A South Dakota bill to ban telemedicine abortion in the state is headed to Republican Gov. Kristi Noem’s desk after passing on Wednesday.
HB 1318 will “prohibit medical abortion by telemedicine and … increase the penalty for the unlicensed practice of medicine when performing a medical abortion.” The legislation will require mifepristone and misoprostol to be dispensed from licensed physicians and prohibit obtaining the drugs online or by mail for the purposes of a chemical abortion.
“My legislation to ban telemedicine abortions passed the Senate and is on its way to my desk!” Noem tweeted on Wednesday.
“With this bill, we will protect both unborn babies and their mothers from this dangerous procedure,” she added.
My legislation to ban telemedicine abortions passed the Senate and is on its way to my desk!
With this bill, we will protect both unborn babies and their mothers from this dangerous procedure.
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) March 2, 2022
The bill passed 32-2 in the South Dakota Senate, with every Republican senator voting in support of the legislation.
The governor’s office announced Noem’s introduction of the legislation, along with a bill seeking to ban abortions once a child’s heartbeat can be detected, on March for Life Day in January.
The office noted, “Governor Noem previewed her heartbeat legislation last year when she directed her Unborn Child Advocate to review South Dakota laws and ensure that we have the strongest pro-life laws on the books in South Dakota.” Last year, Noem blocked telemedicine abortions through an executive order. She also signed eight pieces of pro-life legislation into law.
The announcement also noted that over the past 10 years, “abortions have declined by approximately 80% in South Dakota.”
The governor sought to implement rules against abortion telemedicine last year, leading to a lawsuit from Planned Parenthood.
“After the governor attempted to implement a similar rule last year, Planned Parenthood, which operates the state’s only clinic that regularly provides abortion services, sued the state. It argued the restriction was an unconstitutional violation of abortion rights and would have made it practically impossible for the clinic to provide any medicine-induced abortions,” ABC News reported.
“A federal judge last month granted a preliminary injunction against the rule, but the state has appealed that ruling,” the report added.
Noem also made recent headlines when she signed a bill in February that bans biological males from competing in girls’ and women’s sports in the state, including provisions for college athletics. The bill, SB 46, is designed “to protect fairness in women’s sports.”
Noem addressed the transgender controversy in a statement in January from her office that noted plans to push the bill forward. The Daily Wire previously reported:
“One way a young girl exercises her liberty is on the fields and in the gyms of South Dakota: playing basketball, swimming competitively, and running track, just to name a few popular sports here in the Mount Rushmore state,” the governor said in the statement.
“It is in playing sports that a young girl can learn how to achieve and how to succeed. But some in our society want to take those opportunities to succeed away from our young women. Some schools and organizations across the country have sought to take away their freedom to achieve by changing the rules of the games,” she added.