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Legislative Update from Pierre – February 27

By February 27, 2022South Dakota
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“The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws.”  -Noah Webster

Prohibit Medical Abortion via Telemedicine
HB1318 would prohibit medical (RU-486) abortion by telemedicine. With COVID came telemedicine and chemical abortion prescribed over the phone. Self-administered chemical abortions lack medical oversight and care. This dangerous practice not only kills a human life but also puts the life and health of the mother at risk. 

To end her pregnancy, the mother takes mifepristone blocking progesterone, which cuts off food from the baby and ends its life. A day or two later, she takes the second pill, Misoprostol. This drug triggers blood flow so that she passes the baby. Women experience a series of symptoms, like abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and even death. If she suffers complications, there is no guarantee that she has a caregiver and may endure alone the hard and depressing process.

HB1318 will require the medicine to be prescribed by a licensed physician in a licensed abortion facility. Both medications must be taken at the facility instead of at home under the care of the facility’s staff. She must be given all the required informed consent as required by any other abortion and return after two weeks for a follow-up checkup.

HB1318 passed in the House with a vote of 62-8. The bill will be heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee Monday, February 28. 

Please contact your state senator and ask him/her to support HB1318. If you do not know who your senator is, click here. Send an email message here

Coerced Abortion
HB1113 “An Act to prohibit threats made with the intent to coerce an abortion and to provide a penalty therefor.”  This makes it a Class B felony to threaten an expectant mother to coerce her to have an abortion. HB1113 passed unanimously in the House.

HB1113 was heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee but was sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee with a “do pass” recommendation for their consideration Tuesday, March 1.

Sports Wagering – Defeated!
SJR502   Proposing and submitting to the voters at the next general election an amendment to the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, providing for wagering on sporting events via mobile or electronic platform.”

In 2020, the voters approved the legalization of sports wagering in Deadwood. SJR602 would have asked the voters to expand this form of gambling to the entire state.

SJR502 passed in the Senate on February 7 with a vote of 18-17. We are pleased that SJR502 was defeated in the House State Affairs Committee on February 25.

This defeat means that the issue will not automatically appear on the November ballot. But rather, the gambling stakeholders will now have to begin the arduous process of collecting signatures on petitions if they want it on the ballot.