While Inside-the-Beltway types were wringing their hands and debating what might be the right strategy for moving forward on the pro-life front, the legislature and governor of South Dakota simply went ahead and did the right thing. They enacted legislation banning acts that deliberately take the life of an unborn child.
The ban has one exception: "No licensed physician who performs a medical procedure designed or intended to prevent the death of a pregnant mother is guilty of violating … this Act," it says. "However, the physician shall make reasonable medical efforts under the circumstances to preserve both the life of the mother and the life of her unborn child in a manner consistent with conventional medical practice."
When he signed the law, South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds (R., pictured below) said he recognized it was a "direct challenge" to Roe v. Wade. But, said Rounds: "The reversal of a Supreme Court opinion is possible. For example, in 1896, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the Plessy v. Ferguson case that a state could require racial segregation in public facilities if the facilities offered to different races were equal. However, 58 years later, the Supreme Court reconsidered that opinion and reversed itself in Brown v. Board of Education."
What South Dakota’s pro-life law demonstrates is that the tide is turning on Roe just as it turned on Plessy