There were 205 ballot questions
before voters in 37 states, and Catholic leaders had taken stands on many of
them. Voters rejected
One of the most closely watched
initiatives was the proposed
Abortion supporters were elated by
“Tonight’s victory belongs to the
When he was bishop of Sioux Falls, Saginaw, Mich., Bishop Robert Carlson had urged Catholics to vote for the ban because, far from its being an intrusion on private decisions, “The Catholic Church has taught from the beginning that the killing of the unborn — burning them with a solution the doctor injects into the womb, cutting them up while still alive in the womb like so much meat, or sucking out the brain in partial-birth abortion — is intrinsically evil, murder and can never be justified.”
American Life League President
Judie Brown said the
“We’ve got to learn a lesson from this,” she said.
Some political analysts say the abortion ban likely would have passed if it had included an exception in the cases of rape and incest.
“The loopholes are so few that I
don’t think South Dakotans were all that enamored of being the test case for Roe v. Wade with that kind of law,”
Some supporters had envisioned a challenge to the law leading to the Supreme Court, with its new pro-life judges, reviewing the 1973 decision that struck down state abortion bans.
But Father Frank Pavone, founder
of Missionaries of the Gospel of Life and national director of Priests for
Life, said rejection of the ban “does not in any way mean that the people of
While supporters of the ban were disappointed, they do not plan to give up the fight to ban abortion.
never, never give up,” Leslee Unruh, who headed up the effort to enact
the law, told supporters after the initiative’s defeat. “Women are being heard
all over this nation, and it started here in
‘Show Me’ Showdown
The Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, a non-partisan group of patient and medical groups, spent more than $30 million to support the amendment. The majority of the coalition’s funding was provided by the Kansas City-based Stowers family who oversee the Stowers Institute for Medical Research.
The debate garnered national
attention and ads from prominent
Despite opposition from the state’s Catholic bishops, the measure received support from a group of Catholics. Catholics for Amendment 2, led by former U.S. Senator Tom Eagleton, responded to St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke and Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn’s letters to parishioners by encouraging Catholics to support the amendment.
“We believe that Amendment 2 strikes a responsible balance,” said a letter issued by the group, who described the measure as one with “clear ethical boundaries and safety guidelines.”
“This extreme protection of one industry, for something that is inherently and gravely immoral, is unprecedented in any state,” wrote Bishop Finn.
“Voters were lied to,” said Jaci Winship, executive director
for Missourians Against Human Cloning. “They were told
on the ballot they were banning cloning when, in fact, they were voting to put
cloning into the
In a Nov. 8 statement, Archbishop
Burke said: “The citizens of
Parents in Dark
Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, the California Teachers Association and the Campaign for Real Teen Safety joined forces to defeat the proposition.
It was the second time that such a
measure has been defeated in
Albin Rhomberg, spokesman for the “Yes on 85” campaign, credited the loss to the state’s exceptionally low voter turnout. He said there isn’t much motivation to vote when there’s such a liberal stranglehold in the state’s Legislature.
“Seventy-five percent of Californians support the concept of parental notification,” said Rhomberg. “Yet, only 43.9 % of registered voters voted. It’s hard to get people to go vote on a ballot initiative.”
And yet he said there was value in the campaign raising the issue. Said Rhomberg, “Perhaps there will be a greater wakeup about these things.”
He pointed out that the proposition won in 41 of 80 assembly districts and 27 of 50 congressional districts. Rhomberg expects that the initiative will reappear. “We put an enormous amount of time getting the language just right,” said Rhomberg. “We’ll try it again in June of 2008.”
Tim Drake is based in