Featured Image

PIERRE, South Dakota (LifeSiteNews) — The South Dakota Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted Monday to advance legislation further restricting chemical abortions in the state, by tying the dispensation of abortion pills to three separate in-person visits with physicians.

HB 1318 first requires Mifepristone (RU-486), the first half of the chemical abortion cocktail, to be administered in-facility by a licensed physician, after which the user must remain for an observation period. The user must come back between 24 and 72 hours later to take the second pill, Misoprostol, then be kept for another observation period, then attend a third in-person appointment 14 days later “to confirm that the fetus, placenta, and membranes have been fully expelled.”

All of this can only be done within the first nine weeks after conception, and after the abortionist has obtained informed consent. Abortionists also have to record complications requiring medical follow-up and details of that follow-up, as well as whether the pregnant mother was a victim of sex trafficking.

The Associated Press reports that Republicans on the committee unanimously approved the measure over the opposition of the committee’s lone Democrat, advancing it to the Senate floor for consideration. It has already passed the state House.

The Noem-backed bill follows the governor’s previous attempt to limit chemical abortions via executive order, which is held up in court. HB 1318 contains language that would keep it from taking effect until that case is resolved.

Notably, the committee rejected a stronger bill backed by Republican state Rep. Steve Haugaard to ban abortion pills outright. Haugaard is a primary challenger to Republican Gov. Kristi Noem. South Dakota Republicans previously rejected a heartbeat-based abortion ban similar to the one enacted last fall by Texas.