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Special SD Legislative Session Planned on Abortion Policy

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Monday, June 27, 2022   

The South Dakota state Legislature is expected to convene in a special session to reassess abortion laws. Gov. Kristi Noem vowed to call the special session in the wake of the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The ruling triggered South Dakota's ban, so abortion is now illegal except to save the woman's life.

Shannon Olivieri Hovis, California director for NARAL Pro-choice America, slammed the ruling.

"We are talking about more than 33 million women who will lose that access to abortion in their own communities in their home states," Olivieri Hovis asserted. "And some may be at risk of criminalization for accessing self-managed abortion in their states. And some will die."

Noem, who is running for reelection, has said she does not support an exception for cases of rape or incest, but instead is promoting a new website called life.SD.gov, which promises to provide "resources for pregnancy, new parents, financial assistance and adoption."

In 2006 and 2008, South Dakota voters rejected ballot measures to ban abortion in the state. Olivieri Hovis thinks the state Legislature is out of touch with public opinion.

"Eight in 10 Americans support the legal right to abortion," Olivieri Hovis pointed out. "That does not mean every one of those eight people would choose abortion for themselves, but they do not believe that anyone else should be making that decision."

The Legislature is expected to consider proposals to tighten abortion restrictions. For now, it remains legal to travel to other states such as Minnesota for abortion care and websites like abortionfinder.org and abortionfunds.org have sprung up to facilitate it.


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