This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 24, 2022:
Coinciding with Friday’s March for Life attended by thousands in Washington, D.C., South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s announcement of two new anti-abortion bills adds to the pro-life momentum continuing to build across the land. From her office she announced:
Today, as tens of thousands of pro-life Americans participate in the annual March for Life in Washington, DC, Governor Kristi Noem announced the text of two pro-life bills to protect unborn lives.
The first will ban abortions once a child’s heartbeat can be detected; the second will ban telemedicine abortions in South Dakota.
Noem’s first bill is the third so-called heartbeat law in the country, succeeding those passed by Texas and Mississippi. Texas bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, usually around the 10th week of pregnancy, while Mississippi’s law bans abortions after 15 weeks. A lawsuit challenging the Mississippi law — Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — is currently under review by the Supreme Court.
Noem’s announcement also coincides with the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that “discovered” the right of a woman to terminate her pregnancy. The court doubled down on that highly controversial decision years later.
Said Governor Noem in announcing the new bills:
Every human life is unique and beautiful from the moment it is conceived. 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. But until that comes to pass, these bills will ensure that both unborn children and their mothers are protected in South Dakota.
The South Dakota law is modeled after the Texas heartbeat law in that only private citizens can bring civil action against abortionists or those aiding them in performing an abortion. This has so far successfully thwarted the abortion industry from obtaining a court’s injunction against enforcement of the law.
South Dakota’s new law has teeth: There is a minimum $10,000 penalty against the abortion provider, along with legal fees and other financial penalties if the lawsuit is successful. This aspect of Texas’ heartbeat law has virtually shut down abortions in that state.
Gov. Noem reinforced that South Dakota is a strongly pro-life state:
The Constitution clearly delegates defending the lives and safety of the people to the [state] government as its chief role. That includes defending the rights and the lives of unborn children.…
As soon as the High Court overturns Roe v. Wade, our state laws already in place should protect every unborn South Dakota child….
Science tells us that an unborn child’s heart starts beating as early as six weeks after conception. Any abortion after that point stops that heartbeat — stops that life — stops that gift from God.
The second bill announced by Noem bans so-called “telemedicine” abortions: abortions facilitated by two drugs, mifepristone (which deprives the fetus of nutrients) and its follow-up drug, misoprostol (which induces labor to expel the remains of the dead infant). These were formerly available online, but this bill would effectively codify Noem’s executive order issued last September banning the purchase of such drugs over the internet.
Under the new bill, those drugs may only be prescribed during an in-person consultation with a physician licensed in the state. The bill also bans the drugs from being delivered by mail, and forbids them from being provided in schools or on state properties.
These two bills follow eight other pro-life bills Governor Noem signed into law last year, including a ban on abortions based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome, and a bill protecting the life of an infant born alive, regardless of the circumstances of that child’s birth.
In addition, South Dakota has a “trigger law” enacted in 2005 that would ban all abortions at any time “on a date that the states are recognized by the United States Supreme Court to have the authority to regulate or prohibit abortion at all stages of pregnancy.”
That’s one of the most egregious aspects of Roe v. Wade: The high court overruled every state’s power granted under the Constitution to regulate abortions, thus unleashing a tsunami of abortions — an estimated 65 million lives have been lost in the holocaust that began back in 1973.