PIERRE, SD – South Dakota legislators are leading the way this week with three bills that protect the lives of unborn children.
On Tuesday, the Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill 32-3 that protects newborn babies who survive abortions from infanticide. On January 28, the South Dakota House approved the bill 59-8. It now awaits the signature of Governor Kristi Noem.
HB 1051 requires that an abortionist must provide the same basic medical care to a baby who survives an abortion that would be provided to any other baby born at the same gestational age. The child who survives an abortion must be immediately admitted to the hospital. The bill lists “born alive” as meaning that the baby breathes, has a beating heart, has pulsation of the umbilical cord, or shows definite movement of his voluntary muscles.
Doctors who fail to follow the law would face a $10,000 fine and the loss of their medical license. Under the legislation, mothers could also sue the doctor who fails to provide basic medical care.
Yesterday, a bill introduced by Governor Noem’s office to ban abortions based on the diagnosis of Down syndrome was unanimously passed 13-0 in the House State Affairs Committee.
HB 1110 states that no abortionist may perform or attempt to perform an abortion with knowledge that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion because the unborn child either has been diagnosed with or has had a genetic screening indicating that the unborn child may have Down syndrome. The bill specifies that the mother of the child cannot be prosecuted, and it also includes a section that says the proposed law would not apply to any abortion that is “necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman because her life is endangered by a physical disorder … if no other medical procedure would suffice for that purpose.”
The mother or her survivors may bring civil action, and obtain liquidated damages in the amount of $10,000, plus reasonable attorney’s fees and costs from the physician who performed the abortion and the abortion facility.
HB 1130 also passed unanimously 13-0 yesterday through the House State Affairs Committee requiring women to sign a statement stating their physician informed them of the risks associated with abortion and that they told them sex-selective abortions are illegal in South Dakota. This bill also requires that women be informed that they can change their minds about an abortion after the first and before the second dose in cases of medication abortion, and they must be provided information about other options.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “I applaud South Dakota legislators for protecting the lives of precious unborn babies and those who have survived an abortion and are fighting for life. We must continue the fight to make the womb a safe place once again in America.”
Used with the permission of Liberty Counsel.
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.