PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Department of Health wants to change the informed-consent form that pregnant mothers must sign to receive abortions in South Dakota so that the wording better reflects Governor Kristi Noem’s opposition to ending the life of an unborn child.
The public rules hearing is set for Tuesday, October 12, 2021 at 10 a.m. CT at the State Health Laboratory, 615 E. Fourth Street, Pierre. The Legislature’s Rules Review Committee would then consider on November 1 whether to allow the changes.
One proposed change would insert the phrase “or another drug approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the same use.”
The rewritten sentence would read, “Even after a pregnant mother takes Mifepristone, or another drug approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the same use, it is still possible to discontinue a drug-induced abortion by not taking the prescribed Misoprostol.”
That would parallel the executive order Noem recently issued titled, ‘Serious Health Complications From Abortion-Inducing Drugs.’
The department also wants to add three new sections at the end of the current form.
The first is regarding the statistically significant medical risk associated with carrying her child to
term compared to undergoing an induced abortion.
It says, “Carrying a baby to term is usually a safe, healthy process for the mother. Based on data from the CDC, the following are some common maternal health conditions or problems a woman may experience during pregnancy: anemia, urinary tract infections, depression, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, infections, and Hyperemesis Gravidarum (a/k/a “morning sickness”). To compare those risks to the risks of
abortion, please refer to 1-e above, which sets out the risk factors presented by abortion to
the mother. In regards to the unborn child, the abortion will terminate the life of a whole,
separate, unique living human being. On the other hand, although every pregnancy has some
risk of problems, continuing a pregnancy and delivering a baby is usually a safe and healthy process.”
The second covers South Dakota’s law against sex-selective abortions. It says, “Sex-selective abortions are illegal in the State of South Dakota and you as a pregnant mother cannot have an abortion, either solely or partly, due to the unborn child’s sex, regardless of whether that unborn child is a girl or a boy or whether it is of you the pregnant mother’s free will or the result of the use of pressure and coercion.”
The third addresses sex trafficking. It says, “The abortion facility is required to provide the name, text, and
telephone number of an organization fighting to end sex trafficking. By signing this document,
you understand help is available and you have been provided the information above on how
and where to get help.”
State law and regulations require pregnant mothers to sign each of the document’s eight pages.
The rules proposal comes on the heels of Noem saying she would work with the Legislature in the 2022 session to pass laws further restricting abortions in South Dakota.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to pre-emptively stop a new Texas law that prohibits abortions after about six weeks. South Dakota law allows most abortions through 22 weeks.
“Following the Supreme Court’s decision to leave the pro-life (Texas) law in place, I have directed the Unborn Child Advocate in my office to immediately review the new (Texas) law and current South Dakota laws to make sure we have the strongest pro life laws on the books in (South Dakota),” Noem said in a tweet.
Noem was a candidate for the state House in 2006 and seeking re-election in 2008 when South Dakota voters twice rejected ballot measures that were intended to halt most abortions in the state.
The state Department of Health reported 125 abortions occurred in South Dakota during calendar 2020, which was affected by the coronavirus pandemic; for the six months from April through September, a total of three abortions were performed. By comparison, there were annual totals of 414 in 2019 and 382 in 2018.