Republican lawmakers in South Dakota, U.S., surprised the governor by refusing Wednesday to discuss her bill proposing tougher anti-abortion legislation.
A South Dakota House committee with a Republican majority refused Wednesday to give a hearing to consider a pro-life bill by Gov. Kristi Noem aimed at banning nearly all abortions.
The bill would adopt legislation similar to the Texas Heartbeat Act that prevents abortions after cardiac activity is detected, around six weeks of pregnancy. It also aims to block telemedicine abortions.
Republican lawmakers argued that the legislation could conflict with other legal battles over abortion restrictions the conservative state already faces, such as the one with Planned Parenthood over a law requiring women to go to crisis pregnancy centers before having an abortion, Fox News reported.
Pro-life Republican House Speaker Spencer Gosch weighed in, saying he shared Noem’s goal of banning all abortions, but that her proposed language would “jeopardize” the state’s participation in such a legal battle.
“We were not in support of the governor’s original draft language,” said South Dakota Right to Life director Dale Bartscher, adding that he would like to see it again with revisions.
Meanwhile, Gov. Noem told reporters, according to Fox News, that state Republicans “are not listening to national leaders in the pro-life movement on the momentum we have in front of the Supreme Court and what this legislation means to South Dakota.”
She even tweeted Wednesday Feb. 2, “Every single life is precious and deserving of our protection – but apparently South Dakota legislators think otherwise.”
The governor said she was surprised by the committee’s decision, as it is rare for it to give a bill a hearing.
“Today was the first time the legislature refused to give a hearing to a bill and they chose to do it on a pro-life issue, protecting babies,” she said.
He also assured that the bill he had been developing for months would not hinder the other causes as Republicans on the committee allege, but, on the contrary, would help build the process to overturn Roe v. Wade.