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South Dakota Governor Noem Says Doctors Who Perform Abortions Will Be Prosecuted

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem announced on Sunday that doctors who perform elective abortions in the state will be prosecuted.

A trigger law banning abortions in South Dakota went into effect on Friday when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Passed in 2005, the ban was set to be “effective on the 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.”

It is now a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion. There is an exception for cases where it is necessary to save the life of the mother, but not for cases of rape or incest.

The law also bans prescribing abortion pills that can chemically end the life of the fetus.

Appearing on Face the Nation, Noem said that pregnant women seeking abortions will not be prosecuted, but doctors who perform them will be.

“We’ll continue to have those debates on how we can support these mothers and what it means to really make sure we are not prosecuting mothers ever in a situation like this,” she said. “It will always be focused toward those doctors who knowingly break the law to perform abortions in our state.”

The governor is also seeking to ban telemedicine appointments where doctors in other states can ship abortion pills to South Dakota residents after an online appointment.

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“These are very dangerous medical procedures,” Noem argued. “We don’t believe it should be available because it is a dangerous situation for an individual without being medically supervised by a physician.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement on Friday that states may not ban abortion pills mifepristone and misoprostol “based on disagreement with the FDA’s expert judgment about its safety and efficacy.”

The governor said that the Biden administration is “overstepping its authority,” adding that “the Constitution does not give a women the right to an abortion. The power to make these decisions really goes to each individual state.”

Defending the fact that there are not exceptions for rape or incest, Gov. Noem asserted that “every life is precious” and that fetuses feel pain during abortion procedures.

“I believe every life is precious … And we know so much more using technology and science than we did even 10, 15 years ago about what these babies go through the pain that they feel in the womb, and will continue to make sure that those lives are protected,” Noem said. “And I just have never believed that having a tragedy or tragic situation happened to someone is a reason to have another tragedy occur.”


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