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Who's going to tell South Dakota it's 2010?

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We were going to write about Robert Pattinson’s joke misfire in which he told Details magazine that he’s “allergic to vagina” (we read his “explanation” and we still don’t get it). But then our friends at Planned Parenthood sent us a link to this awesome Washington Post profile of PP’s Dr. Carol Ball, who travels 200 miles to South Dakota every month to perform abortions (since no South Dakota doctor is willing to do them). And we remembered that there are, actually, more important things going on in the world than RPattz’s alleged vajajay allergy.

For many years Ball worked anonymously, wanting to protect her privacy and also to protect herself and her family from people like Scott Roeder, who murdered abortion provider George Tiller last year by shooting him in the head — in church. But now her children are older and she wants to show them the importance of standing up for what you believe in.

Seeing as we don’t sit on the jury of the Nobel Peace Prize or any other kind of fancy medal, the best we can do is offer Ball some serious props here. This woman travels hundreds of miles every month (with a security detail, natch) to help out women who suffer the simple misfortune of an unintended pregnancy in South Dakota. A state where staff at abortion clinics are still required to tell patients that “The abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” (Fortunately a judge just struck down the other two requirements of staff — that they were to tell the pregnant woman that she has “an existing relationship with that unborn human being,” and that a “known medical risk” of abortion is an “increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide.”)

In other words, South Dakotans are living in a time warp, with rare visits from the present thanks to lionhearts like Ball. None of this, sadly, is breaking news. And none of it is inspiring marches on Washington right now. Which is why, Twihards though we may be, that we decided to post about Dr. Carol Ball today.

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photo by daveynin