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Deutsch wants broader ban against sales from abortions

PIERRE—Since 1993, South Dakota has prohibited the use for research or transplantation of any unborn or newborn child or any organ or tissue from the child who has been subject to an induced abortion.

But a South Dakota legislator wants a stronger ban.

Rep. Fred Deutsch, R-Florence, said Wednesday evening he will submit legislation in the 2016 session "that clarifies it is illegal to transact, barter or in any way engage in the sale of fetal body parts or tissues from elective abortions."

Deutsch said he would seek to make a violation a Class 6 felony subject to two years in prison and a $4,000 fine.

His comments came amid a national controversy unfolding over Planned Parenthood's involvement in providing fetal materials for federally funded research.

He recently returned from a National Right To Life Committee meeting where presidential candidates spoke July 10. He announced Monday on Twitter that he would attempt to ban abortions in South Dakota after 20 weeks, similar to Wisconsin and 14 other states.

Deutsch said Wednesday he was already familiar with South Dakota's existing law banning fetal tissue or organs for research or transplants.

"That's a bit different than restricting the sale of the tissue or organ. Perhaps my bill will be considered overkill, but my intention is to make it absolutely clear selling body parts from elective abortions is illegal in South Dakota," Deutsch said.

He said his proposal could have broad support.

"Regardless of one's position on the issue of life verse choice, I believe most South Dakotans would agree that the sale of fetal body parts is both gruesome and revolting," he said in an email.

Deutsch, a chiropractor and advocate for K-12 education, posted a photo on Twitter on June 24 from a meeting of the South Dakota Right To Life Committee with the description, "Probably the most important board I've ever served on."