As abortion advocates try to find loopholes they can exploit to end the lives of the unborn, Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Sunday said her state has already closed one she will fight to keep that way.
And being peppered by clearly hostile questions from a mainstream media interviewer didn’t shake her resolution a bit.
Noem said that the moment the Supreme Court overruled the Roe v. Wade decision on Friday, a South Dakota law took effect that made abortion illegal in South Dakota except to save the life of a mother.
During an appearance on the CBS show “Face the Nation” Noem said South Dakota has a ban on so-called telemedicine abortions, a workaround in states where abortion is restricted by which a woman finds an online doctor or uses the phone to get an abortion pill shipped to her home.
“I brought a bill that would ban telemedicine abortions, which means a doctor off the internet or over the phone could prescribe an abortion for an individual because these are very dangerous medical procedures, a woman is five times more likely to end up in an emergency room if they’re utilizing this kind of method for an abortion. So, it’s something that should be under the supervision of a medical doctor and it is something in South Dakota that we’ve made sure happens that way,” she said.
In 2021, Noem issued an executive order banning telehealth abortions using out-of-state doctors. In March, that was codified into South Dakota state law, according to the Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Argus-Leader.
“Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan pressed Noem on the issue.
“This is a federally approved drug. Are you saying the state of South Dakota is now going to overrule the FDA and decide which drugs are going to be available to its residents?” Brennan asked.
Brennan noted that the Biden administration is demanding that the pill be allowed everywhere, addressing a point Noem spoke to in releasing her 2021 executive order.
“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. 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,” Noem said then. “I will continue working with the legislature and my Unborn Child Advocate to ensure that South Dakota remains a strong pro-life state.”
On Sunday, Noem noted that states have significant powers she plans to use.
“[T]here are certain protections that are guarded under the Constitution of the United States. The rest of these items are left to the states, the 10th Amendment guarantees us that. What the Supreme Court said was that the Constitution does not give a woman the right to have an abortion. That means that in each state they will make the decision how they handle these situations,” she said.
“And in South Dakota we’ve already had a bill passed that set on telemedicine abortions, that we don’t believe it should be available, because it is a dangerous situation for those individuals without being medically supervised by a physician,” she said.
Brennen then noted that the Biden administration “will oppose any state governments that try to block the mail, search a person’s medicine cabinet or control a woman’s actions by tracking data on apps that she uses. Is South Dakota going to do that kind of surveillance …?”
“Margaret, that’s never been the conversation in South Dakota and I don’t anticipate that we will ever do that. We take privacy rights very important. We … protect our freedoms and our liberties here.
“We will make sure that mothers have the resources, protection and medical care that they need and we’re being aggressive on that. And we’ll also make sure that the federal government only does its job,” Noem said.
The full interview is below:
Then Noem slammed President Joe Biden’s tenure in the White House.
“We saw in unprecedented ways that this administration has been overstepping its authority and they’ve been punishing the American people. And we’ve seen increased energy costs, supply chain challenges, freedoms taken away. I- It’s been incredible the amount of problems this country has happened because of the discussion and the debate and the policies out of the Biden administration. My job as governor is to do my job and that’s protect my people from these bad policies,” she said.
During her interview, Noem lashed out at the “fear tactics I hear coming out of so many people from so many pundits and those in the media, scaring women saying that they’re going to have a big- bigger risk of death because of this decision. What this is going to do is give them the ability to weigh in with their local elected officials to make sure their state statutes reflect what they need to have their health care and their options and their babies protected and supported into the future,” she said.
Noe, who has called for a special legislative session after the Supreme Court ruling, said it will focus on supporting mothers with unplanned pregnancies.
“I’ve already launched a website that’s called life.sd.gov. And it’s to get resources to individuals who have an unplanned pregnancy. Or if they’re in a crisis situation that will coordinate financial assistance, people that will come alongside them during this time. Also, make sure that they get health care and access that they may need.
“It lists all the nonprofits, different organizations that worked with them, and then also can extend to families that may want to adopt their baby should they choose to give their baby up for adoption. So it’s an incredible resource that does more to support these women that are in a situation that was unplanned and really does leave them in a situation where they’re not prepared for the news that they have that they’re expecting a baby,” she said.
Prosecuting women, she said, was not the state’s aim.
“I think we’ll continue to have those debates on how we can support these mothers and what it means to really make sure that we’re not prosecuting mothers ever in a situation like this when it comes to abortion, that it will always be focused towards those doctors who knowingly break the law to perform abortions in our state,” she said.
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