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Lawmaker: Religious virgins eligible for South Dakota abortions

RAW STORY
Published: March 10, 2006

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Resisting calls by moderates from both sides, as well as public statements by President Bush, South Dakota lawmakers have rejected the idea of allowing exemptions for cases of rape or incest to the state's abortion ban.

One backer of the bill, State Senator Bill Napoli, argued on PBS's Newshour that if a victim had followed strict religious guidelines, her life would be endangered by the pregnancy. Under this scenario, she would be eligible for an abortion.

Transcript excerpt via Newshour online:

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FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Napoli says most abortions are performed for what he calls "convenience." He insists that exceptions can be made for rape or incest under the provision that protects the mother's life. I asked him for a scenario in which an exception may be invoked.

BILL NAPOLI: A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.



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