South Dakota Right to Life

South Dakota Right to Life Committee

Board of Directors

1107 Mt. Rushmore Rd, Suite 1B

Rapid City, SD  57701

Phone: 605-220-8678

Each of our 12 state regions is eligible to have two directors on the Board of Directors.
In addition, there may be two directors-at-large.
If you know of pro-lifers interested in filling open positions on the Board of Directors, please call 605-220-8678 or email southdakotarighttolife@gmail.com.

Dale Bartscher, Executive Director

Dale Bartscher

A native of Mitchell, South Dakota, Mr. Bartscher is known and respected throughout the state as a tireless and visionary leader.


A graduate of Dakota Bible College and Cincinnati Christian Seminary, Mr. Bartscher served for many years as a pastor in Minnesota and South Dakota.  Beginning in 2007, he served three years as West River Director for the South Dakota Family Policy Council.  In 2010, he was named founding Executive Director of the Family Heritage Alliance, which grew into one of the state’s most effective Christian public policy organizations.

 

In 2018, Mr. Bartscher served former SD Attorney General Marty Jackley as State Political Director of his gubernatorial campaign.  On working with Dale, Mr. Jackley commented, “I witnessed first-hand his honesty, dedication, and ability to address complex challenges.”  “Working with Dale,” he went on to say, “has always inspired me to work harder and to be a better person.”

 

On September 16, 2019, Mr. Bartscher began his work as the Executive Director of South Dakota Right to Life. Nationally founded in 1968, National Right To Life celebrates this year…51 years of protecting defenseless human life from conception to natural death.

 

Dale, and his wife Jan, have two daughters, a son-in-law and two amazing grandchildren of which they are very proud.  

Our Board of Directors

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Debbie Pease
President - Region 5

Debbie is the past lobbyist and state field coordinator for South Dakota Right to Life.  As an educator and mother of nine, she has a passion to help our youth understand the value and dignity of each human life from conception to natural death.  She greatly appreciates the opportunity to work with so many pro-life champions across the state.

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Jon Hansen
Vice President - Region 4

Jon lives in Dell Rapids with his wife, Sheila, and their four children. He is a lawyer and Representative in the South Dakota House of Representatives, where he has sponsored numerous life-saving, pro-life laws.  Hansen is the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and serves in leadership as a House Majority Whip. Hansen recognizes the dignity inherent in all people and is dedicated to defending the right to life of all human beings from conception to natural death. 

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Anne Hanson
Secretary - Region 2

Anne and her husband, Greg, have 4 children and live in Watertown. She owns a marketing agency and is SDRTL's webmaster. Growing up, Anne remembers her parents being involved in their local Right to Life group and has always felt a calling to do her part.  

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Spencer Cody
Treasurer - Region 6

Spencer lives in Mina, South Dakota, with his wife and two daughters. He teaches 7-12 science at Edmunds Central in Roscoe, South Dakota. As a scientist and a teacher, Spencer understands that the pro-death mentality is anti-science.

Spencer served as SDRTL’s Vice President from 2011 to 2018 and has served as Treasurer since 2018.  He has always considered it both a privilege and a blessing to serve on the SDRTL board. 

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Valerie Johnson
NRLC Delegate

Valerie is an at-large member of the National Right to Life Executive Committee.

She and her husband Rick  have 6 children. Valerie is current the Director of Music at Holy Family Catholic Church in Mitchell.  

There are many reasons I am active in the right to life movement and they all are rooted in the fact that humans are exceptional. We all have a duty to protect the most vulnerable among us. Being part of Right to Life increases the strength of individuals - we are stronger together. 

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Dr. Fred Deutsch
Past President - Region 2

Dr. Deutsch is a retired chiropractor and current state legislator from Watertown. The son of a Holocaust survivor whose grandparents were murdered in Auschwitz, Dr. Deutsch was raised to profoundly appreciate the
value of life. He is a staunch advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves including the unborn. He and his wife, Kathleen, have 4
children and eight grandchildren.

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Kassidy Peters
Youth Outreach - At Large

Kassidy and her husband, Kyle, live in Watertown, SD, with their daughter. She owns and runs a Real Estate Appraisal business. Kassidy is pro-life because she believes that every person, no matter how old or young, born or unborn, was created in the image of God and matters just as much as the next person. She wants to ensure that all youth around the nation understand how important our work is to advocate for the unborn.

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Victor Rapkoch
Region 1

Victor is Deputy State’s Attorney and has a civil practice in Britton, SD. He and his wife, Mary, have 4 children with a 5th on the way. Victor is Pro- Life because human life is God’s creation from conception all the way until natural death. Life is worth protecting at all stages, and Victor wants to help spread that message.

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Region 1

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Dr. Leslie Heinemann
Region 3

Dr. Heinemann began practicing dentistry in Flandreau in 1981 and established a second dental clinic in Dell Rapids in 2000. He recently retired, both from dentistry and the legislature, serving 6 years in the South Dakota House of Representatives.

Leslie and his wife, Libby, have been married for 46 years, and have 4 children and 10 grandchildren. Leslie actively farms over 500 acres.

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Doug Post
Region 3

Doug grew up in rural Brookings County, graduated from SDSU, and now owns a small farm raising dairy and beef cattle with his wife, Ginger and five children, Steph, Zach, Jacob, Kaden and Tory.  He has been active in Volga Christian School, Volga Christian Reformed Church and served as a state Representative for District 7. 

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Shane Oien
Region 4

Shane is the President of Sioux Falls Area Right to Life.

