By Dave Andrusko
South Dakota’s pro-life Governor Kristi Noem used her State of the State address Tuesday to encourage legislators to pass a heartbeat bill this session. In her last state of the state address of her first term, Gov. Noem said, “Today, I am asking all of you to protect the heartbeats of these unborn children,” adding, “I am bringing legislation to ban all abortions once a heartbeat can be detected.”
Her remarks received a standing ovation.
In a tweet sent out yesterday, she said
Abortions have dropped by 80% in South Dakota over the last decade, but there is more that we can do to protect unborn lives. We must end abortions once a heartbeat can be detected. Any abortion after that point stops that child’s heartbeat — stops that gift from God.
In her address, the governor said, “It’s no mistake that when Thomas Jefferson wrote those famous words, that LIFE came first. Government’s most fundamental role is to defend the lives and safety of the people. That includes the rights and the lives of unborn children.”
Even though no legislation has formally been introduced yet, Kristin Hayward, manager of advocacy and development at Planned Parenthood in South Dakota told News Watch, “We know that we’re gearing up for a tough session in terms of reproductive health and reproductive rights.” She added “This is going to be an extremely stressful next couple months in terms of the work that we’re doing.”
In her state of the state address, referring to the huge decline in abortions, Gov. Noem said “That’s something to celebrate, and it’s thanks in part to the policies passed by some of the legislators in this room. You have proven that abortion does not need to be a divisive issue. Last year, every single legislator supported my bill to guarantee protections for unborn children with Down syndrome” [https://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=28835].
Gov. Noem went on to say, “I look forward to the day when all unborn lives are protected. The Supreme Court has a historic opportunity to make that a reality. As soon as Roe v. Wade is overturned, our state laws are ready to protect every unborn South Dakota child. But until then, we can take steps to protect South Dakota children, today.”