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Why South Dakota Republicans Are Pushing Back on Gov. Noem's Pro-life Proposal

AP Photo/Stephen Groves File

Last month, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem released a pro-life proposal that would ban abortions in the state once a heartbeat is detected, usually around the sixth week, and severely curtail access to abortion pills.

At the time, the Republican governor expressed her hope that the Supreme Court would strike down Roe v. Wade but said, "until that comes to pass, these bills will ensure that both unborn children and their mothers are protected in South Dakota." 

Though it received an "enthusiastic reception" from the GOP in the legislature, a Republican-controlled House committee later blocked the proposal, arguing its language could "jeopardize" South Dakota's involvement in an ongoing legal battle with Planned Parenthood. 

Pro-life groups in the state shared similar concerns.

“We were not in support of the governor’s original draft language,” said Dale Bartscher, the director of South Dakota Right to Life.

He added that he too was worried it would endanger the state’s standing in the case against Planned Parenthood, but that he hoped the governor would make revisions and bring it back. (AP)

Noem was reportedly surprised the proposal was blocked. 

"They're not listening to national leaders in the pro-life movement on the momentum we have in front of the Supreme Court and what this legislation means to South Dakota," she said. 

The governor also sounded off on social media. 


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