For Immediate Release
June 24, 2022
Contact: Tony Mangan
Gov. Noem and Legislative Leaders Announce Plans for Special Session to Save Lives, Help Mothers
PIERRE, S.D. – Today, in response to the United States Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, Governor Kristi Noem and leaders in the South Dakota State Legislature jointly announced plans for a special session later this year to save lives and help mothers impacted by the decision.
“Every abortion always had two victims: the unborn child and the mother. Today’s decision will save unborn lives in South Dakota, but there is more work to do,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “We must do what we can to help mothers in crisis know that there are options and resources available for them. Together, we will ensure that abortion is not only illegal in South Dakota – it is unthinkable.”
South Dakota’s trigger law, found in SDCL 22-17-5.1, provides that as of today, all abortions are illegal in South Dakota “unless there is appropriate and reasonable medical judgment that performance of an abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant female.”
“South Dakota Right to Life enthusiastically applauds this decision. We will continue helping women navigate pregnancies they did not plan for as we remind South Dakotan’s that the pro-life movement cares about women and their unborn children,” said South Dakota Right to Life Executive Director Dale Bartscher. “Our movement includes nearly 3,000 pregnancy help centers across the United States designed to provide free services for women where and when they need it, such as free ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, prenatal vitamins, baby clothing, formula, parenting classes, and additional practical and material help. These centers and our tens of thousands of volunteers will continue looking for more ways to help mothers in need.”
The exact dates of the Special Session will be decided promptly after discussion with legislative leadership. The Legislature intends to take the time to make sure South Dakota law protects the unborn and helps mothers.
“With the end of Roe, South Dakota can again work to have enforceable laws to protect our children,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Lee Schoenbeck. “A special session is necessary because we could not have known this winter in session that we would have this opportunity and new responsibility to protect lives presented by the Supreme Court’s decision. Also, there will be more work to do on the many challenges a post-Roe world presents in regular session next January.”
“South Dakota recognizes that an abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being, and we celebrate today that the grave injustice that the United States Supreme Court perpetrated upon generations of Americans in Roe vs. Wade has ended and that South Dakota can once again protect the lives of all beautiful, innocent, unborn human beings,” said House Speaker Pro Tempore Jon Hansen. “I look forward to working with Governor Noem, my fellow members of the legislature, and all South Dakotans to defend life; support mothers and fathers; and promote strong, healthy families.”