updated 7/31/2006 4:48:40 PM ET 2006-07-31T20:48:40

South Dakota voters are leaning against the state’s tough new ban on abortions, a poll released Monday shows.

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The statewide survey of 800 registered voters found 47 percent opposed the strict ban, while 39 percent favored it. The remaining 14 percent were undecided. The poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The Legislature voted overwhelmingly earlier this year to make abortion illegal in all cases — including rape and incest — unless the procedure was necessary to save the woman’s life. It was to become law on July 1, but opponents gathered enough signatures to delay it and to let voters decide in November whether the ban should take effect.

If voters reject the abortion ban at the ballot box, they would effectively repeal it.

Monday’s poll also asked voters who said they would reject the ban or were undecided how they would vote if the legislation allowed abortions in cases of rape or incest: 59 percent said they would support it, 29 percent said they would still reject a ban, and 12 percent were undecided.

Mason-Dixon Polling & Research conducted the telephone survey July 24-26 for KELO-TV and the Argus Leader of Sioux Falls.

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