagandize, and coerce women out of personal medical decisions.

Up to 64 percent of abortions are coerced against a woman's will [Unruh, 2011.03.21].

Unruh gives no citation for this wild statistic, but Google does.

Elliot Institute director David Reardon, co-authored a Medical Science Monitor study of American and Russian women with the 64 percent figure.

His new report, Forced Abortion in America, documents cases of violence against women who refused to have an abortion [Steven Ertelt, "New Report Exposes Forced Abortions, 64 Percent of Women Feel Pressure,", 2009.09.08].


  1. David Reardon admits he uses rhetoric, not rigorous science, to plant seeds of doubt. You cannot trust any "study" with his name on it.
  2. Reardon's work is the only study claiming this 64 percent figure.
  3. The 64 percent study appears in Medical Science Monitor, an online journal in which authors pay $950 to get published.
  4. Reardon, co-authoring here with two Rues and fellow anti-abortion B.S. artist Priscilla Coleman, looks at 331 Russian women and 217 American women.
  5. If you're going to believe the study, it finds American women reported feeling "pressured" by others. Only 37.2% of the Russian women reported feeling "pressured" by others.
  6. Russian women reported receiving more adequate counseling beforehand and lower incidence of self-reported stress following their abortions... this in a country where more women support the right to have an abortion and where abortion is a commonly accepted and easily accessible medical procedure. So it's not the abortion that causes the stress but the social stigma imposed by crusaders like the Unruhs.

In other words, the only source for Unruh's 64 percent coercion claim is horsehockey six ways to Sunday.

Good grief! And that's just one paragraph of Unruh's column! Three sentences, three B.S. flags... I'm afraid that's indicative of the quality of "information" women will get from Allen's wife in their state-mandated "counseling" sessions.

Dennis, veto!

Update 12:02 CDT: Oops. Guess not. Governor Daugaard signs HB 1217. The Governor himself contradicts Unruh and says the goal is "reducing abortion." Off to court we go.


  1. Roger Elgersma 2011.03.22

    My prochoice friends say that they want to reduce abortions also. This bill would probably reduce abortions.
    When Jesse Vavracek(sp) was running for legislature he said in a debate that he has met those women who have had an abortion and they go through great phsychological stress later. Why not let them know the facts from both sides so they do not make a decision that they regret later. Informed decisions are always better decisions than those made in panic in fear of someone finding out.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.03.22

    Roger, name me one other medical procedure where the state dictates that you will obtain not only information, but active dissuasion from opponents of the procedure you are considering.

  3. Decorum 2011.03.23

    How many men are forced to undergo counseling and a 72 hour waiting period before having their vas deferens snipped??

  4. Charlie Johnson 2011.03.23

    Why isn't the father(sperm donor) being asked to attend these sessions?

  5. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.03.23

    Why isn't the father being required to attend a session with me before he has sex with the woman so I can try to talk him out of it?

  6. Roger Elgersma 2011.03.23

    Definitely the father should be there also. In some cases he is coercing the woman. But he needs to be responsible also and it should be just as much his decision since it is his kid also. They can steal our children in divorce for no reason and kill our kids with abortion without our knowledge or consent. Women call that equal rights.

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