South Dakota Abortion Referendum (Remember That One?) Almost Too Close to Call

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When South Dakotans overwhelmingly put a vote on their state’s “no exceptions for rape and incest” abortion ban (aka Supreme Court bait) on the November ballot, prochoicers allowed themselves a twinge of schadenfreude: For once, it seemed, prolifers had gone too far, committing themselves to a law that even the reddest of red-state voters couldn’t abide. Then, in June, came the first big letdown, with almost no national media attention: Four Republican state legislators who had voted against the law lost to more conservative primary challengers. Now–after a couple of months of campaigning, which, as the LA Times reports, features prolife ads with a “feminist” flair–the ban is down only 44 to 47 percent in a poll (commissioned by a prolife group, so grain of salt advised), which amounts to a statistical dead heat. Hard to believe the law will survive, especially if the GOP’s hard-core base stays home, but stranger things have happened. For a great primer on what’s really at stake here, check out Cynthia Gorney’s piece in the New Yorker, which alas is not online, though you get a flavor in this interview.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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