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Kristi Noem on Telemedicine Abortion Ban: 'Abortion on Demand' Will Not Be Available in Our State

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

This week, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) signed Executive Order 2021-12 blocking access to telemedicine abortions in the state. This came days after S.B. 8, the “heartbeat bill,” went into  effect in Texas. In an interview shortly after the EO was issued, Noem defended her decision to ban telemedicine abortions and said that she is looking at enacting legislation similar to S.B. 8 in South Dakota.

In the Fox News interview with Rachel Campos-Duffy, Noem discussed the dangers of telemedicine abortions, what her office is doing to advance pro-life legislation, and how South Dakota plans to enact legislation similar to S.B. 8 to protect the unborn.

The first topic at hand was EO 2021-12, which bans telemedicine abortions in South Dakota. In the directive, signed on Tuesday, Noem instructed the South Dakota Department of Health to create rules prohibiting telemedicine abortion in the state. Specifically, not allowing doctors not licensed in South Dakota to prescribe abortion-inducing drugs and making it illegal for the drugs to be sent through the mail. Women seeking an abortion must be prescribed the drugs after an in-person examination with a doctor licensed in South Dakota.

“What this [EO 2021-12] would do would be requiring, in the state of South Dakota, that an abortion would only legally be allowed in the situations defined by our statute,” Noem explained in the interview. “But also, after an in-person examination by a doctor, licensed in South Dakota.” 

Furthermore, Noem explained how she appointed someone in her office designated to be a pro-life advocate. This person’s responsibility is to specifically look for opportunities for South Dakota to defend unborn life. Executive orders like EO 2021-12 can derive from their research and push back against the pro-abortion agenda stemming from the Biden administration.

“Everybody knows that I’m pro-life and do not support any kind of abortions,” Noem said in the interview. “But, here what the Biden administration is doing is trying to put forward abortion on demand. And we’re going to stop them and make sure that that’s not available in our state.”

Noem continued, indicating that the argument pro-abortion advocates have vocalized for years – that abortions should be between a woman and her doctor – have upended. “Now, essentially, what they’re doing is saying that abortions need to be available between a woman and any stranger on the internet. Somebody – we don’t even know if they have a license,” Noem said.

“It is incredible to me what they’re saying and what they’re doing,” Noem added on. “South Dakota is going to fight to protect each and every single life.”

Campos-Duffy pointed out that Biden has positioned the Department of Justice to go after Texas for enacting S.B. 8. Given this, Campos-Duffy inquired if a law similar to Texas’ S.B. 8 legislation could be on the horizon in South Dakota. 

“We’ve already connected with those in Texas who brought forward this bill and are working and looking at how we could facilitate this legislation in South Dakota,” Noem revealed. “I think that was incredible to watch and to see happen out of the Supreme Court. Certainly, it was immediately something we were looking at doing here in our state.”

Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to uphold S.B. 8 in the state of Texas after abortion advocacy groups submitted an emergency appeal requesting the Court to block the law. Other states, such as Mississippi, have made strides to restrict abortion as early as 15 weeks. Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed several bills into law in recent months restricting in-person and telemedicine abortions. And, an abortion-centric Supreme Court case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is supposed to be heard by the high Court this fall, which could alter the future of Roe v. Wade.

Watch Noem's interview with FOX below.

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