Analysis

South Dakota’s last abortion facility is closed… for now

South Dakota, Down syndrome

Planned Parenthood in South Dakota has announced it will not be committing abortions until the Supreme Court announces its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which could affect Roe v. Wade. If Roe is overturned, a trigger law will take place, protecting all preborn children from abortion in the state.

According to the New York Times, the only abortion facility in South Dakota — a Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls — committed its last abortion on Monday. The abortionist working there had been flying in from Minnesota each week.

“Planned Parenthood affiliates in these states that are extremely hostile to abortion access are being forced to make the difficult decision whether or not to suspend providing abortion services following the court’s decision, due to their state’s legal landscape,” Danika Severino Wynn, the VP for Abortion Access at Planned Parenthood, said in a statement.

READ: South Dakota pro-life laws take effect, including protection for babies with Down syndrome

Emily Bisek, Vice President of Strategic Communication for Planned Parenthood North Central States, further told KELO that it was due to the upcoming Supreme Court decision. “We have had to make the difficult decision to pause scheduling abortion appointments,” she said, adding that they “can’t in good faith keep scheduling patients when there’s a chance South Dakota’s trigger laws could go into effect.”

South Dakota lawmakers have passed numerous pro-life bills, and Governor Kristi Noem issued an executive order banning telemedicine abortions, which was blocked after Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit. Two further laws were subsequently passed, including another ban on telemedicine abortion. The second bill made it a felony to coerce a woman into an abortion; 67% of post-abortive women have said they were pressured into the decision. Neither law can go into effect until the injunction against the previous abortion pill law is lifted.

Still, for the moment, no abortion facilities are operating in South Dakota, which is a victory for pro-life advocates, even if only a potentially temporary one.

“Abortions have stopped in South Dakota. We have prayed for this day, and now it is here,” Governor Noem tweeted. “Now, we must redouble our focus on taking care of mothers in crisis. Help is available for you. Adoption is an option. You are never alone.”

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