South Dakota's Abortion Ban
South Dakota’s has signed into law the country’s most restrictive abortion ban, outlawing abortions in almost all cases, including rape, incest and to protect the mother’s health, in a blatant violation of Supreme Court rulings.
NOW examines how anti-abortion activists in the state are not only working to overturn Roe v. Wade but also to promote abstinence-only education for young people and limit the availability of contraception.
"There’s been a lot of emphasis on the part of the right-to-lifers on what they call the traumatic aspects of abortion and I think, over time, this has created a higher degree of anxiety in our patients," Sarah Stoesz, head of Planned Parenthood in Minnesota and the Dakotas told NOW.
Stoesz has vowed to keep open the state’s only abortion clinic - which flies in doctors from Minnesota to perform the procedure - despite the ban.
South Dakota’s Alpha Center, headed by Leslee Unruh, is one of dozen clinics across the state that provides what they call ‘post abortion counseling.’ "There is no freedom after abortion. You carry an empty crib in your heart forever," Unruh said.
One of the center’s clients, a young woman named Carrie, attributed her stress to the abortion she had when she was 21. She is now married and the mother of three children.
"Taking a life is considered murder … sometimes I think I should take myself down to jail," Carrie said.
NOW attended the Alpha Center’s ‘Purity Ball’ in which young girls in South Dakota pledge their chastity to their fathers in an effort to abstain from pre-marital sex.
In age where the lines of politics, personal ethics, and religion are blurred, NOW asks the question: When is it appropriate for personal morality to become government policy?
Catholics in the middle: a NOW Web Exclusive
NOW’s Senior correspondent, Maria Hinojosa, talks to the head of Catholics for Free Choice, Frances Kissling, in a web exclusive interview. Kissling blames the pro-life community for banning education on contraception that would prevent pregnancy in the first place. "I often think that it’s those who say they are pro-life that are often more pro-abortion than anyone else," Kissling told Hinojosa.
No Right to Choose?
Producer: William Brangham
Editor: Alison Amron, David Kreger
Show Editor: Kathy Black