Last year, Texas passed a law banning virtually all abortions after six weeks—weeks before most even know they're pregnant and a full18 weeks before the point of viability, before which the right to an abortion is protected under Roe v. Wade. Despite this blatant violation of the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision, the conservative-majority Court refused to grant a stay of the law's enactment. Even more foreboding, the Justices' questioning in a similar case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, suggests the Court intends to dramatically overhaul or even completely overturn Roe v. Wade.
But the Court's amenability to anti-choice legislation wasn't enough to convince South Dakota Republicans to entertain Republican Governor Kristi Noem's proposal that would've banned abortions after the detection of any fetal cardiac activity, which usually occurs between three and six weeks.
South Dakota's majority-Republican House State Affairs committee declined to hold a hearing for Noem's anti-abortion bill, with South Dakota's Republican House Speaker Spencer Gosch expressing concern the bill's passage would damage the state's lawsuit ongoing litigation with Planned Parenthood.
Gosch also suggested a sloppiness in the bill's preparation, telling the Associated Press:
“They showed up late to the game last minute, even last hour type stuff and it didn’t pass. Simple as that.”
Even prominent anti-abortion groups like South Dakota Right to Life weren't on board with the original draft language of the bill, but hope to see a more refined version considered in the future.
Others don't want to see a revival of the bill at all, but they're happy at the temporary reprieve.
Though the bill failed in committee, Governor Noem's actions succeeded in generating backlash against her.
South Dakotans likely haven't seen the last of this effort.