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South Dakota Governor Issues Executive Order to Prevent Telemedicine Abortions

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South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem speaks at the North Carolina GOP convention in Greenville, North Carolina, June 5, 2021. (Jonathan Drake/Reuters)

South Dakota governor Kristi Noem signed an executive order on Tuesday to prevent abortions from being performed via telemedicine in her state.

The order prohibits dispensation of abortion-inducing medication via telemedicine, delivery, or mail services. Additionally, the order bans the dispensation of abortion-inducing drugs on state or school grounds.

“The Biden Administration is continuing to overstep its authority and suppress legislatures that are standing up for the unborn to pass strong pro-life laws,” Noem said in a press release. “They are working right now to make it easier to end the life of an unborn child via telemedicine abortion. That is not going to happen in South Dakota.”

The press release stated that Noem would work with the South Dakota legislature to pass the requirements into law during the 2022 legislative session. The order comes after a Texas law banning abortions upon detection of a fetal heartbeat came into effect last week.

Noem’s order also reiterates that abortion-inducing medication may only be prescribed and dispensed following an in-person examination by a physician. This procedure is already required under South Dakota law.

The Biden administration announced in April that it would reverse Trump-administration rules mandating that women obtain abortion-inducing medication in person while the coronavirus pandemic remains a threat. The decision, announced by Food and Drug Administration acting commissioner Janet Woodcock, allowed for dispensation of abortion pill mifepristone via mail.

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