SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Over the past three years, most women who have had abortions in South Dakota are single, white, under 30, have some college education and have paid for it themselves.
Gov. Kristi Noem has said in a Twitter post that she has directed staff to review the new Texas abortion law and South Dakota’s own abortion laws in light of this week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld the Texas law.
The new Texas law is one of the most restrictive in the U.S. In general, no abortions can be performed after the fetus is six weeks old.
Since at least 2010, the majority of individuals who have had abortions have been single, white, have at least some college or technical education and pay for it themselves.
Medicaid, a federal insurance plan, does not cover abortions for South Dakota residents but according to the Guttmacher Institute, there are some exceptions.
From 2016 through 2019, most abortions in South Dakota were performed at seven to eight weeks, according to the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH).
The majority of those who received an abortion from 2018-2020 were South Dakota residents. In 2018, 297 of 382 were in-state residents. In 2019, it was 332 of 414 and in 2020, it was 106 of 125.
Health and state officials said the number of abortions decreased in 2020 in large part because COVID-19 stopped the procedure for several months at the main provider.
But in at least two neighboring states, the number of South Dakotans who had abortions in those states increased in 2020 over 2019, 2018 and 2017.
One-hundred-thirty South Dakotans had abortions in Nebraska in 2020, according to the Nebraska Department of Health. Thirty-three did in 2019 and 17 in 2018. Ten in 2017.
In 2020, 152 South Dakota residents had an abortion in Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Ninety-persons from South Dakota had abortions in Minnesota in 2019, 111 did in 2018 and 71 in 2017.
In 2020, a total of 270 South Dakota residents had abortions in-state, in Nebraska and Minnesota.
The Guttmacher Institute lists that abortion data for individual states does not always mean only residents of that state received abortions. Also, it says residents will travel from one state to another for an abortion.
While residents will cross state lines for an abortion, the 2020 data from South Dakota, Nebraska and Minnesota could indicate that when the procedure was not available for a time in South Dakota, residents crossed into other state.
Most abortions from 2018 through 2020 were performed on women aged 20 to 29. About 530 abortions were performed for women aged 20 to 29. About 345 were performed for women 30 and older, the next largest age group.
Only 19 people who got abortions in South Dakota in 2020 had it paid by private insurance (16) or public health(3). One-hundred and six individuals paid for it themselves.
The proportions were similar for 2018 and 2019 but the amounts increased because more abortions were performed. For example, 19 had a public health plan while 342 self-paid in 2019.