South Dakota committee puts off consideration of further protections for women undergoing chemical abortions until January

By Dave Andrusko

On September 7, South Dakota’s pro-life Gov. Kristi Noem issued an executive order that adds another layer of protection for women undergoing chemical abortions in the state. On Monday, the South Dakota legislature’s Rules Review Committee deadlocked 3-3 on “allowing the department to go forward with the additional regulations on mifepristone and misoprostol,” according to Bob Mercer.

Lora Korpar  explained that the new rule

proposed by the state’s health department and initiated by Governor Kristi Noem via executive order, would require a third doctor’s appointment where the pregnant woman is monitored as she takes the second pill. It would also require patients to obtain the pills within the first nine weeks of pregnancy.

The proposed regulations would require a third trip to the facility 24 to 72 hours later to receive misoprostol, the second drug.

The lawmakers “did not want to send the rule back to the Department of Health for edits, but also did not want the department to file the rule with the Secretary of State without the committee’s approval,” according to Korpar.

“Instead, they decided to revisit the decision next month, also asking the Department of Health to provide a reason as to why a patient taking their second abortion pill at the doctor’s office is necessary” [www.newsweek.com/committee-deadlocked-sd-gov-kristi-noems-latest-push-against-abortion-medication-1663446].

But as the Rules Review Committee debated approving the proposal, a health official and a legislator laid out the reasons clearly. 

Lynne Valenti, a deputy secretary for the Department of Health, told the committee, “The two doses are part of the abortion procedure.” She explained that the procedure can be dangerous to the health of the mother and is ending the life of an unborn child. 

“We believe the rule enables that intent,” Valenti said.

Added Representative Jon Hansen, “Until we can make abortion completely illegal in this state, we better do what we can do to make sure that pregnant mothers are at least protected.”

Gov. Noem’s executive order came as the Food and Drug Administration eliminated a long-standing requirement that women pick up abortion medication in person.

Roughly one-third of all abortions in South Dakota have been performed with drugs in recent years.