South Dakota GOP Gov. Kristi Noem pledged over the weekend to prosecute any physicians who violate a state ban on abortions but also vowed not to go after mothers.
Following Friday’s Supreme Court decision that upheld a Mississippi law barring abortions after 15 weeks while also overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion all over the country, so-called “trigger laws” took effect in several states automatically banning the procedure, with South Dakota being one of them.
In an appearance on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Noem talked about her state’s moves to protect the rights of unborn children, telling host Margaret Brennan that doctors will face punishment in South Dakota if they perform abortions but mothers will not.
“The power to make these decisions really goes to each individual state. We’ve already talked about that in South Dakota,” she explained.
“What’s the state’s role in this and what can we do to help these individuals that are in these situations, get them the health care that they need to help their baby be born healthy and help them be parents or help them choose a loving family to raise that child,” Noem said.
“And I think we’ll continue to have those debates on how we can support these mothers and what it means to really make sure that we’re not prosecuting mothers ever in a situation like this when it comes to abortion, that it will always be focused towards those doctors who knowingly break the law to perform abortions in our state,” she added.
Abortion is now a criminal act in South Dakota, but Gov. Kristi Noem says the state will work to ensure women aren’t prosecuted when it comes to abortions.
“It will always be focused towards those doctors who knowingly break the law to perform abortions in our state.” pic.twitter.com/G4ew5WsZWJ
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) June 26, 2022
In other interviews on different networks, Noem continued to explain her state’s trigger law, which is similar to more than a dozen other states where the procedure is now fully banned.
“I think it’s important that this country recognizes that every single life is precious,” she told “Fox & Friends” on Sunday.
“The decision that we had this week was one that passes now this authority down to the states where elected officials will make those decisions, in South Dakota we had a trigger law in place already. So as of today, abortions are illegal in our state, and they’re only allowed to save the life of the mother,” Noem added.
In South Dakota, we value life. Being pro-life also means getting moms the help they need to be successful. We’re launching https://t.co/QwGdeKqWBi to give women the resources they need to navigate pregnancy pregnancy, birth, parenting, and adoption, if they choose.
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) June 24, 2022
“And I think it’s entirely appropriate that now we focus on taking care of women that are in crisis, that have an unplanned pregnancy, and see what we can do to support them and make sure those babies end up in homes that are good, loving adoptive homes or that we help those parents be parents,” Noem said.
“Planned Parenthood had already stopped abortions in the state of South Dakota a month or two ago, so that was good news for us, but we had the state statute on the books that said if Roe v. Wade was ever overturned at the Supreme Court then immediately abortions would be illegal in our state except to save the life of a mother,” the GOP governor continued.
“And so that went into effect and what we will do is continue to focus on not punishing mothers or women but what we will do is focus on those doctors who knowingly break the law to perform abortions in the state of South Dakota,” she said