Gov. Noem announces pregnancy expenses bill

Gov. Kristi Noem (R)
Gov. Kristi Noem (R)(Dakota News Now)
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 11:18 AM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Gov. Kristi Noem and legislators announced a bill Thursday that would provide for all pregnancy expenses to be covered by both parents.

“Life begins at conception. Science proves this, and it’s why South Dakota is a strong pro-life state,” said Gov. Noem. “The responsibility to equally pay expenses related to pregnancy should also begin at conception. The gift of a child often comes with financial burden, and a mother should not have to take that on alone.”

According to Noem’s office, Sen. David Wheeler (R-Huron) and Representative Mike Stevens (R-Yankton) will be the prime sponsors of the legislation.

“This legislation continues to promote life in South Dakota,” said Sen. Wheeler. “We have the opportunity to ease the burden on expectant mothers by requiring pregnancy expenses to be paid equally from the beginning of a child’s life.”

This bill proposes to define the scope of the current law, which broadly requires both parents to pay expenses for “pregnancy and confinement.” The bill does so by clarifying eligible expenses to be those reasonable expenses that the mother incurs for pregnancy or prenatal care of the child, labor and delivery of the child, and postpartum recovery and any medical complications arising from pregnancy with the child.

The bill also clarifies the legal process that is available to a pregnant mother if she wishes to seek reimbursement for her pregnancy expenses.

Ian Fury