PIERRE, S.D., Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Gov. Mike Rounds said he is "inclined to sign" a bill passed by the South Dakota Legislature that would virtually ban abortion in the state.
The state House of Representatives voted 50-18 Friday to send the bill to Rounds. The state Senate voted 23-12 Wednesday to approve the measure.
Rounds is expected to act on it in the next two weeks. If he signs it, the bill would become effective July 1.
The governor, a Republican who bills himself as "pro-life," said he would study the bill to see if it would save lives.
"If this bill accomplishes that, then I am inclined to sign the bill into law," Rounds said, the Sioux Falls (S.D.) Argus-Leader reported.
Abortion rights supporters have promised a lawsuit if the bill is signed, a move that could send the abortion issue to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has recently added two members -- Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito -- whose legal opinions on abortion haven't been tested at that level.
Supporters of the South Dakota legislation have termed it a direct challenge to the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling that made abortion legal in the United States in 1973.