Governor Noem’s Attempt to Limit Abortion Pills Stalled in Legislative Committee | Local

STEPHEN GROVES Associated Press

Governor Kristi Noem is proposing new rules for medical abortions that would be among the most restrictive in the nation, but a legislative committee on Monday withheld its approval until it could get more information on the proposal.

The rule proposed by the state Department of Health would add additional requirements for women to obtain abortion pills, including requiring them to see a doctor three times and be within the first nine weeks of pregnancy. Only Texas banned abortion drugs earlier, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights. South Dakota’s proposed rules have been decried by abortion rights advocates as unconstitutional and an excess of the governor’s executive power.

The Republican governor initiated the rule change through an executive order, arguing that restrictions on abortion pills are necessary for women’s safety. While the Supreme Court reconsidered Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a national right to abortion, sparked a wave of state-by-state skirmishes over abortion access. Noem has made it clear that she wants abortion to be banned eventually.

People also read…

His executive order came in the middle of the Food and Drug Administration, permanently eliminating a long-standing requirement that women obtain abortion drugs in person. In South Dakota, about a third of abortions have been performed with medication in recent years.

“Medical abortion is incredibly safe and effective,” Dr. Sarah Traxler, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood North Central States, wrote in a letter to the Department of Health.

She added that the FDA has acknowledged complications are “extremely rare,” but the proposed rule makes it more likely that patients won’t be able to return to the Planned Parenthood clinic — the state’s only abortion clinic — to take the second medication.

The rule would be an unconstitutional violation of abortion rights, Traxler argued, and would undermine the Department of Health’s goal of “protecting the health and safety of South Dakotans.”

However, Lynne Valenti, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health, called medical abortions “a potentially dangerous procedure that ends the life of an unborn child”.

State law already requires women requesting abortion pills to meet with a doctor twice, go through a waiting period of at least three days before receiving any of the medications, and receive a written statement that it might be possible to abort the abortion by not taking the second prescribed medication. The Health Department’s proposed rule would require a third doctor’s visit where a woman would be monitored while she takes the second medication.

“Until we can make abortion completely illegal in this state, we better do what we can to make sure pregnant mothers are at least protected,” Republican Rep. Jon Hansen said as the the legislature’s rules review committee was debating whether to approve the proposal.

But the proposal failed to clear the committee on Monday after lawmakers deadlocked in a three-to-three vote. Two Democrats voted against the proposed rule changes, arguing that passing them through executive rules, rather than legislative debate, set a bad precedent. They were joined by Republican Senator Timothy Johns, who said he opposed approval because it was unclear whether requiring a third visit was really necessary for an applicant’s safety. abortion.

With the committee deadlocked and refusing to send the Department of Health’s proposal back to the agency for review, the proposed rule was stalled in committee. This raised the possibility of the Department of Health taking the next step in codifying the rules – filing them with the Secretary of State – without legislative committee approval.

But lawmakers opposed and in favor of the rule said they wanted to avoid seeing the rules go into effect without legislative approval. Instead, they decided to revisit the proposed rule next month and asked the Department of Health to show whether it is necessary for a woman to take the second cycle of abortion drugs at a clinic.

You must be logged in to react.
Click on any reaction to connect.
Back To Top