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Romkema and Johns Oppose Hansen’s Insult to Women; Expect HB 1237 Shouting in 2014

Expect the abortion banners to wage a hard campaign in District 31 in 2014. The Republican Representatives from Lawrence County, Fred Romkema and Tim Johns, once again demonstrated their good sense by voting against House Bill 1237, Rep. Jon Hansen's mean dig against the rights and sensibilities of women older than he to make their own health care decisions.

The anti-abortion grandstanders screamed deceitful "pro-abortion!" propaganda to defeat District 31's former Senator Tom Nelson last year. Romkema and Johns both seem smart and confident enough to ignore such hysteria.

But until we get some Democrats to run in Lawrence County, ladies and friends of ladies, it wouldn't hurt to give Rep. Romkema and Rep. Johns a call and thank them for their support.


  1. WayneB 2013.02.21

    Huh... wonder why Bernie Hunhoff voted for it...

  2. Rorschach 2013.02.21

    Over half of the Democrats voted for this bill. Gear up the lawsuits. This one is gonna pass & be signed by the Governor.

  3. Jana 2013.02.21

    Bernie? Want to weigh in on this one?

    Any other Dems who voted that women aren't smart enough to think on weekends want to weigh in?

    I think I understand the scorched earth shrieking Republicans...they don't seem to think much of women and politics has always been more important than good policy.

    But I'm having a hard time understanding why Democrats would vote for such a demeaning and vindictive law.

  4. Ellen 2013.02.21

    Don't forget to thank Rep. Wink and Rep. May! Only 8 dems voted against the bill, ridiculous!

  5. Joan 2013.02.21

    Apparently it is a bunch of sheep following each other in our State House. Pathetic.

  6. Bernie 2013.02.21

    I was directed to these comments, and am happy to share my thinking. I believe we all share the philosophy that an abortion is not a happy situation, and that fewer abortions should be the goal of society. So I am interested in legislation that provides an opportunity to reduce abortions, within the parameters allowed by federal law and court rulings.

    There does appear to be correlation between reasonable restrictions, including waiting periods, and fewer abortions, as observed in this NY Times article:

    There are wonderful people on all sides of this torturous issue. When abortion proposals come before the legislature, I simply try to evaluate them to see if they are reasonable, workable, constitutional, etc. I certainly don't pretend to know all/any of the answers here.

    I don't rubber stamp bills from either the pro or con side on this issue. I just try to study them and determine how they might play out in life. I'm not saying i can do that any better than you or anyone else, but I don't know how else to make these life-changing decisions.

  7. Dana P 2013.02.21

    Sooooooo.. Now the Dems in this state don't support the constitutional rights of women? Seriously? Please tell me that this is a joke?

    Mr Hunhoff with all due respect... Nobody on either side of this issue "likes" abortion and I am sure that everyone wants to reduce the amount of abortions that occur. However, reducing abortions has not a darn thing to do with the constitution and women's freedoms to make decisions about their reproductive rights. Your support for this bill is saying exactly that! Now even the Dems in this state don't trust women to make their own decisions!!

    Heading now to unsubscribe my email from the SD Dems list. I have no time for folks that lay down flat as women's rights and freedoms continue to get chipped away in this state... And make unrelated arguments as to why a woman's constitutionally protected rights are not do know who Ross Douhat is.....right?

    This is pathetic.

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.02.21

    Bernie, I appreciate your adding your thoughts here. So what justifies extending the 72-hour waiting period to prevent women from being able to access the service that they've already thought deeply about and decide to take care of over the weekend? What's wrong with expecting the CPC's to provide the service the state has mandated they provide over the weekend? Doesn't the status quo already require that a woman wait until the CPC is open to council her to move forward with an abortion? Why add this insult to the injury inherent in current law?

  9. Jana 2013.02.21

    Thanks for responding Bernie, and I do mean that very respectfully. At the same time I will respectfully disagree and point out a couple of things from the article that you referred us to as part of your reasoning.

    "In other words, if you outlaw abortion and limit contraception, you get more abortions, because more women who don’t want to have babies get pregnant. And when women who don’t want to have babies get pregnant, they find ways to get abortions, whether you like it or not."

    Mr. Douthat makes many assumptions and uses some rather tenuous connections to not so much make a point as to raise doubt about the actual research done by Will Saletan and the Guttmacher Institute.

    Mr. Douthat accurately points out something that we should look at trying. I won't hold my breath.

    "Many social ills tend to diminish with economic growth, and many pro-lifers would agree that a general increase in prosperity and human flourishing can do as much to reduce the abortion rate as any law or custom."

  10. Bernie 2013.02.21

    Cory, I liked Rep. Johns' amendment, and I agree that it would seem the CPCs could be more accommodating but in Pierre you have to vote yes or no on the bill before you, and as I explained above I thought the benefits outweighed the added inconvenience.

