Governor Noem’s down syndrome abortion ban passes to House floor

Noem has been heavily backing the bill since the legislative session started in January.
South Dakota State Legislature at the Capitol building in Pierre, S.D.
South Dakota State Legislature at the Capitol building in Pierre, S.D.(KOTA)
Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 8:49 AM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. - One of Governor Kristi Noem’s biggest policy proposals of the 2020 legislative session is on its way to the state house floor.

HB 1110, would “prohibit the performance of abortions due to Down syndrome and to provide a penalty therefor.”

“Down syndrome should never be a death sentence, especially in a society like ours that prides itself on diversity and inclusiveness,” said Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List State Policy Director Sue Liebel, who testified this morning in favor of the bill. “While tremendous advances have been made toward full acceptance of individuals with Down syndrome, shamefully, they are on the verge of being eliminated in some parts of the world.”

As it currently stands, abortions in South Dakota are illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The only abortion clinic in the state performs abortions only up until about 14 weeks. Down syndrome is most accurately detected in a pregnancy after 15 weeks.

There was no opponent testimony against the bill.

The bill passed through the committee unanimously, with both Democrats, State Rep. Jamie Smith (D-Sioux Falls) and Rep. Oren Lesmeister (D-Parade), voting in favor. It will now head to the full house floor, where it is likely to pass.