Republican Governor Kristi Noem (SD) signed an executive order Tuesday effectively banning telemedicine abortions in South Dakota.
The order directs the South Dakota Department of Health “to establish rules preventing telemedicine abortions in South Dakota” and “restricts chemical abortions in the state.”
According to a press release from Noem, the order blocks telemedicine abortions, as follows:
- Declares that abortion drugs may only be prescribed or dispensed by a physician who is licensed in South Dakota after an in-person examination;
- Blocks abortion-inducing drugs from being provided via courier, delivery, telemedicine, or mail service;
- Prevents abortion-inducing drugs from being dispensed or provided in schools or on state grounds; and
- Reiterates that licensed physicians must ensure that Informed Consent laws are properly administered.
“The Biden Administration is continuing to overstep its authority and suppress legislatures that are standing up for the unborn to pass strong pro-life laws,” Noem blasted President Joe Biden in a statement released Tuesday. “They are working right now to make it easier to end the life of an unborn child via telemedicine abortion. That is not going to happen in South Dakota.”
“I will continue working with the legislature and my Unborn Child Advocate to ensure that South Dakota remains a strong pro-life state.”
Additionally, the order directs the state’s department of health to “develop licensing requirements for ‘pill only’ abortion clinics,” “collect empirical data on how often chemical abortions are performed as a percentage of all abortions, including how often women experience complications that require a medical follow-up,” and “enhance reporting requirements on emergency room complications related to chemical abortion.”
Noem’s order comes on the heels of a strict pro-life law taking effect in Texas, angering abortion proponents. The heartbeat bill in Texas effectively bans most abortions after 6 weeks, when an unborn child’s heartbeat can be detected. Both the Supreme Court and a lower federal court of appeals refused to rule on a demand from Texas abortion providers to stay the heartbeat legislation pending further litigation.
Noem is already receiving support from pro-life groups for her work to stop telemedicine abortions.
“We commend Governor Noem for taking this bold action that will save lives from dangerous chemical abortions, which have a fourfold higher rate of complications compared to surgical abortion,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List. “The Biden administration would turn every post office and pharmacy into an abortion center if they had their way, leaving women alone and at risk of severe heavy bleeding, physical, emotional, and psychological stress, and more. States must take action. Governor Noem is setting a courageous model today that we hope more state leaders across the nation will soon follow.”
“I applaud Governor Noem’s action today to stop dangerous chemical abortion drugs from being mailed to South Dakota women,” praised President and CEO of Americans United for Life Catherine Glenn Foster. “This is no longer about ‘a woman and her doctor,’ but a woman – or girl – and a stranger on the internet. States can no longer depend on the FDA to regulate abortion drugs in any meaningful way, and I am pleased to see Governor Noem step up for her state. Abortion is never safe, but it’s far more dangerous when women are abandoned by physicians and left to manage their complications alone.”
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