South Dakota – considered to be one of the strongest Republican states in the U.S. – has two new pro-life laws, one of which makes it less burdensome for families to adopt.
The first new law (House Bill 1318) was submitted by Republican Governor Kristi Noem to regulate the use of chemical abortion drugs, which are being prescribed more and more. Dale Bartscher of South Dakota Right to Life tells AFN the measure bans mail-order abortions and requires a visit with a doctor before the drugs are distributed.
"Our governor said if the use of the chemical abortion pill is going to happen – and it is happening – then we're simply going to manage the risks of using the abortion pill," the pro-lifer explains. "And in so doing, we're going to save lives."
The bill passed with a wide majority in both houses of the South Dakota legislature. It becomes law July 1.
"The reality is that chemical abortions aren't good for anyone," Bartscher states. "In fact, we know that they're not medicine – they are a poison that kills an unborn human being, and they often times hurt a mother's life as well." In fact, complications are four times that of surgical abortions.
"So, the battle against chemical abortions has never been more important than it is right now," Bartscher concludes.
The governor also signed into law House Bill 1133, which calls on the state to pick up a Home Study fee of up to $3,000 for an adoption, rather than the family that's adopting a child pay the fee.
While not considered as reliably "red" politically as South Dakota, Arizona has moved to protect preborn babies early in life. Both houses of the legislature there have passed a bill patterned after Mississippi's law that bars abortions at 15 weeks into the pregnancy.
Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy tells AFN it's an appropriate move to make.
"At 15 weeks the unborn child has fully formed nose, lips, eyelids, eyebrows; they suck their thumb, they feel pain, they can push inside the mother's womb," Herrod shares. "We know that an unborn child is deserving of life from the moment of conception, but especially at a stage of pregnancy like 15 weeks."
Although SB 1164 has not yet been signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey (R), AFN asked Herrod about the possibility of a legal challenge against it that would end up before the Ninth U.S. Court of Appeals.
"A lawsuit will depend on what the U.S. Supreme Court does [with Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization]," she responds. "We all are waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide the Mississippi case that limits abortion to 15 weeks.
"Most believe that the court will uphold Mississippi's 15-week limit. When that happens, Arizona's 15-week limit will be good law."
The high court is expected to rule by the end of June, and the Arizona measure will not go into effect until after that. The Ninth Circuit cannot overrule the Supreme Court.