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S.D. Goes for the Abortion Ban, Again

Two years ago, South Dakota voters rejected a near-total ban on abortion in their state. On November 4th, they will vote on a slightly less extreme version same bill. If enacted, Measure 11 would outlaw all abortions, except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life or health of the mother is at stake.

Experts believe the measure would force women to carry fetuses that are dead or dying.

Tiffany Campbell is a 32-year-old mother of one. In 2006, she and her husband had to make a very difficult choice. Doctors informed the couple that one of the much-wanted identical twin boys she was carrying could never survive outside the womb. The healthy twin’s heart was beating for both of the babies. If doctors didn’t abort the unhealthy twin, she would lose them both. They had 24 hours to decide. The couple opted for a selective termination.

"I had to do it in order to save a life," Tiffany explains.

Today, the Campbells are the proud parents of 20-month-old Bradey.

Tiffany was still pregnant with Bradey and on bed rest in 2006 when the first anti-abortion ballot measure was up for a vote. She knew that her procedure would have been banned under the bill and she wanted to get involved.

She emailed the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, asking what she could do from her bed to defeat the measure. She mentioned in the email that she had undergone a selective termination to save her baby. Tiffany went on to do some media appearances for Healthy Families.

The original abortion ban was defeated, but anti-choicers are back for another round in 2008. This year, she appeared in a series of commercials opposing Measure 11.

Tiffany says the response to the ads has been entirely positive. Sometimes her "No on 11" bumper sticker draws strange looks, though. Her friends and family are supportive.

Tiffany’s husband, who also appears in the ads, has been recognized and congratulated at the gym. Several of his coworkers have made a point of telling him much they respect his stance on the issue.

"I’m doing what I can to make sure that families like mine will have same options that I did," Tiffany says. "These are private personal matters that should be left to women and their families."

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Lindsay Beyerstein

Lindsay Beyerstein