He owns and operates a consumer products company that distributes products to retailers across the country. Shane and his wife have 3 children, Rilee (22), Chase (18) , and Noah (11). Shane has always been Pro-Life, just never "active" until he saw the undercover video releases by Project Veritas. It was then that he knew he had to become involved in some way to make an impact. 

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Donna Schafer
Region 5

Donna was married to her husband, Jerry, for 62 years and together they raised 5 children. Donna was an elementary teacher for 23 years in Vermillion, SD. Donna has always been pro-life, but recently became acquainted with a niece that her sister gave up for adoption. She is a beautiful  Christian woman who is thankful that her birth mother made the decision she did.

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Al Novstrup
Region 6

Al and his wife, Kathy, live in Aberdeen, SD.  Kathy works at the United Methodist Church.  They have 2 children six grandchildren. In his ‘spare time’ Al serves as a SD State Senator from District 3 (Brown County).  Roger Hunt and Al were the prime sponsors of HB1217 in 2011 that required counseling and a waiting period prior to an abortion being preformed. Fred Deutsch and Al were the prime sponsors of HB1051 in 2021 called the Born Alive Bill. 

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Marilyn Mendenhall
Region 7

Marilyn and her husband have eight children (four are deceased) and her goal in life was to be a mother. Her parents were very prolife and faithful Catholics. They valued education and were proud of the fact that all their children graduated from SDSU. She enjoys visiting her sons and grandchildren. She has been a school librarian since 1999. Currently she serves as District Librarian at Crow Creek Tribal School at Stephan. Recently she was president of Brookings Area Right to Life. Her greatest accomplishment is her sons. She is looking forward to serving South Dakotans through the SDRTL Board of Directors. One of Mendenhall's favorite quotes is “The soul is healed by being with children.”― Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Mary Unterbrunner
Region 7

Mary grew up on a farm near Iroquois SD. She is a farm wife. She and her husband, Charlie, will celebrate 45 years of marriage in October this year. They have 7 children and 10 grandchildren. She works as the assistant cook at Sanborn Central School in Forestburg and they are members of St. Charles Catholic Church in Artesian.

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Dan Hargreaves
Region 8

Dan and his wife, Marlene, farm in Stickney, SD. They have 3 grown children and 8 grandchildren. Dan has served on the SDRTL board since 2003. Dan believes that in the short time we are here on earth, it is to prove where we will spend eternity, we must be totally committed Jesus first and also to others, beginning with basic life itself.

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Chris Newton
Region 8

Chris and her husband Collin live in Parkston, where they own their own business. They have 4 children,  3 boys and a girl and two daughter in laws.   They were blessed with their first grandbaby girl 5 months ago. Their youngest is in his senior year of High School.   As a teen, Chris remembers watching the “Silent Scream” at religious ed, and it left a lasting impression of knowing abortion was wrong and needed to end. Chris has been involved with the pro-life movement in her church or by promoting Pro-life candidates during elections.

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Sue Rausch
Region 9

Sue and her husband, Shannon, live in the Hoven area and own a cow/calf and grain farm in partnership with Shannon’s family. They are blessed with 7 children, 4 married, and 3 beautiful grandchildren. Sue's faith is her motivation. God has preserved her life since she was conceived, how can she not spend it trying to flourish the life of every human being He has created?  Sue wishes to thank everyone who has been a great pro-life example to her, including her children.

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Region 9

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Doug Schueller
Region 10

Doug has been involved with pro-life since moving to Pierre, South Dakota, in 1991.  He has served on the SDRTL board since 2003. Doug and his wife, Joan, have been married for 28 years and are blessed with a daughter (married), and three sons.  Life from beginning to end has dignity and priceless value.  Be boldly pro-life within this culture of death.

Jason Williams
Jason Williams
Region 10

Jason Williams lives in Pierre with his wife and two children. Since 2019 Jason has served as South Dakota Deputy State Treasurer. Prior to joining Treasurer Josh Haeder's team, he worked in a senior advisory/public relations capacity in the Secretary of State's office. Jason was born and raised on the family quasquicentennial farm in rural Brown County twenty-five miles outside of Aberdeen.  He appreciates this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."

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Dr. Russ Enns
Region 11

Dr. Enns, retired Biotechnology Scientist & Corporate Officer, specialized in the development of DNA diagnostic tests for infectious disease, cancer and genetics. He joined the SDRTL Board as a region 11 member in 2019. Russ and his wife Shirley (retired Registered Occupational Therapist) are Evangelical Christians, and have been active Pro-Life supporters for decades. They have three adult children who they and their spouses are also all active Pro-Life supporters.

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Region 11

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Jeannette Oliver
Jeanette Oliver
Region 12

Jeannette says, "Although I was privileged to study education and receive my master’s degree in Speech Therapy and Special Education, I have found more joy in being a Christian helpmate of 52 years to Don, a mother to six children, three adopted; a foster mom for 28 years; and now a grandmother to sixteen wonderful grandchildren."

She has volunteered in various roles at her church, as a soccer coach, for political campaigns, and is President of of Bountiful Baskets, Co-President of South Dakota Christian Homeschool Educators, President of the  Black Hills Pregnancy Center board, Activities Director at Rapid City Area Right to Life. 

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Region 12

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Pastor Craig Werling
At Large

Pastor Werling and his wife, Janine, live in Watertown. They co-pastor Hosanna Lutheran Church (LCMC) in Watertown. They have three grown children and one grandson. Pastor Werling 
has always believed that we are created by God, and that life begins at conception. Experiencing the birth of his children made this belief very real.