Media Contact

Janna Farley,

February 28, 2022

Today, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee debated two bills dealing with medication abortion, advancing one and killing the other.

House Bill 1208, legislation that would have banned medications involved in early abortion care entirely, was killed, while House Bill 1318, legislation that would create medically unnecessary restrictions on medication abortion in South Dakota, was advanced.

The ACLU of South Dakota opposed both bills. Medication abortion is preferred by some patients because it allows them to have more control over their abortion and more privacy, and for some people it is not only preferred, but medically indicated.

“The decision to have an abortion is deeply personal and should be left to patients and their doctors. But with House Bill 1318, South Dakota lawmakers are trying to insert themselves into the doctor-patient relationship,” said Jett Jonelis, ACLU of South Dakota advocacy manager. “Laws that restrict our access to abortion are a violation of our civil rights and liberties. It is time for state lawmakers to stop interfering and to stop playing politics with health care.”

A new PerryUndem survey found that voters prefer individual control on abortion over regulation by law. Though most polls force respondents to choose a side on bans, PerryUndem asked whether they want elected officials to regulate this issue in the first place. Most voters say no – they want only the individuals involved making decisions. In fact, 64 percent say the decision to have an abortion, including the reasons and situations for having an abortion, should not be regulated by law.

About the ACLU of South Dakota

The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of South Dakota is part of a three-state chapter that also includes North Dakota and Wyoming. The team in South Dakota is supported by staff in those states.

The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people.  In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit communities. The ACLU of South Dakota carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for the people of South Dakota.