Guns & Abortion. Both legal in the United States. Why does SD want to limit one and not the other?

Tiffany Campbell sent me her opposition testimony to HB 1237 (AUDIO LINK. HB 1237 testimony starts at 24.56, and opposition testimony starts at 1:20:41);

Testimony in Opposition to HB 1237 • Tiffany Campbell • Advocacy Director

ACLU of SD believes – and works hard to ensure – that every woman has medically accurate, unbiased information so she is able to make the best choices for her and her circumstances, without undue pressure. This bill isn’t about letting a woman consider her decision, it’s about coercing her and shaming her for a decision she’s already made.

Forcing a woman who needs an abortion to delay her procedure for non-medical reasons is callous, cruel, and dangerous. Medical experts, including the World Health Organization, recommend that states consider eliminating waiting periods that are not medically required and work to expand services so that all women may access prompt abortion care.

South Dakota already has one of the most extreme laws of its kind on the books and this bill just makes it worse. There is no medical reason to make a woman wait 72 hours before her abortion, and there’s certainly no reason to make her wait even longer if her abortion happens to be scheduled after a weekend or a holiday.

Many things can happen in pregnancy. No woman wants to hear that carrying her pregnancy to term will seriously threaten her health or endanger her life. No woman wants to hear that the baby she’s been looking forward to holding will likely not survive the pregnancy. No woman plans to have an abortion for any reason.

I am one of those women.  In 2006 I was a married mother of two wanting to add to my family.  I was thrilled to learn I was expecting identical twin boys, but the excitement didn’t last long. I was told they might be suffering from Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, a very deadly disease that left untreated has a morality rate of 100%. We were immediately sent to one of the top fetal care centers in the country. We were told that one of our boys was extremely sick and wouldn’t make it much longer.  Our five doctors told us the only way to save the healthier twin was to selectively terminate the sicker twin.  We had the procedure less than 12 hours later.   Five months later I gave birth to a healthy baby boy, and today my beautiful son, Brady, turns 6-years-old.

TTTS can progress incredibly fast.  My friend Becky Matthews’s twins also suffered from TTTS.  Becky and her husband were told of their treatment options and decided to think it over and scheduled a doctor appointment in Minneapolis for the following week.  They never made that appointment. Her girls died in utero just days after being diagnosed.

These are just two examples of what can go wrong in a pregnancy.   The definition of a medical emergency as set forth in SD Codified Law 34-23A-1 (5), only applies for abortion to save a woman’s life or if a major bodily function would be irreversibly impaired. My life was not in danger, therefore the lifesaving procedure I chose wouldn’t be covered under SD law and I might have lost both babies. In difficult situations, medical decisions should be made by a woman, her family, and her doctor, not politicians. I urge you vote no on HB 1237 and preserve the right for a woman to make her own medical decisions without government intrusion.

Thank you and I will stand by for questions.

You may know Tiffany from this TV commercial;


#1 Helga on 02.20.13 at 3:07 am

It is astounding that the troglodytes who write these bills think they know more then any doctor and they have the right to make laws concerning women’s reproductive rights.

#2 Pathloss on 02.20.13 at 10:23 am

A woman’s body is her own, period. An unwanted or unhealthy pregnancy can be terminated. There should be medical interest regarding both the woman and the unborn child. The law should not be involved unless there’s medical malpractice or an abortion happens into the last trimester.

Gun ownership prevents government tyranny. They must know we are prepared to defend our rights and our property. Gun control is warranted so that minors, felons, or mental patients cannot own. We live in Sioux Falls where democracy does not exist and tyranny is prevalent. Buy, buy, buy more guns and buy extra capacity magazines.

#3 Craig on 02.20.13 at 2:36 pm

Pathloss: “A woman’s body is her own, period.”

I realize the pun wasn’t intentional… but bonus points to you regardless.


