State Legislation

South Dakota Gov. signs two more pro-life bills 

By Dave Andrusko

Wednesday was another great day for pro-lifers in South Dakota as Gov. Kristi Noem signed two life-affirming bills into law.

According to Annie Todd of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader

HB 1318 codifies into law an earlier executive order restricting medical abortions via telemedicine and the administration of abortion pills in-person at an abortion facility. 

HB 1113 makes it illegal to threaten to coerce an abortion and makes it a class B felony with a statute of limitation of within seven years of the crime being committed or the person reaches the age of 25.

After signing the bills into law, Gov. Noem said, “The time is drawing near for the Supreme Court to issue a ruling on the Dobbs case. I hope that case will overturn Roe v. Wade, but until that day, South Dakota will continue to advance legislation that protects the lives of unborn children.” Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is the Mississippi law that the High Court heard oral arguments on December 1. Dobbs prohibits abortion in most cases after the 15th week.

Gov. Noem added, “The two bills that I am signing today are crucial because they are also protections for mothers. We must remember that abortion has two victims: both the unborn child who loses their life and the mother who must go through the physical and emotional trauma of the procedure.”

The bill “contains language that stipulates most of it won’t take effect unless the state convinces a federal judge to lift a preliminary injunction against a similar rule Noem attempted to enact last year,” Stephen Groves of the Associated Press reported.

Planned Parenthood, “which operates the state’s only clinic that regularly provides abortion services, sued the state,” said Groves. “It argued the rule was an unconstitutional violation of abortion rights and would have made it practically impossible for the clinic to provide any medicine-induced abortions.”

A sympathetic federal judge, Clinton appointee Judge Karen Schreier, granted a preliminary injunction, agreeing with Planned Parenthood that the rule “likely imposes an undue burden on Planned Parenthood and its patients’ right to seek an abortion.” She fully accepted Planned Parenthood’s argument that the additional rule requiring a third visit would effectively eliminate chemical abortions. Noem has appealed to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

State action took on even greater urgency when the FDA permanently eliminated a long-standing requirement that women pick up the medication in person.

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