National Partnership for Women & Families

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ELECTION 2008 | Pastors Form Group To Support S.D. Abortion Ban Ballot Initiative

ELECTION 2008 | Pastors Form Group To Support S.D. Abortion Ban Ballot Initiative
[Sept. 12, 2008]

Several South Dakota church leaders pledged Wednesday to show support for Measure 11, an abortion ban ballot proposal, through an organization called the Lampstand Project, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports (Gabrukiewicz, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 9/11). The proposal, which will be on the state's ballot in November, would ban abortions except in cases of rape or incest, to save a woman's life or a "substantial and irreversible" health risk of impairment to "a major bodily organ or system" (Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 8/12).

Some pastors involved with the Lampstand Project said that they want to involve as many as 800 churches in the campaign, adding that each participating church would display the project's logo to signify that women and men can access help with unplanned pregnancies. Jon Sanders -- pastor of Flandreau Bible Church in Flandreau, S.D. -- said that by encouraging congregations to support the November ballot initiative, pastors are "sounding a clear trumpet call from the pulpit" and that even after the vote has taken place, "Lampstand churches will remain committed and available to women and children, born and unborn."

According to the Argus Leader, many pastors and "church-goers" across South Dakota are not supportive of the ballot initiative. Rodney Gist -- caring minister at First United Methodist Church and adviser to the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, which opposes the measure -- said that the initiative "invites government intrusion into families' personal, moral decisions," adding that decisions regarding pregnancy should be treated on an individual basis (Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 9/11).