A bill introduced by the South Dakota governor’s office to ban abortions based on the diagnosis of Down syndrome was unanimously supported in the House State Affairs Committee hearing Wednesday.
In cases where the mother, whether intentionally or unintentionally, fails to comply and gets an abortion on the basis of a Down syndrome diagnosis anyway, the bill says she or her survivors can bring civil action against the abortionists and the abortion facility. 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.”
Gov. Kristi Noem called for the bill in her State of the State address in January. “European countries, like Iceland and Denmark, are on pace to virtually