Thursday, October 11, 2007

South Dakota Supreme Court Will Hear Abortion Ban Campaign Finance Case

Feminist Daily News Wire
October 11, 2007

State officials have asked the South Dakota Supreme Court to rule on whether or not the identity of a major contributor to a campaign to uphold a state law that would have banned abortion must be disclosed. The contribution came from Promising Future, a corporation established by State Rep. Roger Hunt (R) that gave a total of $750,000 to, which campaigned in favor of the ban.

A Circuit Judge ruled last month that Hunt and his corporation had not established a ballot question committee, which would have required the donor’s name to be reported. South Dakota Secretary of State Chris Nelson, however, told the Associated Press that Promising Future acted like a ballot question committee by distributing the $750,000 to a campaign. According to South Dakota law, a ballot question committee has two or more members who raise funds to influence a ballot issue.

After the state Legislature passed a law in 2006 banning abortion except to save the woman’s life, women’s rights groups fought successfully to put the law to a referendum. In November 2006, voters rejected the ban by a margin of over 10 points.

Media Resources:Feminist Daily Newswire 11/6/06; Associated Press 10/6/07; Kaiser Daily Women’s Health Policy Report 10/10/07

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