South Dakota governor calls on state legislature to pass heartbeat abortion bill

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is the most recent state governor to call on the local legislature to pass a law banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detectable. 

According to The Washington Examiner Noem has made her request during a State of the State speech on Tuesday where she said that she will be “bringing legislation” forward about the pro-life issue.

Additionally, she requested that the legislature restrict telemedicine abortions and chemical abortions in state law, something that she previously attempted to put a ban on through executive order.

“I look forward to the day when all unborn lives are protected. The Supreme Court has a historic opportunity to make that a reality,” she said in her speech. “There is more we can do. Every human life is unique in a truly beautiful way from the moment that they are conceived.”

The bill would be similar to the one passed in Texas last year that caused massive pushback from Democrats who called it an issue of women’s health and the rights of the parents to decide when the life of the child should be terminated.

With current technology, the heartbeat of an unborn child can typically be detected at about six weeks gestation with medical professionals believing that the actual heartbeat begins at around 18 days after conception.

However, in an effort to circumvent that method of deducing life, which is used often to determine time of death, some scientists assert that it’s not accurately a heartbeat being detected, only “electrical activity from cells that aren’t yet a heart,” according to NPR.

“Noem previously expressed interest in expanding the state’s abortion restrictions after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to block the Texas Heartbeat Act in September. The Texas bill banned most abortions in the state after six weeks of gestation,” the Examiner reported.

In their implication of the bill Texas allowed for the enforcement through private civil lawsuits which works attempts to circumvent presidents put into place by Roe v. Wade which blocked states from implementing the restrictions to impose “undue burden” on women seeking to abort their children.

That means, in reality, that states cannot restrict abortion access before the baby would be viable outside of the womb. However, the Texas law allows on civilian reinforcement of the law, instead of the state making it part of their prosecutors slate.

Texas’s method is currently being challenged in the lower courts as well as the Supreme Court as they deliberate on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Not surprisingly Kristin Hayward, manager of advocacy for Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota Action Fund, criticized the proposal saying that, “We know most South Dakotans support the right to safe, legal abortion, but Gov. Noem is confusing abortion procedures, spreading misinformation, and leading a vocal minority to take away our reproductive freedom.”

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