By Dave Andrusko
With the Food and Drug Administration firmly under control of the pro-abortion Biden-Harris administration, it is widely expected the FDA will convert the temporary relaxation of the requirement that women have an in-person visit before undergoing a chemical abortion into a permanent change.
That’s why the executive order issued yesterday by pro-life South Dakota Gov. Governor Kristi Noem is so important.
Executive Order 2021-12 “directs the South Dakota Department of Health to establish rules preventing telemedicine abortions in South Dakota,” according to the governor’s office. “The executive order also restricts chemical abortions in the state.”
Gov. Noem “plans to work with the South Dakota legislature to pass legislation that makes these and other protocols permanent in the 2022 legislative session.”
Noem accused the Biden Administration of “continuing to overstep its authority and suppress legislatures that are standing up for the unborn to pass strong pro-life laws.” As one example, she said “They are working right now to make it easier to end the life of an unborn child via telemedicine abortion. That is not going to happen in South Dakota.”
The Associated Press explained that South Dakota already has rules “that abortion-inducing drugs can only be prescribed or dispensed by a state-licensed physician after an in-person examination.” While “South Dakota law already places that requirement on doctors,” Stephen Groves reported, “the Republican governor’s order was made in anticipation that the Food and Drug Administration later this year will allow abortion medications to be dispensed through the mail or virtual pharmacies.”
The state Department of Health reports that about 39% of abortions in South Dakota last year were chemically-induced.
According to the governor’s office, Executive Order 2021-12 restricts telemedicine abortion in the following ways:
- Declares that abortion drugs may only be prescribed or dispensed by a physician who is licensed in South Dakota after an in-person examination;
- Blocks abortion-inducing drugs from being provided via courier, delivery, telemedicine, or mail service;
- Prevents abortion-inducing drugs from being dispensed or provided in schools or on state grounds; and
- Reiterates that licensed physicians must ensure that Informed Consent laws are properly administered.
It also directs the Department of Health to do the following:
- Develop licensing requirements for “pill only” abortion clinics;
- Collect empirical data on how often chemical abortions are performed as a percentage of all abortions, including how often women experience complications that require a medical follow-up; and
- Enhance reporting requirements on emergency room complications related to chemical abortion.
Grove of the AP nicely summarized key components of the executive order:
Noem’s order blocks the drugs from being delivered through the mail or other delivery services and outlaws the drugs from being provided in schools or on state property. It also requires licenses for any clinics that only prescribe medicine for abortions and require more stringent reporting on medicine-induced abortions and any health complications related to them.
That latter point is extremely important. A huge selling point for chemical [“medication”] abortions is their alleged safety, which is flatly not true.
Ian Fury, the communications director for Gov. Noem, told KELOLAND News “the order is a response to President Joe Biden.”
Alluding to the REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy), Fury said, “The Biden administration has signaled an intent to do away with that protocol permanently, as the EO (executive order) explains. Thus, the EO is stepping into the breach to preserve what was the status quo – no chemical abortion by mail/telemedicine.”