    Jana, I couldn't agree more, and while Democrats in Pierre might vote differently on some bills -- they are very united in trying to accomplish the goal of increasing prosperity for low income people, thus reducing not only abortions but also improving peoples' lives - thru education, better health care, smarter economic development, etc., and it involves countless little steps every day out here.

  11. Jana 2013.02.21

    Again, thanks for the response Mr. Hunhoff. I do appreciate it even while disagreeing with your vote and your reasoning, but I do respect your opinion and your efforts.

    Please fight harder! I know your numbers are small and the old boys club is big, but it matters!

  12. Dana P. 2013.02.22

    Again, with all respect Mr Hunhoff.... "added inconvenience"???? seriously? This is how a constitutionally protected decision of a woman is viewed? "added inconvenience"??

    Please tell a woman who is working one or two jobs and has only limited ability to get time off of work, that it is an "added inconvenience" for her to have restrictions on what IS (well, should be, but our legislators want to tell women what is best for them) their supposed freedom. Oh, and let's not forget about the expense of fuel, hotel stays, food, etc.....

    Wow....just wow! This is mind blowing.....and pretty darn sad.

  13. Rorschach 2013.02.22

    I'm "pro-choice," but I will acknowledge that no amount of discussion will move people from whatever position they have. There are Republicans and Democrats on both sides of the divide. Each person falls at their own point of the spectrum of government restrictions they feel are appropriate.

    The bottom line is that the US Supreme Court is the final arbitrator of whether restrictions such as this will stand. Unfortunately, we have a legislature willing to spend an unlimited amount of limited resources pushing test case after test case on the abortion issue. My wish is that the legislature would instead use those limited resources on those priorities Bernie mentioned.

  14. Jana 2013.02.22

    Dana, you're right. The SDGOP has this mindset that they 'have' to keep pushing the edge on the abortion issue by punishing women for making a perfectly constitutional and legal choice.

    They seem to think that reproductive rights don't belong with women, but rather with the men who run the state. Quite frankly, their quest to earn their ultra-conservative right to life merit badges completely ignores women and their rights.

    But alas, in a state that seems to be happy to languish at the bottom in so many categories like education and wages they take pride in being number one in testing the legal limits around reproductive choices.

    Boys, here's a news flash. You're #1, why not try harder at making us more than #50. You've all got your merit badges, you're anti-abortion street cred is safe. And lastly women the national GOP found out last year and will find out again as the GOP continues it's war on women and the less advantaged.

    Get to work on things that matter for everyone!

  15. Erika 2013.02.22

    "When abortion proposals come before the legislature, I simply try to evaluate them..." Maybe it's because I'm on the outside looking in, but I don't understand why this sentence doesn't read "When abortion proposals come before the legislature, I ask why abortion proposals are coming before the legislature, because South Dakotans have made it crystal clear - TWICE - that they want abortion to remain available in South Dakota."

    Please tell me what other mechanism, besides our vote, we have to express our wishes. I know there are wonderful people on both sides of this issue, but does that mean that the wonderful people who voted for the other guy in your election get to have the other guy sitting next to you as you legislate? Have you all become so accustomed to seeing abortion proposals that you fail to question why you are seeing them at all?

  16. Steve Sibson 2013.02.22

    "They seem to think that reproductive rights don't belong with women"

    Jana, that charge is back at you. You pro-abortion advocates do not believe that the father has "reproductive rights". And current abortion laws do not provide due process for either the father or the child. For that reason I argue that the current abortion environment is not constitutional.

  17. larry kurtz 2013.02.22

    Is that snow just freezing down, Sibby, or is it blowing around?

  18. Jana 2013.02.22

    Get back to me when a man can get pregnant Sibby.

  19. Steve Sibson 2013.02.22

    Jana, get back to me when you don't need a man's sperm to create a child. It is bad enough that the feminist think the children that survive the abortion mills don't need their fathers.

  20. larry kurtz 2013.02.22

    17 above, 12MPH winds, overcast: probably pretty miserable, huh?

  21. Jana 2013.02.22

    Sibby, the man is a part of the reproductive process but it is limited to the very start. Of course his health and body are totally unaffected by what happens after that. If a woman has a life-threatening complication, the man is unaffected. If a woman is raped, the burden of proof is on her and in your world so is the forced consequence of that rape. Yes, I can definitely see how the man has equal reproductive rights....cuz you know...he sacrificed a sperm cell. What a commitment.

    Feminist! Ha! Sibby, let me fill you in on something. Women think, they feel and they have know just like men. Are you threatened by women who can think, discern reason and express opinions just like men? If that causes you to think that is radical and against your construct of who women should be...well I am torn between pity and disgust. But I'm leaning more towards disgust.

  22. Bruce C. Boatwright 2013.02.22

    I'm not saying i can do that any better than you or anyone else, but I don't know how else to make these life-changing decisions.