HB 1237 is one of those laws that proves to me that legislators have far too much free time. With all of the issues we are dealing with whether it be education funding, infrastructure improvements, health care, tax policy, social services and on and on… they take their time to debate whether we should include weekends and holidays into the idiotic 72 hour waiting period.


I’m not a personal fan of abortion – I’d rather see a nation where it wasn’t necessary, but I also understand that it is a legal medical procedure and thus our elected wizards in Pierre need to stop trying to control it via underhanded and back door methods.

I do find the irony that the same people who are up in arms (pardon the pun) over Obama’s suggestion that we should limit the sale of specific semi-automatic “assault” weapons and high capacity magazines and who see it as an assault (again pardon the pun) on a legal right are the very same people who are very quick to attempt to limit another legal right at every turn.

Of course I hate to say this as I know it won’t be popular, but it seems we are all guilty of essentially the same thing. For instance right on this very website we are continually told that limiting public testimony is tantamount to an infringement of free speech rights, and therefore is unconstitutional. Yet in some cases the very same people who are upset about their voices being silenced, are those who seem to be perfectly ok with limiting the type of weapons available and the amount of rounds a magazine can hold.

So you see we all have our personal levels of outrage that we selectively choose to trigger depending upon the issue. Perhaps we would all be better off just being thankful for the rights we have instead of continually attacking those that we don’t feel are nearly as important.

#4 Karma on 02.20.13 at 2:50 pm

The last trimester? Are you frickin’ kidding me? I heard both of my kid’s heart beats at 10 weeks in the womb. Yes- there should be some perameters to protect the health of a woman, but there should also be perameters to protect a child that has legs, arms, and yes, a heartbeat, anywhere after week 7. Week 7!

There is a BIG difference in Ms Campbell’s case which I respect fully, but to abort a child because you are scared, embarrassed, inopportune timing, whatever it is, the 72 hours addresses those women and their possible mental, physical, and emotional ramifications of making a haste decision.

#5 matt70 on 02.20.13 at 5:39 pm

To the bible thumpers wanting to ban abortion; I hope your willing and able to pay for the increase in crime and social expense it will inevitably bring about. Unwanted children bring unwanted problems, for everyone.

#6 Joan on 02.20.13 at 5:48 pm

My opinion is that nobody should be telling a woman when she can or can’t have an abortion. Even if you can hear a heartbeat at 10 weeks doesn’t mean it is a fully formed baby. Also some people believe it isn’t a life until it draws the first breath. Some people will add to that, isn’t a life until it can survive outside the womb without artificial means. All in all abortion should only be between the woman and her doctor. This is a personal matter and there should be no laws one way or the other. Abortion should be available to whoever wants one, whenever they choose.

#7 Joan on 02.20.13 at 5:49 pm

When it comes to the people that say choose abortion—-how many of these unwanted kids have you rushed out to adopt. I know too many Bible thumpers/pro-life people that go over seas to adopt orphans instead of adopting the orphans that are available in the US.

#8 pathloss on 02.21.13 at 8:56 am

I’ve read your comments. Thanks Craig for the compliment, I think. Karma, you sound like a good mother. Children deserve a good home. I’ll retract from my last trimester statement some. If I felt a heart beating inside me, abortion would be out of the question. Joan, I value your opinion. It speaks for much of the population. I come to this site because Lewis reports what is valuable locally. He does a good job as moderator. Comments here influence my thoughts. I seem more refined and less radical these days.

#9 pathloss on 02.21.13 at 9:16 am

Scheel’s & Cabellas had a run on guns. I checked 2 Bass Pro stores and they were also in short supply. I don’t buy assault rifles. I do buy certain stainless pistols and special finish shotguns. I can buy at full retail and average a 10 to 15 percent annual resale profit if I hold for 3 to 5 years. Like most, I no longer trust the stock market. This is an alternative. Few that I buy are shot. You’ll not see me shoot up a school but you will see me shoot back if 5 officers enter my neighborhood and fire 70 rounds at on unarmed citizen.

