Media Contact

Janna Farley,

February 7, 2024

Today, the House State Affairs Committee voted to condemn a citizen-led ballot measure that aims to restore abortion access in South Dakota.

The ACLU of South Dakota opposes House Concurrent Resolution 6008. South Dakotans have the right to make direct change through citizen-led ballot initiatives and weigh in on important issues that impact their lives. Whether or not they agree with the subject of the ballot initiative, legislators should respect the process and not use their bully pulpit to intervene.

The following statement can be attributed to Samantha Chapman, ACLU of South Dakota advocacy manager:

“Abortion shouldn’t be a political issue. It’s a health care issue that has been deeply politicized to the detriment of so many people across the country. From pre-teen survivors of sexual assault to women carrying deeply loved pregnancies that will not survive to people who know having a child isn’t right for them at this time, abortion is needed in many complex and varying circumstances. South Dakotans should be in charge of their own pregnancy outcomes.

“Opposing the work that South Dakotans are doing to allow people to vote on whether or not the right to an abortion should be in the state constitution is a dangerous precedent to set. South Dakotans only use the citizen initiative process if the state legislature is not accountable to the voters. Our legislators should be doing everything they can to encourage people to participate in democracy, not try to thwart it.”

About the ACLU of South Dakota

The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of South Dakota is part of a three-state chapter that also includes North Dakota and Wyoming. The team in South Dakota is supported by staff in those states.

The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people.  In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit communities. The ACLU of South Dakota carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for the people of South Dakota.