Noem and South Dakota Republicans take on abortion pills | South Dakota News

By STEPHEN GROVES, Associated Press

PIERRE, SD (AP) — Gov. Kristi Noem’s proposal to make South Dakota one of the toughest places in the country to get abortion pills won support from Republican House lawmakers on Tuesday, even though a judge federal prevented a similar state rule from taking effect.

Every Republican on the House Health and Human Services Committee voted to advance the bill for a vote in the full chamber this week. It would require women wishing to have an abortion to make three separate visits to a doctor in order to take abortion pills. South Dakota women can currently get both drugs in the two-dose schedule in one visit and take the second dose at home.

A federal judge this month granted a preliminary injunction against a similar rule that Noem pushed through in an executive order. Planned Parenthood, which operates the only clinic in the state that regularly provides abortion services, sued the state, arguing that it was an unconstitutional violation of the right to abortion and that it allegedly been virtually impossible for the clinic to provide medical abortions.

U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier, who was appointed under former President Bill Clinton, wrote in her order that the rule “likely places an undue burden on Planned Parenthood and its patients’ right to abortion.” However, Noem appealed his order to a higher court.

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The governor’s office acknowledged that most of the proposal is tied to federal court and added a clause to the bill stating that most of them would not go into effect until the court battle is resolved. .

The Supreme Court’s willingness to consider overturning Roe v. Wade — the landmark 1973 ruling that established the nation’s right to abortion — prompted a flurry of state house laws this year.

But Noem argued that she introduced the bill out of concern for women’s safety.

“In the case of telemedicine abortions, someone can make a phone call, log in, order the medication to be sent to their home, and there’s no medical oversight,” she said during of a press conference this month.

Last year, the Food and Drug Administration permanently lifted the requirement for people looking for drugs to pick them up in person after scientific review backed expanded access.

The agency found that drug-related complications were rare. About 40% of all abortions in the United States are performed by medication rather than surgery. The FDA has only reported 26 deaths associated with the drug since 2000, although not all of them can be directly attributed to the drug due to existing health conditions and other factors.

“For South Dakota, putting these barriers in front of women means they believe they are smarter than the FDA,” Sarah Stoez, president of Planned Parenthood North Central States, told The Associated Press this month. this.

Noem isn’t the only South Dakota politician to take aim at abortion pills. His main Republican challenger, Rep. Steve Haugaard, is proposing a complete ban on administering the drugs, even though they are also used to treat ulcers, manage miscarriages and induce labor. He is also pushing the House to propose a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would define a fertilized egg as a living human being.

“It gets to the heart of the matter,” Haugaard said last week. “The very heart of life.”

But Stoesz wondered why Republican lawmakers were aggressively attacking abortion rights when the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hand down a ruling later this year that could potentially strike down Roe. South Dakota is one of twelve states with a law banning abortions that would be triggered if Roe was defeated.

“What the legislature is doing right now strikes me as purely political posturing,” Stoesz said. “But ultimately, the lives of real people are affected.”

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