The Republican leader, whose goal is to be to the most pro-life governor of any state in the U.S., clarified South Dakota's trigger law following the fall of Roe v. Wade.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem recently shared her thoughts after the Supreme Court decided to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that legalized abortion across America. The 50 year old Republican leader and mother of three also shed light on South Dakota's abortion ban, a trigger law that took effect after the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
"In South Dakota we had a trigger law in place that our state statute said that abortion would be outlawed in our state as soon as this decision was made, except to save the life of the mother," Gov. Noem told CBN News. "So currently in South Dakota today, that's where we are, and we're just so grateful that every life is precious and it's being recognized in this country."
Gov. Noem commented that the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was a decision that "so many people have prayed for for so many years" and that it was "wonderful" to finally see it overturned and have the decision to allow or ban abortions given back to the states' local governments. She added that this now allows states to "stand for what their values and beliefs really are."
Republican Leader Sheds Light on Abortion Trigger Law
Gov. Noem explained that South Dakota has an abortion trigger law that took effect after the Supreme Court decided to overturn Roe v. Wade. She explained that the trigger law would ban abortions in South Dakota "except to save the life of the mother."
Despite being "so grateful" for recognizing that "every life is so precious," Gov. Noem acknowledged that many people were concerned about how the trigger law would impact women and mothers. She explained, "I wanted to be very clear that in South Dakota our law states that it will never be mothers that are prosecuted for getting an abortion. It will be the doctors who knowingly break the law and perform abortions in the state of South Dakota."
Describing South Dakota as a "pro-life community," Gov. Noem said that the state will now support women and mothers by connecting them with various resources such as healthcare, financial assistance, or adoptive families who want to raise a child who is a result of an unplanned pregnancy by a person who is "in a very different situation."
Gov. Noem stressed that South Dakota is working to help support pregnant women in the face of the fall of Roe v. Wade. She explained that she launched a website called Life.SD.gov, which offers resources for women who have unplanned pregnancies to access the different types of support the government has to offer.
South Dakota Governor Considers Unborn Children 'Patients'
In a conversation with Martha Raddatz of ABC, Gov. Noem said that she had spoken to doctors who consider unborn children "patients" as well. She said, "they define them as patients" and if doctors are adamant about defending patients' rights amidst the abortion debate, then they shoul also be "defining and defending that life that's in the womb as well," Fox News reported.
In South Dakota, Planned Parenthood had already ceased perfoming abortions even before Roe v. Wade was overturned. The abortion trigger law that took effect now makes abortions illegal, except to save the life of the mother. Gov. Noem's abortion trigger law does not make exceptions for cases of rape or incest, which means that victims will have to carry on with their pregnancy and bear the child of their abuser.
According to CBS News, Gov. Noem's reasoning for not allowing exceptions for rape and incest in South Dakota's abortion trigger law is that she does not believe that "having a tragedy or tragic situation happened to someone is a reason to have another tragedy occur." Gov. Noem claims that advanced "technology and science" shows that babies feel pain in the womb. Her solution to those who have been abused and are now forced to carry these pregnancies to term is to get mental health counseling and family services from the state.
Gov. Noem promised that the state is moving forward with making more resources available to women with unwanted pregnancies and "walking alongside them" while providing them with healthcare and mental health counseling, which she hopes will "build stronger families far into the future as well." In March, the Republican leader signed a bill into law that restricted access to medical abortion. The law now requires women to make at least three trips to a clinic to acess the abortion drugs. Gov. Noem explained that accessing these abortion drugs must be "under the supervision of a medical doctor."