South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has taken another pro-life action to protect women and save babies from abortion. Today, she signed an executive order banning telemed abortions in the state.

When COVID first hit the United States, many abortion centers pushed webcam abortions — abortions where a pregnant woman does not get an in-person visit with an actual doctor before getting the dangerous abortion pill. An in-person exam is recommended because the abortion pill is only able to be used at certain times during pregnancy and can be lethal for women with ectopic pregnancies or with various medical conditions. The pill has already killed over two dozen women across the country and injured thousands more.

Today, Governor Kristi Noem signed Executive Order 2021-12, which directs the South Dakota Department of Health to establish rules preventing telemedicine abortions in South Dakota. The executive order also restricts chemical abortions in the state.

These actions will save the lives of some babies and also ensure that women are not killed or injured in botched abortions.

“The Biden Administration is continuing to overstep its authority and suppress legislatures that are standing up for the unborn to pass strong pro-life laws. They are working right now to make it easier to end the life of an unborn child via telemedicine abortion. That is not going to happen in South Dakota,” said Governor Noem. “I will continue working with the legislature and my Unborn Child Advocate to ensure that South Dakota remains a strong pro-life state.”

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The executive order restricts telemedicine abortion in the following ways:

Declares that abortion drugs may only be prescribed or dispensed by a physician who is licensed in South Dakota after an in-person examination;
Blocks abortion-inducing drugs from being provided via courier, delivery, telemedicine, or mail service;
Prevents abortion-inducing drugs from being dispensed or provided in schools or on state grounds; and
Reiterates that licensed physicians must ensure that Informed Consent laws are properly administered.

The executive order also directs the Department of Health to do the following:

Develop licensing requirements for “pill only” abortion clinics;
Collect empirical data on how often chemical abortions are performed as a percentage of all abortions, including how often women experience complications that require a medical follow-up; and
Enhance reporting requirements on emergency room complications related to chemical abortion.

Leading pro-life advocates thanked the governor for her pro-life action.

“We commend Governor Noem for taking this bold action that will save lives from dangerous chemical abortions, which have a fourfold higher rate of complications compared to surgical abortion,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of Susan B. Anthony List. “The Biden administration would turn every post office and pharmacy into an abortion center if they had their way, leaving women alone and at risk of severe heavy bleeding, physical, emotional, and psychological stress, and more. States must take action. Governor Noem is setting a courageous model today that we hope more state leaders across the nation will soon follow.”

“I applaud Governor Noem’s action today to stop dangerous chemical abortion drugs from being mailed to South Dakota women,” said Catherine Glenn Foster, President and CEO of Americans United for Life. “This is no longer about ‘a woman and her doctor,’ but a woman – or girl – and a stranger on the internet. States can no longer depend on the FDA to regulate abortion drugs in any meaningful way, and I am pleased to see Governor Noem step up for her state. Abortion is never safe, but it’s far more dangerous when women are abandoned by physicians and left to manage their complications alone.”

Governor Noem plans to work with the South Dakota legislature to pass legislation that makes these and other protocols permanent in the 2022 legislative session.

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