SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — There will be no special session in South Dakota concerning abortion; a statement attributed to a group of people including Gov. Kristi Noem, lawmakers and the executive director of South Dakota Right to Life says that such a session is unnecessary.
Representative Jess Olson, a Republican from Rapid City, and Representative Linda Duba, a Democrat from Sioux Falls, each shared their perspective.
“I think waiting is the prudent thing to do,” Olson said.
“It’s not about party, it’s about the people and doing the right thing,” Duba said.
Olson says not having the special session allows more time to voice concerns.
“I’ve heard from several constituents in my district, very pro-life individuals but they were concerned as you look into the trigger laws that there is no exception for women who are raped and that’s surprising to some people. I would like to hear from more constituents,” Olson said.
Governor Kristi Noem’s office had announced at the end of last month that a special session was planned. Today, Duba brings up timing. South Dakota’s general election is on November 8th.
“It would bring this issue front and center to the legislature prior to the election… and there are a lot of concerned citizens in South Dakota…and so this would probably force people to take some pretty difficult votes and in competitive races, that can sway people,” Duba said.
Olson looks ahead to 2023.
“You can’t do the whole process of vetting things and hearing from people in a short two-day special session. So allowing us to have it during the regular session, it makes the process transparent and we can hear from all the stakeholders, from the hospitals, from physicians, from families,” Olson said.
Duba wants the public to have a chance to weigh in on abortion rights.
“So we have a trigger law now, but now we need to bring this really truly back to the vote of the people, not the legislature but the vote of the people,” Duba said.
Right now in South Dakota, abortion is only allowed to save a pregnant woman’s life.