Judicial

ACLU, PPFA sue South Dakota over rule to protect women’s health

By Dave Andrusko

Like clockwork, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood of South Dakota filed a brief yesterday challenging a new rule from the South Dakota Department of Health that require that women take the abortion pill only at a licensed abortion facility.

In September, correctly anticipating that the Food and Drug Administration would  permanently remove a requirement that women seeking abortion pills pick them up in person, pro-life Gov. Kristi Noem used an executive order to initiate the change.

“A six-member committee of the Legislature ratified Noem’s proposal last week in a 4-2 vote,” reported Matthew Renda. The bill takes effect January 27.

Noem praised the action. “Chemical abortions are four times as likely to cause a woman getting an abortion to end up in an emergency room – and we have a duty to protect the lives of those women,” she said. “I look forward to the day when the life of every unborn child is protected in South Dakota. Until then, South Dakotans will know that if a mother uses abortion pills to end her unborn child’s life, she will not get those pills from a stranger over the internet.”

Sarah Stoesz, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States saidWe are hopeful the court will stop this rule from going into effect so that South Dakotans can choose for themselves when and how to access health care services, including abortion.”

Gov. Noem “is focused on protecting women’s health,” Ian Fury, the governor’s communications director, told the Associated Press. “The ACLU and Planned Parenthood have shown that they are more worried about their bottom line.”

The lawsuit filed Wednesday “seeks emergency injunctive relief, asking a judge to rescind the rule immediately. The new law is slated to take effect Jan. 27,” Renda reported.

The bill requires that women first have an initial consult “and then two more visits for the administration of the two abortion drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, which are taken up to 48 hours apart,” Bridget Sielicki  explained. “This not only prohibits women from receiving these dangerous drugs through the mail, but it is also a change from the former procedure, in which women would take the first pill in the doctor’s office but complete the abortion with the second pill later, on their own at home.”

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