January 13, 2022

South Dakota Legislators Approve Abortion Pill Restrictions

Legislators in South Dakota last week approved abortion pill restrictions initiated by Gov. Kristi Noem's executive order in September. These restrictions will protect women by limiting the abortion pill's distribution to licensed abortion facilities.

This order came as a response to the FDA's announcement that it will end regulations that used to limit the distribution of the abortion pill. Those regulations similarly limited the distribution of the abortion pill. Without the FDA restrictions, it will be legal to send abortion pills by sending them through the mail.

The FDA regulations sought to protect women from some of the risks associated with the abortion pill. Without them, women can receive prescriptions without first being examined by a medical professional. This is important because medical professionals can accurately date a pregnancy and diagnose any conditions, such as ectopic pregnancy. If the child's gestational age is past the range at which it is safe to use the abortion pill, or if an ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed, then they would know not to use the abortion pill regimen. If a woman takes the abortion pill regimen with an ectopic pregnancy or late-term child could experience life-threatening injuries such as hemorrhaging.

“Chemical abortions are four times as likely to cause a woman getting an abortion to end up in an emergency room – and we have a duty to protect the lives of those women,” Noem said in a statement after legislators approved the restrictions. “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.”