South Dakota Lawmaker Introduces Legislation Clarifying State’s Abortion Law

A state legislator in South Dakota recently introduced legislation to prevent confusion or falsehoods from being spread regarding the state’s abortion law. 

South Dakota state Rep. Taylor Rehfeldt (R) introduced the “Med Ed Bill,” which would authorize spending for the state Department of Health to establish training materials teaching how the state’s near-total abortion ban would be interpreted in cases when a mother’s life is at risk during pregnancy. 

In a statement to the Washington Examiner, Rehfeldt said, “The abortion topic has really just become this political warzone. What we’re doing in South Dakota [is] putting women and babies first. We’re making sure that, I there is confusion for providers, that we’re stepping up to the pate where other people are not providing clarification.” 

Democrats favoring abortion have claimed that in states such as South Dakota, where abortion is restricted unless a mother’s life is at risk, women’s health may be in danger because healthcare providers may have a difficult time assessing the state’s “vague” legislation regarding abortion and could face severe penalties if they perform an illegal abortion. 

In the Mount Rushmore State, any official that carries out an abortion that does not meet the legal standard, meaning saving the mother’s life under “appropriate and reasonable medical judgment,” would be charged with a felony, bearing a maximum prison sentence of two years and a $4,000 fine. 

The abortion industry has long falsely claimed that states restricting the practice prohibit women from accessing care in potential health emergencies, including ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages, but, as the Washington Examiner pointed out, such procedures are not affected by abortion laws across the country and don’t require abortion procedures. 

“Our laws have always protected moms and given them the ability to receive treatment for miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy,” Rehfeldt said. “South Dakota law has been consistent in that and, even now, with this bill, our laws are not changing.” 

Rehfeldt’s bill would provide South Dakota’s Department of Health with $100,000 to consult with the state attorney general’s office and healthcare providers to create training materials clarifying the state’s procedures for abortions when a woman’s life is at risk during pregnancy.

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