#10 pathloss on 02.21.13 at 9:21 am

Prove to me that’ll never happen again and I’ll not buy ammo. However, near term, I’ll continue to buy guns as an investment.

#11 Karma on 02.21.13 at 11:04 am

I am not a bible thumper. I do have a spiritual life, but you will never see me as one of those ridiculous people standing on 41st and Kiwanis with those horrendous pictures that I then get to explain to my young children. I am not rushing out to adopt children, but I know PLENTY that are willing, able, and thriving to adopt a child.

And I leave this last thought as someone stated that abortion is between a woman and her doctor. If you CHOOSE to make the adult decision to drop your drawers, than choose to be an adult and find a good home for a child that deserves it.

#12 LJL on 02.21.13 at 1:18 pm

No one dies when a gun is used properly. Abortion is preformed to kill a soul.

The more fitting title would be. Why do liberals not give a shit about life in the womb and tries to control everyone thoughts after they’ve left the womb.

It’s interesting how your crowd supports waiting period for handgun purchases but not for ending an unborn life.

There is common ground on the abortion issue…. Anyone should be able to purchase morning after birth control, over the counter. No one should have to birth a child born from insist or rape. Having an abortion because your a irresponsible human being is reprehensible. A rapidly growing trend is abortion for a fetus tested positive for down syndrome, absolutely repugnant.

Ultimately this should be a states right by majority a vote of the people. Whether you wish to live in California or South Dakota, don’t be surprised when the social morals are held to different standards.

Matt, there are no unwanted children. God or no god,we are all put on this earth for a reason.

#13 l3wis on 02.21.13 at 1:56 pm

LJL – Did you listen to Campbell’s testimony? She had to have IMMEDIATE surgery or both of her children would have died. Do I think women who are considering abortion for BC need consoling before and after an abortion? Yes, I do. But a waiting period is not needed, and in some cases not an option. I am with Craig when it comes to abortion. I think we should be fighting hard to eliminate the practice for BC, but we are not going to accomplish that thru legislation, we do it in the form of educating people about BC, Plan B, abstinence, etc. Even if people stopped using abortion for BC, the medical procedure would still be needed for many reasons. And quite frankly, that is none of your business.

#14 rufusx on 02.21.13 at 8:25 pm

LJL – No one dies when a gun is used properly? Uh – WHAT exactly is it you imagine that guns are designed specifically to do? For example – a military assault weapon – what is it’s purpose for existance? What exactly was it designed to do? Appreciate in value – as an investment instrument?

As to the bible-thumper anti-choicers. The bible says that a fetus is no more a separate being to the mother than is her own thigh – and that “life” begins when first breathe is drawn.

#15 Craig on 02.22.13 at 9:38 am

“No one dies when a gun is used properly.”

I’ll be sure and tell returning military who have been in combat for last decade that they don’t know how to use their weapons properly.

I think you may have meant, no one illegally dies when a gun is used legally… quite a different concept.

“Why do liberals not give a shit about life in the womb and tries to control everyone thoughts after they’ve left the womb.”

I’m not sure I understand this statement. Can you give me examples of how liberals try to control people’s thoughts any more than conservatives? For example, many or perhaps even most conservatives feel people should believe in their (Christian) God, that people should never have abortions under any circumstances, that the morning after pill is equal to abortion (even if the science proves otherwise), that the earth is less than 10,000 years old, that people should love their country no matter what but that it is ok to be disrespectful to the President if he happens to be from the opposite party, that teachers should be allowed to pray with children in school as well as repeat the phrase “under God” when saying the pledge of allegiance, that they should own a weapon, that they should protest against any effort to shift tax policy (even if said policy doesn’t directly impact them), that we should go to war even without sufficient evidence to justify it, that any non-Christian religion is inferior and that creationism deserves to be taught alongside evolution in our public schools.

So honestly – it isn’t just ‘liberals’ trying to control how people think or act… it is pretty much everyone.

