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South Dakota Senate approves sweeping abortion ban

[JURIST] The South Dakota Senate [official website] on Wednesday approved by a 23-12 vote a bill [PDF text] that would ban all abortions, excluding only those necessary to save a woman's life. A similar bill [PDF text] has already passed the state House by a vote of 47-22. After legislators reconcile minor differences in the two versions of the bill, the final version will go to Governor Mike Rounds [official website] for signature. A longtime opponent of abortion, Rounds is expected to sign the bill.

The legislation is an attack on Roe v. Wade [opinion text] and supporters of the South Dakota bill expect the law to be challenged. Anti-abortion groups are hoping for a showdown in the US Supreme Court, which is now viewed as more conservative following the appointments of Chief Justice John Roberts [OYEZ profile] and Justice Samuel Alito [OYEZ profile]. Planned Parenthood [advocacy website] announced Wednesday that it will indeed challenge the bill [press release]. AP has more. From South Dakota, Megan Myers and Terry Woster of the Argus Leader have local coverage.

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