The move by South Dakota to restrict the use of abortion pills comes in the wake of the introduction of a controversial abortion law in Texas, which bans the termination of pregnancy after six weeks.
Governor of South Dakota Kristi Noem announced on Tuesday that she had signed an executive order prohibiting telemedicine abortions and restricting chemical abortions in the state.
“The Biden administration is continuing to overstep its authority and suppress legislatures that are standing up for the unborn to pass strong pro-life laws”, Noem stated. “They are working right now to make it easier to end the life of an unborn child via telemedicine abortion. That is not going to happen in South Dakota”.
She also vowed to continue working with the legislature and her “Unborn Child Advocate” Mark Miller to “ensure that South Dakota remains a strong pro-life state”.
Under the new order, abortion pills can only be prescribed after an in-person examination by a state-licensed physician. It also prohibits the distribution of abortion-inducing drugs via courier, delivery, telemedicine, or mail service.
Many welcomed the decision, among them Catherine Glenn Foster, president and CEO of Americans United for Life.
“This is no longer about ‘a woman and her doctor’, but a woman – or girl – and a stranger on the internet. States can no longer depend on the FDA to regulate abortion drugs in any meaningful way, and I am pleased to see Governor Noem step up for her state. Abortion is never safe, but it’s far more dangerous when women are abandoned by physicians and left to manage their complications alone”, Foster said.However, some observers, including social media users, lambasted the executive order, especially in light of the recent Texas abortion law that bans the termination of pregnancy after the sixth week – a time period during which a woman often does not notice that she is pregnant.
The Texas abortion law has drawn backlash, with the Biden administration joining the choir of critics, as the president decried the legislation as “almost un-American” and pledged a federal response to it.