Besides, couldn’t you just say the opposite is true about conservatives? They seem to care a great deal about a fetus when it is in the womb, but once it is born they stop caring. They continually want to slash funding for healthcare and social programs, and they even go so far as to cut health and food programs that are specifically targeted towards kids. Care to guess the income level of the typical woman who seeks an abortion? Yep… below average, and the very same group which would be helped by social programs that conservatives seem to hate.

Probably also worth noting that conservatives are against comprehensive sex ed programs and therefore they are almost begging for higher levels of unwanted pregnancies. Take a look at the Bible belt where abstinence only sex ed is the norm… they have the highest teen pregnancy rates and the highest rates of abortion.

“There is common ground on the abortion issue…. Anyone should be able to purchase morning after birth control, over the counter. No one should have to birth a child born from insist or rape. Having an abortion because your a irresponsible human being is reprehensible. A rapidly growing trend is abortion for a fetus tested positive for down syndrome, absolutely repugnant.”

I like your idea of common ground, but it simply isn’t the reality. Most conservatives are very much against the morning after pill and have fought many battles to prevent it from being offered. They will also defend the right of a pharmacist or hospital to refuse to offer it.

Also, many conservatives are against abortion of any type. Just look right here at home when our first abortion bill was passed by our legislature – it passed easily and had support from a vast majority of the Republicans in Pierre, and yet it had no exceptions for incest or rape originally. Only after it was defeated did they go back and tweak some things.

On a national level you have conservatives showing their true colors by talking about legitimate rape and any pregnancy (even those from rape) being God’s will or a gift from God. There are some moderates out there, but the overwhelming view from most conservatives is that abortion should only be allowed for reasons that impact health of the mother – they still aren’t quite sold on the whole rape concept as they continually remind us that women can lie about rape.

Hell just look at this waiting period they are enacting – it includes NO exceptions for health of the mother, or for rape, or for incest… they just don’t care. They want ALL women to have to wait 72 hours not counting holidays or weekends so if they were raped they could end up waiting a week or more before being able to legally obtain an abortion.

How many conservatives would be ok with forcing everyone to wait 72 hours (not counting holidays or weekdays) before being able to purchase ammunition for their guns? What’s that… you think that is unfair? Why – abortion is legal, ammunition is legal – but shouldn’t we require a waiting period for both since they both obviously can impact human life?

Yea that is silly… exactly my point. We shouldn’t be forcing anyone to wait to buy a box of .243 shells, nor should we force a woman to wait before she can have an abortion… especially when it could result in a case where a selective abortion could have saved the life of one of the fetuses.

I also am unsure about the whole “abort a child with downs syndrome” issue since it is sort of a catch-22. If a woman carries her child to term, then she will have to deal with conservatives not wanting to fun social programs to help that child – and that child will likely require special care throughout its entire life, much of which is considered a social program or an entitlement that Republicans are so quick to list as their first choice for budget cuts (as opposed to eliminating a few multi-billion dollar ships, or stopping senseless wars).

“Ultimately this should be a states right by majority a vote of the people.”

We live in a representative republic… not a democracy. We should not need to send all of the difficult decisions to the voters when we have elected leaders who are supposed to represent us.

Also, some rights should never be allowed to be infringed upon by a majority vote. Imagine a majority vote in 1850 on whether whites were superior to all other races and that they should be able to pay less taxes…. that would have passed in a landslide. Majority rule isnt’ always just, and it isn’t how our system of government was designed to operate.

“there are no unwanted children. God or no god,we are all put on this earth for a reason.”

That might be a nice phrase to slap on a bumper sticker, but in the real world it makes zero sense. What is the purpose of a mother in Africa having eight children when six of them won’t ever see their 18th birthday? Are those kids honestly put on this Earth just so they can die? Is that a good reason?

What about kids who grow up and decide to go on a rampage in their schools – were they on this Earth for that reason? What about inner city kids who end up joining gangs and either getting killed, or landing in prison by the age of 17 – what was the reason for it?

