Media Contact

Janna Farley,

February 14, 2024

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee rejected a bill that would have established an individual’s right to make autonomous decisions about their own reproductive health care.

The ACLU of South Dakota supported Senate Bill 210, legislation that would have repealed more than 45 pages of South Dakota law restricting abortion care in the state, including the “trigger law” that was enacted after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022 and made abortion a criminal act in the state.

The following statement can be attributed to Samantha Chapman, ACLU of South Dakota advocacy manager:

“Abortion shouldn’t be a political issue. It’s a health care issue that has been deeply politicized to the detriment of so many people across South Dakota. From pre-teen survivors of sexual assault to women carrying deeply loved pregnancies that will not survive to people who know having a child isn’t right for them at this time, abortion is needed in many complex and varying circumstances.

“Deeply private, personal and unique decisions about abortion should not be made by politicians but be made by pregnant people in consultation with their doctors – who should be able to treat their patients according to their best medical judgement. Everyone deserves the right to control their own bodies and to make their own decisions about their lives and futures, free from punishment, judgment or political interference.

“Liberty grants us the ability to determine our own paths in life and shape our futures. Medical decisions, who we love and how we show up in the world should be up to us. In South Dakota, ‘Under God the People Rule,’ and it’s far past time our lawmakers recognize that freedom applies to personal decisions regarding bodily autonomy.”

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.