A South Dakota legislative committee approved another pro-life action by Gov. Kristi Noem on Thursday to protect mothers and unborn babies from dangerous abortion drugs.
DRG News reports the state Interim Rules Review Committee voted in favor of a rule that prohibits abortion drugs from being prescribed by mail or telemedicine, meaning the mother may never see a doctor in person.
Noem emphasized the need for the new rule after the Biden administration got rid of safety regulations for the abortion drug mifepristone late last year. Unless states enact laws that say otherwise, abortion businesses now may sell abortion drugs through the mail without seeing or even talking to the woman first.
The governor pointed to studies that found a high rate of emergency room visits among women after taking the drug.
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“And we have a duty to protect the lives of those women,” Noem said. “I look forward to the day when the life of every unborn child is protected in South Dakota. Until then, South Dakotans will know that if a mother uses abortion pills to end her unborn child’s life, she will not get those pills from a stranger over the internet.”
The new rule, slated to go into effect later this month, requires that abortion facilities give abortion drugs to the woman in person under the supervision of a medical professional, according to the report.
A state first, it also requires abortionists to provide both the first and second abortion drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, to the woman in person, DRG News reports. Typically, abortion facilities give mifepristone to the woman in person and then send her home with misoprostol, a labor-inducing drug, to take a day or two later. The new requirement will mean multiple trips to the abortion facility.
Additionally, Noem’s new rule ensures abortion facilities inform women about the possibility that the first abortion drug may be reversed to save her baby’s life, and requires abortion facilities to report data about abortion drugs to the state health department.
The Associated Press reports some abortion supporters complained that the new rules are a “dangerous intrusion on the relationship between doctors and patients.”
“(The rule) will unfortunately increase government interference in the physician-patient relationship and cause far more problems than it will solve,” said Dr. Erica Schipper, an OB-GYN in Sioux Falls.
But because of actions by the Biden and Obama administrations, doctors already are not involved in many drug-induced abortions. Some states allow nurse practitioners and midwives to prescribe the drugs, and, in many others, abortion businesses are selling the drugs online without ever seeing the woman in person, even for an initial health screening.
According to KTIV, the new rule “doesn’t need any further legislative approval”; after being filed with the secretary of state, it will go into effect.
Mifepristone is used to abort unborn babies up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. It blocks the hormone progesterone and basically starves the baby to death. For decades, the FDA required that abortionists provide the drug in-person after a medical examination because of its high risks. In December, however, the Biden administration got rid of the in-person requirement and began allowing the drug to be sold through the mail.
In response, a number of states took action or are expected to take action this year to protect women’s safety by banning mail-order abortions.
The FDA has linked the abortion drug to at least 24 women’s deaths and 4,000 serious complications between 2000 and 2018. However, under President Barack Obama, the FDA stopped requiring that non-fatal complications from mifepristone be reported. So the numbers almost certainly are much higher.
New data and studies suggest the risks of the abortion drug are much more common than what abortion activists often claim, with as many as one in 17 requiring hospital treatment.
A recent study by the Charlotte Lozier Institute found that abortion-related emergency room visits by women taking the abortion drug increased more than 500 percent between 2002 and 2015. Notably, they also found that abortion complications sometimes are miscoded as “spontaneous abortions,” or miscarriages.
Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, new government health data shows a massive hospitalization rate due to abortion drugs after the government began allowing mail-order abortion drugs in 2020. According to the data, more than 10,000 women who received the abortion drugs by mail needed hospital treatment in 2020, or about one in 17 women.
A 2009 study “Immediate Complications After Medical Compared With Surgical Termination of Pregnancy,” in “Obstetrics and Gynecology” found a complication rate of approximately 20 percent for the abortion drugs compared to 5.6 percent for surgical abortions. Hemorrhages and incomplete abortions were among the most common complications.