SD Now One Of The Hardest States To Get Abortion Pills


     The South Dakota legislature’s committee that reviews proposed state agency rules has approved new Dept of Health rules that make the state one of the hardest places in the U.S. to get abortion pills. 

      Gov. Kristi Noem proposed and pushed hard for the rule, calling a safety issue for women, but abortion rights advocates say Noem’s entire purpose is to keep women from being able to get an abortion.

      Republican State Senator Timothy Johns had sided with the 2 Democrats on the panel to halt action last month, saying it was an issue that should be addressed by the full legislature as a law, but he voted with the other 3 Republicans yesterday. 

     Johns said he’s still bothered by the question, but that the committee’s role is to determine whether the health department had followed the correct process in adopting the rule and he felt it had.

      Medicinal abortions rely on 2 pills from a doctor taken a day apart. Currently, women must visit a provider, wait 3 days, then return and get both pills – taking the second at home the next day. Under the new rule, they must make a third trip to get the other pill.

      Noem and several doctors argued the extra visit is needed to make sure women don’t have complications from the drug, but the majority of doctors warned making it harder to get the second pill is dangerous.

    Since medication abortion became available in the U-S in 2000, the FDA has tracked 26 deaths associated at least indirectly to the medication, but opponents of the new rule say acetaminophen, the painkiller Tylenol, is responsible for about 150 deaths a year. 

     Doctors and abortion rights advocates also attacked the new rule as a dangerous intrusion on the relationship between doctors and patients.