“The right and duty to preserve life cannot co-exist with a right or duty to destroy it. The right and duty to preserve and protect the cherished relationship between mother and child cannot co-exist with a right and duty to destroy it.”
South Dakota House Concurrent Resolution, HCR 1004, passed 2/5/15
On February 5, 2015, both houses of the South Dakota legislature passed a resolution (HCR 1004) calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the decision in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973). Citing the Court’s history of overturning previous decisions that had denied human rights, including overturning Dred Scott v. Sanford (1856) which had upheld slavery laws and Plessy v. Furguson (1896) which had upheld segregation, South Dakota has called on the Court to overturn the 1973 decision which, along with its companion case Doe v. Bolton (1973) and protect the intrinsic rights of unborn children.
The resolution is the result of a decade of legislative effort. In 2005, the South Dakota legislature created, by statute, the South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion, which issued a seventy-one page report. Despite attempts by the legislature to protect pregnant mothers against, in the words of the resolution, “the negligence and dereliction of abortion providers themselves,” the federal district court had “permitted the abortion providers to stand in the place of the very women whose rights they violated.”
The resolution cites the legal history of the informed consent laws, and states, “The right and duty to preserve life cannot co-exist with a right or duty to destroy it. The right and duty to preserve and protect the cherished relationship between mother and child cannot co-exist with a right and duty to destroy it. It is the law, as it represents the collective interests of the individuals for whom it exists, that must choose which set of interests it must protect, and long ago our law was required to choose life over death; the mother’s beautiful interest in her child’s life over its destruction; the protection of innocent children over the misguided philosophies and trends in social thought which come and go.”
” If there are any self-evident and universal truths that can act for the human race as a guide or light in which social and human justice can be grounded, they are these: that life has intrinsic value; that each individual human being is unique and irreplaceable; that the cherished role of a mother and her relationship with her child, at every moment of life, has intrinsic worth and beauty; that the intrinsic beauty of motherhood is inseparable from the beauty of womanhood; and that this relationship, its unselfish nature and its role in the survival of the race is the touchstone and core of all civilized society. Its denigration is the denigration of the human race. This relationship, its beauty, its survival, its benefits to the mother and child, its benefits to society, all rest in the self-evident truth that a mother is not the owner of her child’s life – she is the trustee of it…”
The resolution continues with a detailed history of the issues and case law, and requests that the Court to “select the case that most properly presents the important issues, in order to reassess Roe and Casey, and overturn them.”
HCR 1004 is available online: http://legis.sd.gov/docs/legsession/2015/Bills/HCR1004P.pdf