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Abortion Not Banned In South Dakota

Is it just me, or does it seem that the failure of the abortion-ban referendum in South Dakota hasn’t gotten much attention? It’s certainly understandable why, what with the Democratic blowout, the Rumsfeld throwout, and a million other pieces of election interest. But still, take a look at this N.Y. Times election post-mortem: you have to get to the fifth paragraph for news of the defeated referendum, and it’s not mentioned in the headline. Compare this with the reams of print that greeted the announcement of the referendum months ago. Maybe this is an indicator that abortion is losing its power as the issue that divides one set of voters from another, and one set of politicians from another. After all, the new Pennsylvania senator Bill Casey is an anti-abortion Democrat. And Rudy Giuliani, who might run for president in ’08, is a pro-choice Republican. (I sincerely doubt Giuliani will run anyway; as popular as he is these days, I don’t know if the electorate wants a president who’s been married three times, once to a cousin.)