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South Dakota state Republicans prepare for possibility of illegal abortion

With a leaked decision from the United States Supreme Court suggesting that abortion laws could be determined at the state level, South Dakota state Republicans are preparing to legislate in a post-Roe world.
South Dakota State Capitol (FILE)
South Dakota State Capitol (FILE)(DAKOTA NEWS NOW)
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 8:18 AM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. - With a potential decision to overturn Roe v. Wade looming, some South Dakota state lawmakers already have their eyes on what they want to come next for the state.

Not only would abortion almost certainly become illegal in the state instantaneously, due to a “trigger law,” but lawmakers like Speaker Pro Tempore Jon Hansen (R-Dell Rapids) are also pushing to further implement laws that would drastically restrict abortion to South Dakotans, and looking for ways to make it easier to raise a family.

Hansen posted to social media several different items that he would like to see the state legislature pass if Roe is overturned.

“Once we are able to ban abortion and Roe is overturned, we need to still be able to protect babies and mothers from being hauled over the state lines by Planned Parenthood and having South Dakota babies being aborted over there,” Hansen explained.

Hansen suggests that if abortion ultimately becomes an issue to be decided on by the states, South Dakota should come into a special session almost immediately thereafter. Some of the bills that he would like to passed include restricting the ability to advertise abortion in the state, require out of state abortion providers to direct pregnant mothers to third party counselors, and preventing corporations from paying works to go get abortions outside of the state.

A number of corporations located in South Dakota, including Citibank and Amazon, have already committed to paying for employees to travel out of state to get abortions in states that have strict laws against abortion.

“If you have a corporation that is paying to have a baby aborted in another state by paying expenses, we shouldn’t allow that,” Hansen said in an interview. “That will be a homicide under South Dakota law if Roe is overturned.”

More than just strengthening the laws against abortion, Hansen says that it is time for the state to make it easier to raise kids. Hansen argues that the state should remove the grocery tax, lower property taxes based on the number of kids you have, and give parents struggling with addiction better access to drug and alcohol care.

“Our state should adopt a radically pro-family agenda. By that, I mean we should do everything we can do to make sure that families can live and thrive in South Dakota. Cut grocery taxes, cut property taxes if you have kids, take the burden of taxation off people as much as we can,” Hansen said. “That should be on us.”

For their part, Planned Parenthood has pledged to fight for abortion rights despite the leaked opinion, saying that for now, it remains legal in South Dakota. The organization also vowed that they “will not accept the decision without a fight.”

A decision from the Supreme Court is expected within the next several weeks.

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