Thursday, November 02, 2006

Outside Money Fuels Battle on Abortion

H/T to Marti

Published: November 2, 2006
The fierce battle over abortion in South Dakota has cost some $4 million, much of that from places other than South Dakota.

National Battle Over Abortion Focuses on South Dakota Vote (November 1, 2006) That is what the two largest political groups campaigning on the issue say they have collected in the months leading up to next week, when voters there will decide whether to uphold a ban on nearly all abortions in what would become the most restrictive such law passed in the nation in at least 14 years.

Vote Yes for Life, a group that has pressed for approval of the law, said on Wednesday that it had received $2.15 million in cash, as well as contributions of $39,000 in goods and services. The South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, which has urged voters to reject the provision legislators adopted in February and the governor signed in March, said it had collected $1.8 million since late June, as well as in-kind contributions of less than $50,000.

All along, each side had said its efforts were being driven by South Dakota natives, but had complained that the other side was being pressed on and heavily financed by well organized national organizations from Washington and elsewhere.

As a deadline for filing financial data to state officials arrived this week, both sides issued news releases that show they have received money from outside South Dakota.

The South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families said that of the $1.8 million, less than $160,000 — about 9 percent — came from South Dakota; the campaign got 738 contributions from state residents, it said. The rest — more than 10,000 donations totaling more than $1.6 million — came from elsewhere. Vote Yes For Life, meanwhile, said that 65 percent of its money came from inside the state.