Gov. Noem signs pro-life legislative package into law
PIERRE, S.D. — Gov. Noem signed a package of bills into law on Wednesday that further regulate abortion providers.
The bills include an act that would provide women seeking abortions with the opportunity to listen to a sonogram of the child’s heartbeat. Another would mandate that physicians use a specific form prescribed by the Department to Health to obtain consent for an abortion.
The full package of bills includes:
- SB72 – An act to provide for a form a physician must use to obtain consent to an abortion
- HR1055 – An act to require parental notification and agreement before the institution of an order to withhold resuscitation from certain patients
- HR1177 – An act to provide an opportunity to view a sonogram and hear the child’s heartbeat prior to an abortion
- HR1190 – An act to provide for certain reporting requirements related to abortions
- HR1193 – An act to provide a criminal penalty for causing an abortion against a pregnant mother’s will
“A strong and growing body of medical research provides evidence that unborn babies can feel, think, and recognize sounds in the womb. These are people, and they must be given the same basic dignities as anyone else,” said Noem. “Our work isn’t done until abortion is eliminated completely, but this is a step forward for life.”
Opponents of the bills say that they further complicate the process for women trying to seek a safe and legal abortion. Others argue that the package of bills doesn’t go far enough, and that there are many more methods that would better protect the life of infants and reduce the number of abortions performed in South Dakota.
According to testimony by Rep. Ring during a hearing on SB 72, “We could do so much more to reduce abortion. Forcing a woman already in an abortion clinic to watch a sonogram or sign a long form is not likely to deter her when she’s already made the difficult, agonizing decision … Besides limiting access to abortion, we could do so much to limit the pressure to resort to abortion in the first place. ”
Ring says expanding access to health care in the state would make it more affordable for women to have children. According to a report from the South Dakota Department of Health, the second most frequently cited reason for women having an abortion from 2012 to 2016 was because they couldn’t afford the child.
Ring says that expanding access to Medicaid and prenatal care would not only reduce abortions, but would also decrease maternal and infant mortality rates in general.
“The point is this: there are many ways to save lives,” said Ring. “Before and after birth. Some of those ways are well within our reach. Let’s be more than just anti-induced abortion. Let’s become truly pro-life at all stages of life.”
The laws go into effect on July 1.