Abortion Ban on Ballot; Ohio’s DV Law in Limbo

(WOMENSENEWS)–CheersThe South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families is putting the state’s recent abortion ban–which would have taken effect July 1 and criminalized all abortions except those threatening a woman’s life–before the state’s voters in November.Women who have abortions in the state would not be prosecuted, but their doctors could face up to five years in prison under the law. There is currently only one clinic in the state offering abortion services and a doctor flies in from Minnesota to perform the procedures.The campaign–a coalition of local leaders and national reproductive rights groups based in Sioux Falls–rounded up over 1,000 volunteers to circulate petitions. To challenge the abortion ban with a state referendum the state required 16,728 signatures; on May 30 the campaign said it was filing petitions with 38,416 signatures.Instead of opting to challenge the ban in court, the ballot-box campaign decided the ban’s proponents were out of step with South Dakotans and opted for a grassroots approach, reported the Los Angeles Times May 31. “It proved to be extremely easy for us to gather these petitions,” said Sarah Stoesz, a coalition member. “It underscores that the governor, the legislature and the anti-choice movement have over-reached.”More News to Cheer This WeekFive Kuwaiti women announced Wednesday that they intended to run for the National Assembly in June’s election after Parliament was dissolved by the ruling sheikh in May of 2006.