PIERRE, S.D. – Abortion opponents, hoping to get around voters' objections to a previous measure, announced a bill Monday that would ban the procedure in the state except in limited instances.
Those who oppose abortion hope the measure will become the vehicle for a legal challenge to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
State lawmakers approved a bill last year that would have permitted abortions only when women's lives were in danger, but a petition campaign put the issue on the ballot. Voters rejected the proposal in November by a margin of 56 percent to 44 percent.
The latest legislation is designed to appeal to voters who oppose abortion but feel there should be exceptions in cases of rape, incest and serious endangerment of a woman's health. Last year's measure did not contain those exclusions.
Rep. Mary Glenski, D-Sioux Falls, and several other sponsors gathered in the state Capitol to announce the measure.
"It will definitely reduce the number of abortions in South Dakota," Glenski said.
Copies of the bill with full details were not available, and legislators refused to reveal specifics. The measure would likely be introduced in the House on Tuesday, sponsors said.
A Planned Parenthood official said lawmakers behind the latest effort are doing a disservice to voters who rejected the last abortion ban.
"The people of this state told the government that they shouldn't be involved in these intensely personal and very difficult private family issues," said Kate Looby, state director of Planned Parenthood in South Dakota.
Looby said lawmakers could reduce the demand for abortions by supporting programs that help prevent unintended pregnancies.
About 800 abortions are performed each year in South Dakota.