On Monday, GOP senators on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee advanced to the Senate floor a proposal from Governor Kristi Noem (R) that aims to make the state one of the hardest places to obtain abortion-inducing pills. Shortly thereafter, the same committee rejected a bill by Noem's primary challenger, State Representative Steve Haugaard (R), that would have banned the use of abortion-inducing drugs altogether in South Dakota.
"It's the governor's Medical Abortion bill, which seeks to prohibit medical abortions by telemedicine," Bartscher explains. "It also provides a penalty for doing so, and it increases the penalty for the unlicensed practice of medicine when performing a medical abortion."
Although reporting of consequences after using the pill to terminate a child are inadequate, to say the least, it's believed that several thousand women have suffered symptoms serious enough to be transported to a hospital emergency room for treatment. It's known for certain that at least 26 women have died after using chemical abortions.
"We know the abortion industry has no apparent problem with putting women in harm's way as they continue to recklessly distribute chemical or pharmaceutical pills," Bartscher adds. "They're meant to abort in South Dakota unique and separate living human beings."
The South Dakota House overwhelming (62-9) passed H.B. 1318 and the Senate is expected to do the same. Planned Parenthood and their allies likely will decide then whether to file a lawsuit to block it.