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Noem signs abortion bills into law

PIERRE, S.D. — A set of bills signed into law Wednesday, March 20, will add further restrictions to those seeking an abortion in South Dakota.

Hailed as a "champion for life," by supporters, Republican Gov. Kristi Noem said the new laws will help protect unborn babies and their mothers.

"(Unborn babies) are people, and they must be given the same basic dignities as anyone else," she said.

Noem signed five bills in total, including:

  • Senate Bill 72, which creates a standardized form a physician must use in order to gain consent for an abortion;
  • House Resolution 1055, which requires parental notification and agreement before the use of an order to withhold resuscitation from certain patients;
  • House Resolution 1177, which requires pregnant women to be offered the opportunity to view a sonogram and hear the fetus's heartbeat prior to an abortion;
  • House Resolution 1190, which provides reporting requirements related to abortions, including the number of women who used the requirements of HR 1177 to view a sonogram or hear a heartbeat; and
  • House Resolution 1193, which makes it a Class B felony to cause an abortion against a pregnant woman's will.

Dale Bartscher, Executive Director of South Dakota Right to Life, lauded Noem "for her tireless devotion to pregnant mothers and their preborn children."

However, the bill signings were rebuked by the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States, the organization that operates South Dakota's lone abortion clinic.

"The state has already squandered hundreds of thousands of dollars in litigation fees fighting for medically unnecessary abortion restrictions," said Sarah Stoesz. "The people of South Dakota want their lawmakers to focus on improving the health of our state; instead, they’ve passed more legislation that’s based on medically inaccurate information and contrary to the recommendations of health care professionals."

Noem, meanwhile, said she will continue to work toward fully banning abortions in the state.

“Our work isn’t done until abortion is eliminated completely, but this is a step forward for life,” she said.

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