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HB 1212 Disguises Total Abortion Ban as Child Abuse Bill

The South Dakota Legislature has before it a bill declaring that personhood begins at conception. House Bill 1212 adds fifteen words to our child abuse statutes:

For purposes of this section, a child conceived, but not born, is deemed a minor.

Conceived, but not born—you know what that means: abortion becomes child abuse. Taking the morning-after pill becomes child abuse. Mess with a fertilized egg (never mind implantation, which science says is when pregnancy starts; we're talking fundies like Hobby Lobby who say the magic moment is when sperm meets egg, if not earlier), and HB 1212 would bust you for a Class 3 felony.

HB 1212 is a total abortion ban in disguise. HB 1212 may also ban in vitro fertilization. Consider standard medical practice in making test-tube babies:

Any embryos that you do not use in your first IVF attempt can be frozen for later use. This will save you money if you undergo IVF a second or third time. If you do not want your leftover embryos, you may donate them to another infertile couple, or you and your partner can ask the clinic to destroy the embryos. Both you and your partner must agree before the clinic will destroy or donate your embryos ["Infertility and In Vitro Fertilization," WebMD, reviewed by Nivin Todd, M.D., 2015.01.18, downloaded 2015.02.13].

Freezing minor children sounds pretty cruel to me. Destroying minor children is most certainly abuse. Cuff those doctors and those heartless infertile parents!

Classifying embryos as minors opens the door to dragging any women who miscarries before a child abuse tribunal. South Dakota law requires doctors, nurses, and mental health professionals, among others, to report suspected child abuse. If any of those professionals encounter a woman who has had a miscarriage, and if they think the woman may have done something that may have caused that miscarriage, HB 1212 would interact with existing statute to compel those health care providers to break their professional confidence and report that woman as a potential child abuser.

House Judiciary was supposed to take up HB 1212 this week, but chairman Rep. G. Mark Mickelson (R-13/Sioux Falls) deferred it to next week, Wednesday, February 18, 10:00 a.m. CST, in Room 413, when it will jostle for attention on the agenda with the Benda-Bollen conflict-of-interest bills, a gun bill, a bill curtailing my ability to make a living doing my Mike Rounds impression, and Rep. Steve Hickey's bill dealing with cases of real child abuse. Let's help focus House Judiciary's attention: contact Chairman Mickelson, Vice-Chairman Mike Stevens (R-18/Yankton), and the other members of this committee over this long weekend (the Legislature doesn't reconvene until Tuesday) to tell them to kill this bill fast and stop trying to sneak abortion bans into South Dakota law.


  1. jerry 2015.02.13

    The state of South Dakota should be sued for civil rights abuse. Roe v Wade is a federal law, upheld by the Supreme Court, that overrides state laws. The boneheaded chief justice of Alabama will soon find out how that works regarding gay marriage in his state.

  2. Jenny 2015.02.13

    Really, SD pubs need to get off their obsession with embryos and ammosexualism. This is just total ridiculousness.
    Isn't it time to elect some sensible dems for a change?

  3. Roger Cornelius 2015.02.13

    Exactly Jerry, if this bill goes forward it will our should be challenged in federal court.
    Supreme Court Judge Roy Moore in Alabama is about to find out what happens when a state judge defies federal law.

  4. mike from iowa 2015.02.13

    This is too easy. Poor spelling and lack of human biology(pesky science) on the part of wingnuts. Since the birth canal and uterus are essentially tunnels,a child conceived but not born is a M-I-N-E-R. There,I fixed it.

  5. mike from iowa 2015.02.13

    Moore knows firsthand from previous experience what happens when he defies federal laws. He was the CJ of Ala Damn Bama's soopreme court 10 years ago and defied a federal judges order to remove the 10 commandments from the courthouse. He was removed as well as the monument.

  6. SDBlue 2015.02.13

    Each session our GOP legislature continues to chip away at Roe v. Wade. The 72-hour waiting period (not including holidays and weekends). State mandated counseling with the religious zealots at The Alpha Center. Banning sex-selective abortions (I had no idea that was such a problem in SD). Now this. I have a simple acronym for those who wish to legislate a woman's private reproductive decisions. MYOB.

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.13

    SDBlue: chip away? HB 1212 is a straight-up assault, surely seeking to provoke a lawsuit and roll the dice on the Roberts Court reversing precedent.

    Jenny: ammosexual?! Beautiful word! May I borrow that from you?

  8. Rhea 2015.02.13

    "Personhood" amendments have come up for a referendum vote in several states, and have lost by wide margins every time, even in the deep south. People know what these laws mean and don't want them.

  9. 96Tears 2015.02.13

    First, the fools refuse to think twice before passing complete, utter constitutional garbage like this. It might be wise to stand clear and let the morons hit their head and pay out another $1 million or $2 million to defend garbage in court. Their track record for this kind of swill is pretty poor in court.

  10. El Rayo X 2015.02.13

    Will a pregnant woman eating at McDonald's be under the risk of arrest if this bill makes it to law?

  11. Jana 2015.02.13

    HB 1212 obviously want to come between a patient and their doctor.

    Each one of these Senators and Representative know that this would ban contraception and a woman's ability to do family planning.

    Just wish they would trust families and not government.

  12. Jana 2015.02.13

    Here's who to ask about the ramifications of personhood at the next cracker barrel.

    Sponsors: Representatives Haugaard, Bolin, Brunner, DiSanto, Feickert, Haggar (Don), Hunt, Kaiser, Klumb, Langer, Latterell, and Novstrup (Al) and Senators Haggar (Jenna), Brown, Greenfield (Brock), Holien, Lederman, Novstrup (David), Rave, and Solano

  13. Jana 2015.02.13

    Of course, since Jenna and Issac want to inflict their beliefs on all other couples, maybe they have opened the door to talk about their "completely platonic" out of wedlock relationship born of political convenience.

  14. Jana 2015.02.13

    Wait, maybe I was too quick on the political convenience part...maybe it was political lust.

  15. larry kurtz 2015.02.13

    Think South Dakota is a backwater nanny state? Puerto Rico is considering a bill that would cite parents with child abuse for children's obesity in a commonwealth struggling with bankruptcy and Powerball winnings are untaxed.

  16. El Rayo X 2015.02.13

    In this country, it's not Republicans or Democrats who decide who is a minor. It's the IRS and there's no way they'll allow a deduction until you can back it up with a live birth certificate. Pose that question at the next cracker barrel and see how the sponsors respond.

  17. Roger Cornelius 2015.02.13

    El Rayo X,

    Are you suggesting that all embryos have a Social Security Number?

  18. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.13

    El Rayo, I'm intrigued by the diet patrol question. The statute HB 1212 amends refers to a person who "abuses, exposes, tortures, torments, or cruelly punishes" a minor in a way that falls short of aggravated assault. Therein lies the pathway to putting every woman carrying an embryo under surveillance, if not confinement, to ensure she does nothing cruel to punish that tiny unborn minor within her.

  19. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.13

    Jana, I'm looking forward to addressing HB 1212 with Kaiser and the Novstrups, as well as our man Feickert, the only Democratic sponsor.

  20. mike from iowa 2015.02.14

    Wingnuts have more compassion for stray animals than they show for embryos once they are born. They mandate rules of care for pets and make it a crime to abandon them,then they abandon their little fantasy fetuii at the moment their heads hit the birth canal. god is gonna gitcha for that,tools.

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