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SD Gov. Noem will appeal judge’s ruling that negated rule to safeguard women undergoing “medical abortions”

by | Feb 11, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-life South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem wasted no time, saying at a press conference Thursday that her administration would appeal a preliminary injunction issued Tuesday by an old nemesis, U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier, against a rule intended to safeguard the health of women going through a chemical abortion.

Judge Schreier’s initial temporary restraining order was in response to Gov. Noem who had initiated a rule change in September ahead of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s decision to permanently remove a requirement that women pick abortion pills up in person.

“Gov. Noem is focused on protecting women’s health,” said Ian Fury, the governor’s communications director. “The ACLU and Planned Parenthood have shown that they are more worried about their bottom line.”

Judge Schreier granted the ACLU /Planned Parenthood’s request for the injunction, writing that the rule “likely imposes an undue burden on Planned Parenthood and its patients’ right to seek an abortion.” She fully accepted Planned Parenthood’s argument that the additional rule requiring a third visit would effectively eliminate chemical abortions.

Yesterday Noem answered reporters’ question, observing that Judge Schreier focused on access to abortion rather than women’s safety, the reason for the rule.

“It was interesting to hear her argument. It was more about making it an abortion issue, which clearly in this telemedicine abortion order that we put forward, it’s about women’s health. It is four times more likely a woman will end up in the emergency room from utilizing and accessing abortion through this manner,” according to Bob Mercer of KELOLAND News.

“And,” Noem continued, “that is why we put it forward is to protect women’s health and make sure that they are medically supervised. The federal judge chose to make it about something else, and that’s disappointing. We will appeal.”

Gov. Noem continued, “In the instance of telemedicine abortions, someone can make a phone call, get online, order the drugs to be sent to their home. There is no medical supervision. That’s what makes it so dangerous. And that kind of access opens it up to our young women to be in their bathrooms or locker rooms alone undergoing this procedure with no doctor or physician … tied to the responsibility of what the consequences may be.”

Typically, mifepristone, the first of the two-drug chemical abortion technique, is given to the woman in person at the clinic. She takes the second drug, misoprostol, at home where she ingests it in the next day or two.

The bill requires that women first have an initial consult “and then two more visits for the administration of the two abortion drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, which are taken up to 48 hours apart,” Bridget Sielicki explained. “This not only prohibits women from receiving these dangerous drugs through the mail, but it is also a change from the former procedure, in which women would take the first pill in the doctor’s office but complete the abortion with the second pill later, on their own at home.”

The deaths of at least twenty six women have been linked to the drug and at least 4,000 “adverse events.”

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