What about a fetus that has a rare genetic condition that guarantees it will not live beyond its third day outside the womb – what is the purpose?

If you remove the emotion you soon realize that biology doesn’t require a purpose. Sperm cells fertilize eggs – a zygote forms and eventually we get a fetus. This happens whether that fetus has a future purpose or not – because that is how science works. It really doesn’t care why… it just cares about how.

I tell you what – I think we should have a registration process to vote on whether abortion should be legal or not. However there are rules – only people aged 18 – 40 can vote on the issue. Also, for anyone who votes to make abortion illegal, they are also signing up to adopt a child much like the selective service system. So when a baby is born to a woman who doesn’t want the child, that baby is then assigned to a random person who didn’t want legal abortion… sort of like the draft.

There are rules of course – nobody can pick the race or sex of the child they receive, and there are no government programs to offset the costs of raising that child. Sure it would be a shock to find out all of the sudden you are going to be a parent – but hey, if you don’t want legal abortion then you shouldn’t care because you are helping out right? If you honestly care about these lives to the point you feel you should dictate what another woman does with her body, you should have no problem accepting that child as your own.

Now if this was the law of the land… what do you think the outcome of that election would be when people figured out they might end up having to take care of one of these children? I can promise you the final result would not only be legal abortion, but the vote would most likely be in excess of 90% pro-choice.

Because you see LJL – people only care about fetuses when they aren’t the ones impacted. They only care about children when they don’t have to pay to support them, and they only care about morality when it is the morality of others they are trying to control.

#16 LJL on 02.22.13 at 9:14 pm

So knives are meant to stab, police are hired to kill and all explosives are meant to kill mass quantity. You cannot deny that 99.9999 of all guns made in this country have never killed a person. You can’t deny that the vast, vast majority of people in the military people have never killed a person. (thank you for your service to those who have served). Your view is just too narrow on this issue. Peace through the presence of weapons has kept billions of people safe for centuries.

I did leave out that abortion to save the mothers life is not immoral in my eyes. I am a catholic (not an every Sunday kinda catholic) and I don’t pass my religion as the only way you should think as the liberals have done with most of the immoral norms of our time. I can say that most of the Catholics in my age bracket feel that my “common ground” listed is acceptable and would vote this way.

To point out that conservative are showing true colors because a few people have said some jackass things is in the media is asinine. That’s like saying all liberals are homosexual, dope smoking tree huggers. That’s a stupid premise.

As far as showing your true colors: look at some of the hate filled, in tolerate and bigoted things that are slung at faith based people on this blog. If i were speaking from the teachings of my faith alone I would have stated NO ABORTIONS PERIOD. I posted from common sense viewpoint.

To those who feel the need to use words like “bible thumpers” and trying to speak of scripture they made from whole clothe. I truly hope you can find faith in something/somone that will give you some guidance. Faith in humanity not a book or a person I cannot see gives me my guidance.

#17 rufusx on 02.23.13 at 10:53 am

LJL – knives are a more utilitarian tool than being “just for stabbing”. Really – tell me that butter knife is made for stabbing. How about an old hooked corn knife. Made for stabbing? Actually – you can tell by the name of a knife what it’s “made for”. Guns- on the other hand – are made for one purpose. Well – except fort ones like my “target” pistol – except – that’s just what I call it – it’s actual name is not that.

As to the basis of toyur fath prohibiting all abortions – can you provide a quote from your guiding instrument on that? Can you actually back up your assertion as to what your bible says – by quoting it? Good luck with that.

#18 Randall on 02.27.13 at 5:42 pm

How far would you be willing to go to stop a woman from having an abortion?

…would you be willing to shoot her?

#19 LJL on 02.28.13 at 8:14 pm

Thank you both for proving my point.

#20 Detroit Lewis on 03.04.13 at 4:37 pm

Why do I even bother posting about abortion, it always drops to this level.