Reproductive Rights and Awareness Week

Over the weekend Madville Times posted about HCR1001 a resolution to recognize January 22-28, 2012, as Reproductive Rights Awareness Week.  The resolution would, “…encourage public awareness, conversation, and support for reproductive rights and justice nationwide…”

While it does not have the effect of law, such a resolution recognizes the importance of reproductive rights, something that the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families has been working to protect since our inception in 2006.

Regardless if this resolution passes and the week is officially recognized as “Reproductive Rights Awareness Week” by the current legislature, we feel it is important for all South Dakotans to recognize that a goal of reducing abortion in South Dakota is best accomplished by working toward constructive measures that reduce the incidence of unintended pregnancy and, in turn, reduce the demand for abortion.

Future attempts to reduce abortions in South Dakota should focus on improving education in our communities and expanding access to contraception and family planning services – not punitive measures.

While the legislature has been largely quiet this session on laws restricting reproductive rights, South Dakotans have not been so silent.  They have repeatedly rejected attempts to impose further restrictions on medical care by rejected abortion bans in both 2006 and 2008.

We hope the legislature bears this in mind when considering HCR1001 and any bill intended to restrict reproductive choice in South Dakota.

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