South Dakota lawmakers and pro-life group stop anti-abortion bill Noem

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has sharply criticized state lawmakers for refusing to introduce her pro-life bill — a bill that lawmakers fear will affect the outcome of the state’s major legal battle against Planned Parenthood.

South Dakota House State Affairs Committee decreases Wednesday to authorize the governor’s bill, modeled on widely discussed Texas legislation banning the abortion of babies with a detectable heartbeat (after from six weeks of pregnancy).

State lawmakers and South Dakota’s right to life would have Express concerns that The law project is premature and could affect the state’s ongoing legal battle with Planned Parenthood, according to the South Dakota newspaper, the Argus Leader.

“I’m as pro-life as I can get, and because of that, I don’t want to do anything that would jeopardize our involvement in a court case that could abolish abortion in this country,” the president said. South Dakota House, Spencer Gosch, at the newspaper. .

“It’s the Legislative Assembly’s job to legislate, not the governor’s job,” he added. “What she had was not a bill. It was language, and we said it wouldn’t be a bill and therefore it wouldn’t be heard. End of the conversation.”

Noem argued in a statement that national pro-life leaders are pushing for exactly the protections she offered.

“Every life is precious and deserves our protection, but apparently South Dakota lawmakers think otherwise,” the Republican governor said in a statement. “It pains me that they are taking this unprecedented step at this time, based on the advice of an out-of-state attorney.”

The governor was referring to Harold Cassidy, Noem’s spokesman Ian Fury told The Daily Signal, a New Jersey attorney who has successfully litigated abortion cases. for many years.

According to his websiteCassidy is “widely recognized as the nation’s leading advocate for the protection of pregnant women from the excesses and abuses of an abortion industry.”

Among many other cases, Cassidy defended South Dakota’s Informed Consent Abortion Act of 2005, requiring abortionists to tell women that abortion takes the life of a “whole, separate, unique, living human being” when Planned Parenthood sued the state.

Neither Gosch nor South Dakota Right to Life immediately responded to requests for comment.

In Planned Parenthood versus Noem, abortion providers challenged a South Dakota law that requires women to visit a pregnancy crisis center before aborting their unborn baby. A federal judge quickly blocked the law after the South Dakota legislature passed it in 2011 and the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood sued the state.

Planned parenthood continued again when Noem sought to enforce the law again in 2021, and a federal judge ruled in August that the law would likely infringe on women’s First Amendment right to free speech, and that it represents an undue burden on a woman’s right to access abortion.”

The daily caller reported for the first time in early December that South Dakota had appealed the district court’s decision barring the state from enforcing the law.

The Noem team repels

“Last year, there were 10 abortions in South Dakota before a heartbeat could be detected, so we don’t think this legislation will ‘go away’ Planned Parenthood v. Noem,” Fury said. at the Daily Signal.

“The only way he could possibly [moot the lawsuit] This would be the case if Planned Parenthood left the state entirely, in which case we would achieve our goal of protecting every unborn life in South Dakota, since Planned Parenthood operates the only abortion facility in the state,” added the spokesperson for Noem.

Noem’s pro-life bill is modeled after Texas’ Heartbeat Act, legislation that has sparked a massive backlash among Democrats and abortion advocates because the bill allows private citizens to sue. anyone who “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or incitement of an abortion”.

criticism of the law assimilated Texas lawmakers to the Taliban and said the bill put “bounties” on the heads of women seeking abortions in the state.

The controversy over the bill sent it straight to the highest court in the land. At the end of January, the Supreme Court refuse latest demands from abortion providers to intervene in challenging the law.

Noem’s bill would also allow “any person, other than the state, its political subdivisions, and any officer or employee of a state or local government entity within that state, to sue anyone who” performs or induces an abortion” of a baby with a heartbeat or anyone who “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performing or inducing of an abortion”.

The governor stressed in her Wednesday statement to the press that her goal is to make sure South Dakota protects as many lives as possible.

“National pro-life leaders believe the time is right to have this kind of protection in law to save lives,” Noem said.

The South Dakota State Legislature “has always ensured that every bill gets a hearing, and that’s something I’ve always loved about our process,” she said. “We have rules and an open process, and we respect those rules. To our knowledge, this is the first time in decades that a bill has been denied a hearing.

“South Dakota deserved to have a hearing on a bill to protect the heartbeats of unborn children,” Noem added. “We can hear heartbeats at six weeks, but I’m disappointed that this bill hasn’t been granted even a single hearing.”

Controversy close to home

Tensions around the bill are especially notable in light of past disputes between Noem and Republican state lawmakers over legislation touching on other culture war issues.

The governor of South Dakota unleashed a conservative storm last spring when she failed to certify a bill banning biological men from participating in women’s sports. Thursday, a little less than a year later, Noem signed an invoice forcing educational institutions to base student sports teams on biological sex.

The governor insisted last spring, in the face of sharp criticism conservatives, including Fox News host Tucker Carlson, that HB 1217 would subject South Dakota to lawsuits the state could not win.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reported for the first time in March that Noem wavered in his support of HB 1217 due to pressure from South Dakota special interest groups. Critics accused the governor of “political theatre” and caving in to political pressure at the time, charges Noem and his team vehemently denied.

Since then, Noem has introduced and signed legislation codifying its executive orders requiring that only biological female athletes may compete on designated girls’ or women’s sports teams.

The legislation defines “biological sex” as “the sex shown on the student’s official birth certificate issued at or near the time of the athlete’s birth.”

Noem told the Daily Signal in an interview in late January that the original bill was “deeply flawed”.

“I am governor. You don’t sign bad bills that land you in lawsuits that prevent you from taking action when you need to,” she said. “Instead, you fix them, make sure they’re correct and appropriate, and you can literally push the necessary protections forward.”

The governor said the original bill, HB 1217, would have ended up in court.

“I immediately signed two executive orders that protected women’s sports at the K-12 level, then also at the college level, and said that when we return to legislative session, I will introduce the strongest bill in the country. to put it in our statutes,” she explained.

“That’s what we’re doing this year,” added Noem. “We have a bill that my team and I have drafted that is very strong, keeps that protection in place that my declaration of emergency – my executive orders – did, and that will ensure that only girls play in women’s sports. here in South Dakota. ”

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