Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota announced on Friday, the day of the 2022 March for Life, that South Dakota lawmakers will introduce two bills restricting abortions in the state.
In a tweet, Noem wrote, “Today, as tens of thousands of pro-life Americans participate in the annual March for Life in Washington, DC, I am announcing two pro-life bills. One will ban abortions once a child’s heartbeat can be detected. The second will ban telemedicine abortions in South Dakota.”
Today, as tens of thousands of pro-life Americans participate in the annual March for Life in Washington, DC, I am announcing two pro-life bills.
One will ban abortions once a child's heartbeat can be detected.
The second will ban telemedicine abortions in South Dakota.
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) January 21, 2022
The heartbeat bill mirrors the Texas Heartbeat Act, allowing private individuals to bring civil lawsuits against anyone who commits or induces an abortion, aids or abets in the abortion, or intends to do either. It restricts abortion once a preborn child’s heartbeat is detected, usually at about six weeks, though the human heart begins beating at about 21 days after fertilization.
The bill to ban the use of telemedicine to dispense the abortion pill mirrors an executive order from Noem that is set to go into effect on January 27. Just like the executive order, the bill would require that women who want to obtain an abortion via the abortion pill make four separate visits to the abortionist. The first visit would be an informed consent visit that must take place 24 hours before the abortion pill is taken. The woman would then have to take the first pill of the abortion pill regimen — mifepristone — while at the abortion facility and stay to be monitored. She must return 24 to 72 hours later to take the second pill — misoprostol — and stay to be monitored. She will then return 14 days later for a follow-up to ensure the abortion is complete.
The bill has likely been introduced despite the executive order that accomplishes the same goal of banning telemedicine abortion because an executive order is not a binding law. If the bill becomes law, it will make the ban permanent.
“Every human life is unique and beautiful from the moment it is conceived. Every life is worthy of our protection, worthy of the right to live,” said Governor Noem. “We hope that this year’s March for Life will be the last and that the Supreme Court will finally protect every unborn life. But until that comes to pass, these bills will ensure that both unborn children and their mothers are protected in South Dakota.”
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