Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Smart Politics Live Blog At Abortion Policy Event

Bookmark and Share

7:00 p.m. Sarah Stoesz, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota is the featured speaker at tonight's event. The launching pad for tonight's discussion of abortion policy is South Dakota's 2006 restrictions on abortion, passed by the GOP-dominated state legislature and supported by Republican Governor Mike Rounds. The referendum was defeated last November at the ballot box, 56 to 44 percent, largely because the law did not allow for exceptions for health of the mother, incest, and rape.

7:10 p.m. Stoesz's speech will use the abortion policy debate in South Dakota as a means to more broadly discuss the increased polarization in the political arena. Stoesz characterizes the majority of South Dakotan's as against abortion, although SurveyUSA poll's conducted in 2006 contradict her view: those identifying themselves as pro-choice outnumbered those identifying themselves as pro-life in 9 of 11 polls, with ties in the two other polls.

7:20 p.m. Planned Parenthood is the sole provider of abortions in the state of South Dakota, and, according to Stoesz, the organization has to fly doctors into the state to perform the procedures. Stoesz argues that the proponents of the abortion ban did not foresee the 'shockwaves' this ban would send throughout the state and the country. South Dakota was the first state (1898) to adopt the initiative/referendum process. Planned Parenthood opted to pursue the referendum process rather than the courts to fight their battle.

7:30 p.m. Stoesz states that the ethic underpinning their campaign was 'healthy families,' and not converting people to their view, but, instead, having a 'conversation' about the subject of abortion. Stoesz says the campaign was based on the premise that the ban went too far - and it did, to be sure, for the South Dakota electorate. Had the ban provided for exceptions for rape and incest, support for the law would have been much stronger. A July 2006 KELO-TV/Argus Leader poll found more than 2:1 of South Dakotans supporting such a ban (59 percent to 29 percent).

7:40 p.m. Stoesz does not speak as to whether or not they would have launched a campaign against the ban if it had provided for these exceptions, and, if so, what Planned Parenthood's strategy would have been. Despite the lack of physicians and clinics in the state performing abortion procedures on women, 55 percent of South Dakotans state they know a woman who has had an abortion, according to a February 2006 Rasmussen Poll. That's a higher number than in Iowa (51 percent) and nearly as many as in Wisconsin (58 percent).

7:45 p.m. The event now turns to a panel discussion with Stoesz, former Minnesota House Speaker (and current Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry) Steve Sviggum, and Star Tribune Capitol journalist Lori Sturdevant. Sviggum announces he is a pro-life individual, but characterizes the actions of the South Dakota legislature as "extreme." Sviggum states that Planned Parenthood's strategy to label the ban "family unfriendly" was a "wonderful politcal strategy."

8:00 p.m. Stoesz states she is concerned about recent reproductive rights rulings in the federal court system and the current Supreme Court make-up that if abortion issues are brought before the courts they may not rule in her favor (e.g. the recent 5-4 ban on partial birth abortion was upheld by the Supreme Court).

8:10 p.m. Stoesz cites a World Health Organization study that abortion rates are the same regardless of whether or not abortion is legal. She implies that if Roe vs. Wade had been decided in favor of the minority Court opinion (leaving the right to an abortion up to the states), there would still be as many abortions as there are currently today.

8:20 p.m. Several times during Stoesz's speech she equated, not persuasively from a logical point of view, people being conflicted about abortion with the people therefore not wanting states to take action and outlaw abortion.

Previous post: Smart Politics Live Blogging At Abortion Policy Event
Next post: Clinton Rolls Over GOP in MN ; McCain Toughest Competitor

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

Political Crumbs

No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting