How else can I put it? We've got a long war ahead of us, and the upcoming vote is just one battle in that war. We need to mobilize the pro-choice community again, just as we did last spring (before, er, certain groups decided to take a, well, anti-activist stance). Whether or not the ban passes, we've got a huge number of South Dakotans in this state who support women's rights to make their own decisions about abortion.
If the ban passes, it will immediately be challenged in court. This is a given.
If the ban fails, it will immediately be followed by a ban that allows limited exceptions (perhaps for rape and incest and not for health, or for health but not rape/incest, or even for all three). And this ban, most likely, will pass.
So we have our work cut out for us. We need, not just to get out the vote in the days ahead, but also to excite our base and get them ready to move. We need to be very visible in the days ahead and in the weeks and months ahead, so that the majority of our movement, people who are on our mailing lists but don't ever come out in public because they're afraid of the fallout among their friendships and professional relationships - not to mention property damage and personal safety - see us and take heart, and perhaps are motivated to get involved.
And, too, we need to change the discussion in South Dakota. This vote is not about whether abortion is right or wrong. It's about whether or not this ban is too extreme. That's the reason for all of the lies in the VoteYes ads and campaign literature - because they know the ban is too extreme, they know people balk at "no exceptions," and so they're creating all kinds of doubts in people's minds about whether there are, indeed, any exceptions. But we need to change the debate. We need to hear women's stories!! We need to hear personal stories about the things that go wrong in pregnancy and the reasons why the law should be compassionate. And we need to talk about the legal implications of giving the state jurisdiction over a woman's body. What's next? Will we mandate blood donation? Will we mandate organ donation? How will we be able to make medical decisions for ourselves if we give the state license to step in?
But first, we need a rally to remind South Dakota that pro-choice is a serious voice. So come. Bring a friend. Help us make history.
Rally to Repeal the Ban
Wednesday, November 1st; 12:00 noon -- 1:00pm
400 block of S. Phillips Avenue (Federal Courthouse )in Sioux Falls
Corner of 9th and St. Joseph in Rapid City
Be there or...well, you know.
[For my out-of-state readers: I promise I will have something NOT about abortion soon. Thanks for your indulgence. Now, send a check or a postcard of support to one of the organizations on my sidebar. Thanks!]