Gov. Kristi Noem: South Dakota ready to support mothers as pro-life trigger law takes effect

"I'm proud that South Dakota's standing for life, I'm also proud that we're putting some action behind our words and saying that we do support life and we support these mothers," the governor says.

Updated: June 29, 2022 - 11:28pm

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said her state is prepared to assist mothers with unplanned pregnancies as a 2005 trigger law takes effect that bans abortion, including in cases of rape and incest, after the overturning of Roe v Wade.

Noem told the "Just the New, Not Noise" television show on Wednesday that the trigger law was designed in the event "that if this decision ever came — overturning Roe — that abortions would be illegal immediately, except to save the life of a mother. So that is the law today.

"And we are focused on really making sure that people have the resources to know that these mothers are supported, that they have their health care, the counseling services and mentors, and even adoption services — should they choose that path — at their fingertips, if they need it, if they're in a situation where they have an unplanned pregnancy or a crisis situation where they really do need some help."

Noem said mothers in South Dakota can find resources at https://life.sd.gov/

She said mothers who get abortions under the law would not be prosecuted, but that the doctors performing the abortions would.

"So I'm proud that South Dakota's standing for life. I'm also proud that we're putting some action behind our words and saying that we do support life and we support these mothers, as well as getting them the resources that they need to move forward."

Noem said she supports "the law as it stands, just because it aligns with, really, what it means when you say every life is precious."

She said that she couldn't "even imagine the tragedy that goes along with being raped or having a situation where you're dealing with incest and what those individuals are going through that have had that experience in their life. I've never experienced anything like that.

"But what I would also say is I've just never believed that a tragedy and a horrible situation should be followed up with another tragedy. And if you're truly going to be someone who says all lives should be treated equal, and every person deserves a chance to live, we have to defend these babies when they're in the womb and speak for them and make sure that we're backing up what science has shown us."

Noem said science shows "that this is a life at conception, that it does feel pain in the womb, that doctors, when they treat these babies in the womb, they treat them as patients, give them patients' rights, as well. How can they then turn around at any other point and say, 'It's a patient and it has rights, but it's not a human life'? It's just hypocritical, and I think it's important that we have that intelligent conversation going forward."

Ahead of July 4, Noem said that she is still involved in a lawsuit against the Biden administration for not allowing the Independence Day fireworks show at Mount Rushmore.

"The the fact of the matter is Joe Biden doesn't like me, and he doesn't like the state of South Dakota because of the decisions that we've made," Noem said.

"He's punished us from the very beginning since he got into the White House. What he's doing by denying us the opportunity to have a fireworks show at Mount Rushmore is really ignoring federal law."

Noem said that, according to the Administrative Procedures Act, if requirements such as "safety, environmental concerns, consultation with tribes," are met, then the Biden administration must issue the permit for the fireworks show.

Despite those requirements being met, "still they're denying us the opportunity to celebrate America at our most wonderful monument that we're so proud of," Noem said.

"So I am suing him in federal court. We will win because we're on the right side of the law. But I think what is interesting is that, you know, tourism is our second-largest industry, it's our chance to market our state. He's not just hurting our opportunity to celebrate Americans, [he's] hurting our economy, he's hurting jobs in South Dakota, and I believe he's doing it on purpose."

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