South Dakota's Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has signed several pro-life bills into law, taking action like several other states that are working to increase protections for unborn children.
South Dakota's new laws, which will take effect on July 1st, consist of:
- a requirement for abortionists to give women the chance to see a sonogram and hear the heartbeat of their baby.
- a Class B felony for anyone who causes an abortion against a patient's will.
- new reporting requirements on abortions.
- a new abortion consent form.
- a requirement for parental consent before there are orders to withhold resuscitation on a baby.
"A strong and growing body of medical research provides evidence that unborn babies can feel, think, and recognize sounds in the womb. These are people. They must be given the same basic dignities as anyone else," Noem said. "Our work isn't done until abortion is eliminated completely, but this is a step forward for life."
"The bills I signed today will crack down on abortion providers in South Dakota by requiring them to provide pregnant moms with specific, scientific information about their baby," she added. "Additionally, these bills criminalize forced abortions and will give people the opportunity to hear their baby's heartbeat before having an abortion."
Dale Bartscher, executive director of South Dakota Right to Life states, "In signing these pro-life bills that had broad legislative support, Governor Noem has demonstrated once again that she is a champion for life."
Sarah Stoesz, CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States (PPNCS), criticized South Dakota for the new laws. "The state has already squandered hundreds of thousands of dollars in litigation fees fighting for medically unnecessary abortion restrictions," Stoesz said according to the Argus Leader.
The state's new requirement for an ultrasound significantly increases chances for life. According to pro-life organization Save the Storks, four out of five pregnant women who see one of their ultrasounds choose life. ICU Mobile, another pro-life organization, states its ultrasounds have convinced 56 percent of women to change their minds, and 87 percent who were undecided also chose life.
A 2011 study by Quinnipiac University's Mark Gius shares that ultrasound laws have a "very significant" effect on an abortion decision.
"Every state that has an ultrasound requirement law has an abortion rate that is lower than the national average," wrote Gius.
CBN News recently reported of states such as Ohio, Kentucky, and Mississippi enacting laws to protect life. In Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill outlawing most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Kentucky has banned abortions for women making the decision on the basis of gender, race, or disability such as Down syndrome. Ohio has issued a new regulation ending state funding to Planned Parenthood.