A bill that would make gender-based abortions illegal in South Dakota is headed for the state Senate. Supporters of the bill it would save unborn girls. Opponents say there's no evidence to suggest this bill is needed.
As of right now, if you were to walk into an abortion clinic and ask for an abortion because of the sex of the fetus, you could receive that... up to 14 weeks. That has people talking from both sides.
House Bill 1162 is the first abortion-related bill of its kind to hit the legislature. Primary sponsor Rep. Jenna Haggar thinks it will make a difference.
"I felt this was discriminatory against females. If you were to look at ratios, nationally, it's the females who are victimized by this," Rep. Jenna Haggar said. "I think sex discrimination is wrong at any age so when we have any statistic that lead toward the female unborn, it's time to protect them."
South Dakota Right to Life says the bill is timely because of, what they call, a growing problem.
"I don't think anyone knows for sure how frequently this is happening. The whole idea behind the bill is that it's going to prevent this in the future," Right to Life lobbyist Debbie Pease said.
Groups supporting a woman's right to choose are concerned with gender discrimination.
"NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota is very concerned with gender discrimination. Although veiled as a bill that would eliminate gender preference, House Bill 1162 is a blatant attempt to chip away at women's reproductive freedom. This bill is just one avenue anti-choice forces in South Dakota are taking to reach their ultimate goal, which is to completely ban abortion access.
NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota works every day to protect and expand a woman's right to make her own reproductive health care decisions. We should be focusing on legislation that truly combats gender inequality in our society, such as promoting equal pay and eliminating gender-based violence. This bill is not about gender inequality; it is about taking away a woman's right to choose."
"We have laws so that you can't discriminate against people because of their sex, disability or whatever. We don't apply that to the pre-born. We need to be consistent and say this is not a good reason to have an abortion," Pease said.
If this bill passes, South Dakota will join seven other states in enacting this ban.