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S. Dakota Readies Again for Abortion Fight

If the country makes the "right decision," Hickey said, "we'll see God's blessing come back."

The Lampstand information packet suggests 35 ways to mobilize church members to back Measure 11.

No. 1 is to make sure the church welcome center is stocked with Vote Yes buttons and bumper stickers. No. 3 is to make time during services to provide updates and make requests. No. 12 is to collect "a special offering for VoteYesForLife.com."

No. 15 is to ask Sunday School classes to volunteer to canvass. No. 28 is to "cancel other activities to make this a priority." No. 29 is to "set a 100 percent goal for getting church members registered to vote." No. 35 is to use church vans on Election Day to get voters to the polls.

Vote Yes leader Unruh was in Rapid City last week to open the largest of her group's three offices. Asked why, she said, "We lost here last time. . . . A lot of libertarians."

She said a key component of the Vote Yes effort is the campaign trail testimony of women who regret their abortions and want to stop others from having them.

"The 'candidates' of this particular initiative are the women who have been harmed, those who feel they had a right to have a relationship with her child," said Unruh, who had an abortion. "The people of South Dakota are standing up and giving those babies a voice."

Tiffany Campbell sees the issue very differently and is providing testimony of her own. The thought that a woman would be forced by legislators to carry a fetus to term, even if the child could not survive more than minutes or hours outside the womb, is abhorrent to her, she said.

Buehner calls the provision "unconscionably cruel."

"So what if it's rare? If it's happening to you, it's not rare," said Campbell, an energetic 32-year-old whose eyes begin to tear when she tells her story. "If it can happen to me, it can happen to you, your sister, your neighbor, your daughter."

After Campbell appeared in an Internet advertisement sponsored by the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, which opposes the referendum, the Vote Yes group said she was the victim of "shameful exploitation." A news release also said her abortion would not be illegal under the proposed law, because it was "an unintended death."

"We knew exactly what we were doing. It was full intent," Campbell said firmly. "I live with it every day, that I had a role in my son's death. But I had to do it to save a life."


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