“Chemical abortions are four times as likely to cause a woman getting an abortion to end up in an emergency room – and we have a duty to protect the lives of those women,” said Governor Noem. “I look forward to the day when the life of every unborn child is protected in South Dakota. Until then, South Dakotans will know that if a mother uses abortion pills to end her unborn child’s life, she will not get those pills from a stranger over the internet.”
In September, Governor Noem signed Executive Order 2021-12, directing the South Dakota Department of Health to establish rules preventing telemedicine abortions in South Dakota. The rule does the following:
- Requires that no medical abortion by use of mifepristone and misopristol take place except in a licensed abortion facility, with an observation period;
- Requires in-office visits for the taking of the mifepristone and separately for the misopristol. This provision makes South Dakota the only state in the nation to protect the life of the mother to this extent;
- Ensures that South Dakota law is properly followed by requiring that the mother be informed that, after administration of the mifepristone, it is possible to rescue the unborn child and stop the abortion from occurring; and
- Requires abortion facilities collect and maintain certain information.
Governor Noem plans to work with the South Dakota legislature to pass legislation that makes these and other protocols permanent in the 2022 legislative session.