Signs of hope
South Dakotans are working to put an initiative on the ballot to overturn their states draconian anti-abortion legislation. They have until June 19th to collect over 16,000 signatures. The backers of this initiative were expecting it to be an uphill battle. But after only a couple of weeks they have already reached 1/3 of their goal!
In fact, staunch Republicans are signing the initiative. Why?
Spotting three teenagers with clipboards as he walked up to the Sturgis post office, Jack Hoel, 74, broke into a grin.
"I can't wait to sign," he said. "I was going to go out looking for this petition."
Hoel is a staunch Republican in a county that twice backed President Bush with nearly 75% of the vote. "You have to be, in South Dakota, or you get extradited," he joked.
But Hoel disliked the thought of politicians interfering in a family's most intimate decisions. "It's too personal to be legislated," he said.
The road for the Democrats out of the abortion jungle is paved with questions about the proper role of government in our most personal medical decisions. South Dakota and Terri Shiavo are the poster children for this effort. They demonstrate clearly what the real agenda is: requiring government approval before we can make decisions about birth and death.
As Markos so aptly put it on The Colbert Report the other day, "We have found that the Republicans are really good at telling you when you can be born, they're good at telling you when you can die, but not very good at the stuff in between."
If neither South Dakota or Terri Shiavo had happened it would have been difficult for Democrats to convince voters that this is really what the Republican party stands for. But they have made our case for us.
Apparently this question has been polled already in SD and the results look very promising:
Pollsters hired by Focus: South Dakota contacted 630 South Dakota voters by telephone for random interviews from Thursday through Saturday, and 62 percent said the legislation is too extreme, 33 percent said they support the bill and the rest were undecided.
When people were asked if they thought the abortion ban should be put on the November ballot, 72 percent answered yes. Pollsters found that 79 percent of Democrats, 67 percent of independents, and 65 percent of Republicans favor a statewide vote on the issue.
The people behind this initiative can be found here.