The Honorable Matthew J.W. Michels
Speaker of the House
Pierre, SD 57501-5070
Dear Speaker Michels and Members of the House:
I herewith return House Bill 1191 with the following recommendations as to STYLE and FORM.
House Bill 1191 is An Act to establish certain legislative findings, to reinstate the prohibition
against certain acts causing the termination of an unborn human life and to prescribe a penalty
I have serious concerns that South Dakota will lose its ability to regulate abortions based upon
legal precedent. Section 16 states, in part, "If any provision of this Act is ever temporarily or
permanently restrained or enjoined by judicial order, the provisions of chapters 34-21A and 22-
17 shall be enforced." The bill, however, expressly repeals several provisions of chapter 34-23A.
The provisions in chapter 34-23A to be repealed provide when, under what conditions, and for
what reasons a legal abortion may be performed in South Dakota. It is a basic principle of
statutory construction that the "repeal of the repealer" does not revive a repealed law. Section 15
while well intended. Does not cure this defect. Additionally, at least one court has held that
existing laws regulating abortions cannot be enforced when a ban on abortions has been enacted.
Please see Weeks v. Connick, 733 F. Supp. 1036 (E.D La. 1990). The enactment of this bill in its
current form carries with it the risk that abortions will be performed in South Dakota without any
state oversight or regulation as currently provided in chapter 34-23A noted above. House Bill
1191, as written, does not clearly preserve the major aspects of South Dakota's present, albeit
limited, ability to regulate abortion if this legislation is challenged as expected. I believe the
corrections I propose strengthen the statement of legislative intent while reducing the risk of
unregulated abortions in South Dakota. Given the importance of HB 1911 to the people of South
Dakota and my concern that existing law be preserved should House Bill 1191 be enjoined by the
courts, I recommend the following Style and Form corrections to the Senate Engrossed House
On page 5, line 14, after "22-17", insert "in effect prior to the enactment of this Act".
On page 5, line 14, after "enforced" insert, "specifically including the provisions of § 34-23A-2,
§ 34-23A-3, § 34-23A-4, § 34-23A-5 repealed in sections 10, 11, 12, and 13 of this Act".
I respectfully request you concur with my recommendations as to style and form.
M. Michael Rounds