Media Contact

Janna Farley,

February 28, 2024

With an 8-1 vote, the Senate State Affairs Committee voted to advance a bill that would require the Department of Health to create an informational video about what medical care is and isn’t allowed under the law for pregnant people experiencing life-threatening medical conditions.

The ACLU of South Dakota opposes House Bill 1224. Doctors don’t need legal explainers about the best course of treatment. They need to be able to do their jobs without political interference.

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

“A video is not and should never be a substitute for a doctor’s medical education, experience and relationship with their patient. But in South Dakota, the lives of pregnant people experiencing life- and health-threatening conditions are at risk while hospital lawyers attempt to interpret the law into what kind of medical care doctors can provide for them.

“Ultimately, House Bill 1224 does nothing to directly address the issue that is really risking the lives of pregnant patients: South Dakota's abortion ban. Instead, House Bill 1224 gives anti-abortion activists a guise to appear to care about pregnant patients while actually passing legislation that further enshrines anti-abortion cruelty.”

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.