Noem to propose ban on abortions based on Down Syndrome diagnosis


PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The topic of abortion will be discussed during the 2021 South Dakota Legislative session, according to a social media post and appearance on Fox News by the governor.

Governor Kristi Noem tweeted Tuesday morning that in her State of the State speech she will “propose to the SD Legislature that we ban abortions based on a Down Syndrome diagnosis.”  She appeared on “Fox and Friends” airing on Fox News Network with former U.S. Congressman from Wisconsin Sean Duffy and Fox New contributor Rachel Duffy and the couple’s child. 

The interview took place inside the Governor Mansion where an uplink truck had been parked outside.  Earlier in her term, Noem had a full TV studio installed in the basement of the State Capitol a short distance from the Mansion.

Governor Noem has not commented on her State of the State address to South Dakota media and her media team has not indicated any availability for journalists from the state in the future.

KELOLAND News will livestream the address at 1 p.m. Watch it live on

SD Legislative session 2021

The South Dakota Legislature is established by Article III of the Constitution of South Dakota as a bicameral legislative body. Legislative Sessions can run for up to 40 days every year, depending on the legislative calendar set by the Legislature.

The 2021 Legislative Session will begin Tuesday, January 12, 2021, and ends Monday, March 29, 2021, to complete a 37-day session. During the Session, the Legislature will be in recess beginning Friday, March 12, through Friday, March 26.



The Senate consists of 35 Senators (32 Republicans, 3 Democrats) representing 35 districts. The Constitution provides for not fewer than 25 or more than 35 members.

You can find a complete list of Senators Legislators at

The House consists of 70 Representatives (62 Republicans, 8 Democrats) representing 35 districts. The Constitution provides for not fewer than 50 or more than 75 members. Districts 26 and 28 have been subdivided into two House districts to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act.

You can find a complete list of House Legislators at

An example of a bill — Senate Bill 1 for SD Leg 2021.

A bill is simply an idea that someone would like to see become law. It could be anything from the penalty for committing a crime to the amount of money that can be spent on a state program. The idea can come from anyone, but only a Representative or Senator can take that idea and guide it to final passage through the State Legislature.

Following the introduction and first reading of a bill in either house, the presiding officer assigns the bill to a committee based on the subject matter. Generally, bills dealing with certain subjects are assigned to the same committee.

The South Dakota Legislative Research Council, a nonpartisan professional staff for lawmakers, prepares legislative drafts and provides professional staff to standing committees and individual legislators for technical advice and research.

SD Legislative Session COVID-19 protocols

  • Masks in spaces under the jurisdiction of the S.D. Senate and S.D. House.
  • Limited seating in the Senate and House galleries.
  • PPE for members and staff.
  • Encouraging remote testifying and digital documents. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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