Late Tuesday, the South Dakota state House passed a pro-life bill that would ban sales of the abortion pill that has killed millions of unborn babies and injures countless thousands of women.
The chamber approved Rep. Steven Haugaard’s measure to ban abortion drugs — an amended version of HB1208 that changed the definition of a chemical abortion drug to include alternate uses of those medications.
“The bill as amended addresses the issue raised in committee about the alternate uses for some of these drugs,” said Haugaard in discussion of the bill. He told lawmakers “a human life begins at conception.”
A chemical abortion drug is defined in HB1208’s text as “mifegyne, mifeprex, mifepristone, and any other pharmaceutically equivalent drug, unless the drug is to be used for a purpose other than an abortion.”
That exception for alternate uses was also applied to section 3 of the bill, setting penalties for any physician who dispense, manufacture, prescribe, sell, or transfer any chemical abortion drug.
With advancements in technology, Haugaard said science proves life begins in the womb and he’s hoping with this bill that will be reiterated, along with whatever comes out of the United States Supreme Court on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case.
“I would hope we’d act on whatever the Dobbs case rolls out,” said Hauggard. “But for right now, we know that abortions are taking place probably every day.”
The pro-life bill, which is different from another pro-life bill that places limits on the abortion drug, now heads to the state Senate for further consideration.
Last month, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem warned that abortions are dangerous for women as well as their unborn babies Thursday when she defended a new rule that requires abortion facilities to provide medical supervision for mothers taking abortion drugs.
A federal judge blocked the rule, arguing that it creates a “substantial obstacle” to women seeking abortions.
But Noem said the rule is necessary to ensure women receive the proper medical supervision when they take the dangerous abortion drugs, according to Fox News.
“The reason that we’re continuing to push it is it’s so dangerous for women to undergo this procedure,” Noem told reporters at a press conference. “They can literally get on the phone or online and request a prescription and undergo this medical procedure in their home with no [medical] supervision whatsoever.”
Citing recent studies, she said the abortion drugs are four times more dangerous for women than surgical abortions and women are four times more likely to end up in the emergency room. She also expressed concerns about young teens gaining access to the drugs through online abortion businesses.
Noem said abortions should happen under the medical supervision of a doctor.
When the governor introduced the new rule, she emphasized the need to protect mothers and unborn babies after the Biden administration disregarded the dangers of the abortion drug mifepristone and began allowing abortion businesses to sell it through the mail.
Under the new state health rule, a woman must make multiple visits to the abortion facility: first, for informed consent, second, for the first abortion drug, third, for the second abortion drug and fourth, for a follow-up to make sure the abortion is complete.
The new rule also requires abortion facilities to inform women about the abortion pill reversal treatment and to report data about abortion drugs to the state health department.
Those suing to block the rule include Planned Parenthood, the ACLU of South Dakota, Michael Drysdale at Dorsey & Whitney on behalf of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS) and its medical director, Sarah Traxler.
The abortion drug 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 taking 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.