    Why can't you just let the woman who is pregnant decide, or do you know whats best there..........?

  23. Douglas Wiken 2013.02.22

    Has the South Dakota legislature ever passed legislation regarding abortion or freedom of choice that wasn't anti-woman and pro rapist?

  24. Steve Sibson 2013.02.22

    "Are you threatened by women who can think, discern reason and express opinions just like men?"

    Thanks for the compliment. I have found most women who are against abortion to be very reasonable and express their opnnions will great intellect without being threatening.

  25. Steve Sibson 2013.02.22

    "Has the South Dakota legislature ever passed legislation regarding abortion or freedom of choice that wasn't anti-woman and pro rapist?"

    Doug, do you ask that because you are intimidated by the feminist movement?

  26. larry kurtz 2013.02.22

    my guess is that your wife can kick your ass, Sib.

  27. WayneB 2013.02.22


    While I don't like the fact abortions happen, I'll tolerate having them legal, and hope we all can agree to work together to ensure they're rare. I also don't like how scared we are as a society about having good conversations with our children about sexuality, safe sex, and the consequences sex can bring.


    While our (men's) role in the reproductive process is limited to a one-time donation at the onset, legally men are held fully accountable for their actions. Does that seem right?

    If a woman decides to carry a pregnancy to term, the man is on the hook to pay child support, even if he didn't want to have kids. If he dodges payments, there are laws out there to make life very rough (felony prison time, wage garnishments, etc.). (Although, if Wikipedia can be trusted, amazingly there is a lower percentage of deadbeat dads out there than there are deadbeat moms... fascinating...)

    To say a man should have no say in the process because the physical contribution and risk are small, yet hold him 100% accountable for his actions, is just as wrong as the state's intrusion in that decision.

    If we accept a woman should have complete and utter control over her body and her reproductive rights, we should therefore give her full discretion. We should respect that autonomy and the responsibility she has. However, it would then be unjust to expect anyone else to be held responsible for her decisions. That means no mandatory child support. Are we comfortable with that?

  28. Steve Sibson 2013.02.22

    "That means no mandatory child support."

    That should also go to the government to protect the male taxpayers from supporting anti-man New Age feminists.

  29. WayneB 2013.02.22

    Sibby, I don't care what labels we use. What I care about is ensuring everyone enjoys equal treatment under the law.

  30. Dana P. 2013.02.22

    WayneB puts it so simply, but so perfectly!! "ensuring everyone enjoys equal treatment under the law". Thank you.

    For state politicians who get on their high horse that "we are not a nanny state" and we "are against big government", aren't they trying to be a woman's nanny AND interjecting their big government into the lady parts? All in one shot!

    I "guess" I could find a little more credibility in Mr Hunhoff's (and others) reasoning that they want to "reduce abortions", if they put as much (AND MORE) energy into preventing unwanted pregnancies in the first place. (that math automatically adds up to less abortions, by the way, for those of you who are watching at home) This is nothing more than power trip, control, and shaming of women. And that little ole thing called "women's rights".

    One woman's comment (and echoed by many) the other night during the hearings on this bill--- "Few times have I felt more insulted than when Rep. Hansen talks about choice...full of lies & judgement from the get go!"

  31. Dana P. 2013.02.22

    Speaking of studies on "Attitudes and Decision Making" involving women who are making this decision (again, a reminder people in Pierre - their CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED decision - the law of the land):

  32. Sarah 2013.02.24

    Ugh. I think this bill is totally on the wrong 'side' of trying to prevent abortion. Making it inconvenient for women who are troubled, overwhelmed, and confused? That's the absolute wrong way to approach this! It's the opposite of compassion. How about teaching women about their bodies in the first place? How about teaching them how to speak up and say, 'I can't do this without protection,' ??? No. We're going to punish them after the fact. Try to teach them a lesson? Or use the extra time to try to convince them not terminate because there's a safety net out there that's available to EVERYONE that will help them once they're a single parent? HA! If only everyone were so fortunate! Or that adoption is some magic solution where everyone wins? PLEASE! Babies aren't 'bumps' that you grow for 9 months and then you just give away and resume your life. Nobody wants to see abortions take place, least of all women who hadn't wanted to get pregnant in the first place. But again, let's focus on how to prevent unwanted pregnancy instead of imposing YOUR desire to 'save lives' onto people whose circumstances you obviously could not in a hundred years relate to. It's not about YOU!

  33. Sarah 2013.02.24

    “Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.”
    ― Henri J.M. Nouwen

    You know ... except on holidays and weekends.

  34. Dana P. 2013.02.24

    Right on, Sarah!!

    How dare you try to bring common sense, compassion, and a woman's perspective into this discussion!! (I say, with my comment dripping in sarcasm)

  35. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.02.24

    Sarah, you put your finger on the exact spirit in which Rep. Jon Hansen offers this bill: punishment.

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