SD Gov. Noem announces more anti-abortion legislation

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) just announced two new pieces of legislation aimed at protecting the unborn. 

Noem, one of the country’s leading pro-life politicians, did so while the most recent March for Life was taking place in Washington D.C.

“Every human life is unique and beautiful from the moment it is conceived,” Noem said in a statement announcing the legislation. “Every life is worthy of our protection, worthy of the right to live.”

“We hope that this year’s March for Life will be the last and that the Supreme Court will finally protect every unborn life,” Noem added. “But, until that comes to pass, these bills will ensure that both unborn children and their mothers are protected in South Dakota.”

The legislation

Noem has published draft versions of the two pieces of legislation. One of the bills would “prohibit abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detectable.”

In part, the bill reads, “Except as provided by sections 5 and 6 of this Act, an abortion may not be performed or induced on a pregnant woman unless the physician has determined whether the woman’s unborn child has a detectable fetal heartbeat.”

Section 5 allows the physician to perform an abortion in a medical emergency. And, Section 6 is a provision aimed at protecting the idea of federalism.

The second bill proposed by Noem prohibits “medical abortion by telemedicine.” The bill, in part, reads:

Any person who practices medicine, osteopathy, or any of the branches thereof without a license, certificate, or permit issued by the board is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Any person who practices medicine, osteopathy, or any of the branches thereof without a license, certificate, or permit issued by the board and prescribes medicine in order to induce a medical abortion, as defined by Section 4 of this Act, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Section 4 defines “medical abortion” as “a procedure that uses medication for the intentional termination of the life of a human being in the uterus and does not mean a procedure for the management of a miscarriage.”


Noem has been one of the leading Republicans in pushing anti-abortion legislation and policies. She has been looking to make South Dakota the state with the strongest pro-life laws in the country, and she has been succeeding.

Last year, Noem signed eight pro-life pieces of legislation into law, including one that banned abortions that are motivated by a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. Noem also has already signed an executive order stopping telemedicine abortions, but she is now looking to codify this order.

We’ll see if the South Dakota legislature can get these two newest laws on the books.

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