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South Dakota appeals judge’s ruling that blocked rule to safeguard women undergoing “medical abortions”

by | Feb 17, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

The state of South Dakota has appealed a preliminary injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier that blocked enforcement of a rule intended to safeguard the health of women going through a chemical abortion to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Schreier, who was appointed by former President Bill Clinton, granted 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.”

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 the abortion pills up in person.

Gov. Noem argued that the FDA’s policy would endanger women seeking a chemical abortion.

“They can literally get on the phone or online and request a prescription and undergo this medical procedure in their home with no supervision whatsoever,” she told reporters at a news conference last month.

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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