South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem issued an executive order on Tuesday to regulate the distribution of the abortion pill, in a preemptive move to prevent the Biden administration from allowing mail-order abortion pill distribution in the state. She made it clear that the distribution of the abortion pill must follow the state law requiring an in-person consultation with an abortion provider.
In her executive order, Noem told the South Dakota Department of Health to issue rules that the abortion pill can only be prescribed or dispensed by a state-licensed physician following an in-person exam, according to ABC News. That law already exists, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has held that rule specifically for the abortion pill for more than two decades.
However, under pressure from the abortion industry, the FDA is now reconsidering its long-standing rule that is meant to protect women, and may allow the abortion pill to be distributed through the mail or virtual pharmacies, as has been the case during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is despite the fact that the abortion pill has been found to be four times more dangerous than first-trimester surgical abortion. Noem’s order is a preemptive attempt to prevent the abortion pill from being mailed to women in the event that the FDA removes the safety rule permanently.
“They are working right now to make it easier to end the life of an unborn child via telemedicine abortion,” said Noem in a statement. “That is not going to happen in South Dakota.”
The abortion pill uses two drugs — mifepristone and misoprostol — to kill preborn children up to 10 weeks. Mifepristone blocks the naturally occurring pregnancy hormone progesterone, cutting off the child’s nutrients. Misoprostol induces contractions in the uterus to expel the baby. One woman reported being emotionally traumatized after taking the abortion pill, “weeping and screaming” after seeing her baby’s body.
According to the Department of Health, 39% of abortions in South Dakota last year were committed using the abortion pill. The executive order would not ban the use of the abortion-inducing drug regimen, but it would ensure women receive medical supervision before obtaining it. The law would also ensure the dangerous abortion drugs are not administered at schools or on state property, and would require licenses for any facilities that prescribe the abortion pill. Finally, it would improve the required reporting of abortion complications from the abortion pill.
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