And on it goes…

Alisha Sedor is the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota.

This week, HB 1237, the legislation to exclude weekends and holidays from the already egregious 72-hour mandatory waiting period, was heard on the house floor.

The bill passed by a vote of 56-13 after a lengthy and heated debate. HB 1237 was on the agenda as part of Crossover Day, which is the last day for a bill to leave its chamber of origin. In other words, if it was introduced in the House first, it has to be voted on in the House and sent to the Senate by that day or the bill dies, and vice versa for those introduced in the Senate.

Crossover Day almost always proves to be a long day, and this was no exception with HB 1237 floor debate not even starting until 7:30pm CT. (You can listen here at 3:13:35)   Opposition was voiced by Reps. Peggy Gibson, Marc Feinstein, Paula Hawks and Karen Soli, each highlighting a different reason for voting against the bill.

As we all know, abortion is a deeply personal and often complex decision for a woman to make. Politicians can’t know every woman’s circumstances and have no business inserting themselves into that decision making process. H.B.1237 allows for government interference into personal, private medical decisions that are best left to a woman, her family, her faith and the medical provider of her choice. We send our thanks to the legislators who recognized this voting against HB 1237 and speaking out in opposition on the House Floor.

HB 1237, House, Do Pass Amended

Bartling Yea Bolin Yea Cammack Yea
Campbell Yea Carson Yea Conzet Yea
Craig Yea Cronin Yea Dryden Nay
Duvall Yea Ecklund Yea Erickson Yea
Feickert Yea Feinstein Nay Gibson Nay
Greenfield Yea Haggar (Don) Yea Haggar (Jenna) Yea
Hajek Yea Hansen Yea Hawks Nay
Hawley Nay Heinemann (Leslie) Yea Heinert Excused
Hickey Yea Hoffman Yea Hunhoff (Bernie) Yea
Johns Nay Kaiser Yea Killer Nay
Kirschman Yea Kopp Yea Latterell Yea
Lust Yea Magstadt Yea May Nay
Mickelson Yea Miller Yea Munsterman Yea
Nelson Yea Novstrup (David) Yea Olson (Betty) Yea
Otten (Herman) Yea Parsley Nay Peterson Yea
Qualm Yea Rasmussen Yea Ring Yea
Romkema Nay Rounds Yea Rozum Yea
Russell Yea Schaefer Yea Schoenfish Yea
Schrempp Yea Sly Yea Soli Nay
Solum Yea Stalzer Yea Steele Yea
Stevens Yea Tulson Yea Tyler Yea
Verchio Yea Werner Yea Westra Yea
Wick Yea Wink Nay Wismer Nay
Gosch Yea
Ayes 56 Nays 13 Excused 1 Absent 0

HB 1237 received its first reading on the Senate floor yesterday, February 21, and was referred to the Senate State Affairs committee. The hearing will occur in the coming weeks, we hope our readers will reach out to committee members via phone and/or email and express opposition to HB 1237.

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Rally in Pierre to protest HB 1237

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On Friday morning February 15, 2013 pro-choice advocates gathered on the steps of the state Capitol Building in Pierre to protest against House Bill 1237, which was up for discussion and vote in the House Judiciary Committee. HB 1237 redefines the state’s 72-hour mandatory delay and two-trip requirement by applying it only to business days—weekends and holidays are excluded from counting toward the three-day waiting period.

Representative Peggy Gibson and Senator Angie Buhl joined activists on the steps to show their support for killing the bill in the House committee. Rep. Gibson talked about how the bill opposes what South Dakota women believe about making decisions for their own bodies.

Holding handmade signs, advocates braved the chilly weather on the steps before heading inside to sit-in on the House Judiciary Committee meeting. After hearing testimony from both the bill proponents and opponents (including our executive director and an intern), the committee voted on whether or not to send HB 1237 to the House floor. Rep. Gibson attempted to kill the bill, but was unsuccessful. Unfortunately, the House Judiciary Committee voted to send the bill onward, with only Rep. Gibson and Rep. Killer voting against it (Rep. Feinstein was excused).

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HB 1237, House Judiciary, Do Pass Amended

Wink Yea Killer Nay Feinstein Excused
Gibson Nay Hoffman Yea Magstadt Excused
Kopp Yea Erickson Yea Stevens Yea
Johns Yea Hajek Yea Hansen Yea
Gosch Yea
Ayes 9 Nays 2 Excused 2 Absent 0