Noem signs executive order restricting access to abortions through telemedicine
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Gov. Noem signed an Executive Order Tuesday that restricts South Dakotans’ access to abortions in the state through telemedicine during a global pandemic.
The executive order blocks abortion drugs from being prescribed until after an in-person examination and blocks the drugs from being delivered through mail services. The order also blocks the drugs from being provided in schools or on state grounds.
The executive order also directs the South Dakota Department of Health to develop licensing requirements for “pill only” abortion clinics, to collect data on how often chemical abortions are performed as a percentage of all abortions, and to enhance reporting requirements on emergency room complications related to chemical abortion.
In April, the FDA announced women seeking an abortion pill would not be required to visit a doctor’s office during the COVID-19 pandemic, a change in policy from the Trump administration. Last year, the FDA waived in-person requirements for virtually all medications.
Gov. Noem says the Biden administration is “continuing to overstep its authority” and that she is working to ensure South Dakota “remains a strong pro-life state.”
The executive order comes after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block a Texas law banning abortion after six weeks. Following its passage, Gov. Noem tweeted that her office would review current South Dakota law to make sure the state has the “strongest pro-life laws.”
“Anti-abortion politicians will stop at nothing to restrict access to abortion in South Dakota,” said Kristin Hayward, manager of advocacy and development in South Dakota for Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund. “Governor Noem will do whatever she can to control South Dakotans’ reproductive health care. We know most South Dakotans support the right to safe, legal abortion, but Noem is following the lead of a vocal minority that is attacking abortion, contraception, and comprehensive sexual education in this country. Planned Parenthood will always stand up for patients and communities. That’s why those of us who support reproductive freedom must speak up now before it’s too late—and encourage our friends, families, and communities to do the same.”
Gov. Noem’s office says she plans to work with the South Dakota Legislature to pass legislation that would make the executive order’s protocols. permanent.
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