“Abortions have stopped in South Dakota. We have prayed for this day, and now it is here,” Gov. Kristi Noem wrote on Twitter on June 16. “Now, we must redouble our focus on taking care of mothers in crisis. Help is available for you. Adoption is an option. You are never alone.”
The governor’s comments came after the last Planned Parenthood clinic in Sioux Falls stopped performing abortion operations on June 16, while the country awaits a pending decision on Dobbs v. Women’s Health Organization that could overturn Roe v. Wade.
“Abortion care in our Sioux Falls health center is paused,” the organization confirmed on Twitter on June 16. “If #SCOTUS overturns the federal right to abortion, abortion procedures must stop in South Dakota immediately. We can’t in good faith schedule appointments later this month, because there is a good chance patients would have to go out of state for their abortions by this time.”
According to the organization’s Twitter page, its Sioux Falls location still provides services relating to birth control and transgender hormone therapy.
On the day of the March for Life parade, Noem announced the text of two draft pro-life bills in a statement on Jan. 21. One of these bills would ban abortion after a heartbeat can be detected in a fetus and a second bans telemedicine abortions in the state.
“Every human life is unique and beautiful from the moment it is conceived. Every life is worthy of our protection, worthy of the right to live,” said Noem in the January statement. “We hope that this year’s March for Life will be the last and that the Supreme Court will finally protect every unborn life. But until that comes to pass, these bills will ensure that both unborn children and their mothers are protected in South Dakota.”
The statement says the number of abortions performed has declined by about 80 percent in South Dakota in the last decade.
The governor also stated in May that she will “immediately” act to “save lives” on abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
“If this report is true and Roe v. Wade is overturned, I will immediately call for a special session to save lives and guarantee that every unborn child has a right to life in South Dakota,” Noem wrote in May after the Dobbs draft ruling leaked.
If this report is true and Roe v. Wade is overturned, I will immediately call for a special session to save lives and guarantee that every unborn child has a right to life in South Dakota. https://t.co/oIiGibCP7B
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) May 3, 2022
Currently, South Dakota state law prohibits abortions starting from week 23 of pregnancy unless in the case of medical emergencies. The Midwestern state became the second to shutter abortion services after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed into law a bill that banned almost all abortions after conception.