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Rule Blocking Telemedicine Abortions in South Dakota Approved by committee

by | Jan 7, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

On Thursday, a rule blocking telemedicine abortions was approved by the South Dakota Legislature’s Interim Rules Review Committee. The rule, brought forth by the Department of Health, restricts the prescription of abortion-inducing chemicals to occur only at a licensed abortion facility.  The rule is expected to take takes effect later this month.

“The Republican governor initiated the rules change in September through an executive order, ahead of the Food and Drug Administration’s decision last month to permanently remove a requirement that women seeking abortion pills pick them up in person,” the Associated Press reported. “Unless states enact laws that say otherwise, abortion businesses now may sell abortion drugs through the mail without seeing or even talking to the woman first,” according to Micaiah Bilger.

“The new abortion rule effectively bans other means of obtaining prescribed medications to terminate a pregnancy (i.e. courier, telemedicine or mail service, in schools or on state grounds),” according to the Argus Leader’s Nicole Ki.

“Chemical abortions are four times as likely to cause a woman getting an abortion to end up in an emergency room – and we have a duty to protect the lives of those women,” said Gov. Noem. “I look forward to the day when the life of every unborn child is protected in South Dakota. Until then, South Dakotans will know that if a mother uses abortion pills to end her unborn child’s life, she will not get those pills from a stranger over the internet.”

The rule 

  • Requires that no medical abortion by use of mifepristone and misoprostol take place except in a licensed abortion facility, with an observation period;
  • Requires in-office visits for the taking of the mifepristone and separately for the misoprostol. This provision makes South Dakota the only state in the nation to protect the life of the mother to this extent;
  • Ensures that South Dakota law is properly followed by requiring that the mother be informed that, after administration of the mifepristone, it is possible to rescue the unborn child and stop the abortion from occurring; and
  • Requires abortion facilities collect and maintain certain information.

According to a press release, “Noem plans to work with the South Dakota legislature to pass legislation that makes these and other protocols permanent in the 2022 legislative session as way to protect the lives of women going forward and keep them out of emergency rooms.”

Categories: State Legislation
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