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Duvall: Legislature Shouldn’t Make Medical Decisions for South Dakotans

While the big kids dominated the airwaves Thursday evening, the candidates running in the District 24 House Republican primary debated in Pierre. In the course of that debate, in response to a question about opioid addiction, Rep. Mary Duvall made the following remarkable comment in support of keeping the Legislature from intervening in the doctor-patient relationship (about 33:45 in this video):

There was a proposal this past Session… to limit the amount of time doctors could prescribe opioids for. And it’s intriguing concept, but I don’t think the Legislature is in a particularly good position to tell doctors how to prescribe medicine. That being said, I honestly think the medical community needs to do a better job of communicating with doctors to limit the prescriptions of opioids, to let people know that, you know what, you might hurt a little bit after surgery or whatever, we’ll get you through the first few days, and then we’ll figure out other ways to help you deal with your pain. I also read that there are formulas for painkillers that are less addictive. So I think there are options out there, but I don’t think that the Legislature holds the key for making medical decisions for South Dakotans [Rep. Mary Duvall, Pierre Chamber candidates forum, 2018.05.24].

Having Roxanne Weber in the race must be salutarily driving Rep. Duvall toward the center and away from her past hard-right positions on abortion legislation. Since entering the Legislature in 2013, Rep. Duvall has voted for at least nine bills (2013 HB 1237, 2014 HB 1180, 2014 HB 1162, 2015 HB 1130, 2015 HB 11552016 HB 1157, 2016 SB 722017 HB 1101, and 2017 SB 102) imposing Legislative interference in doctors’ and/or women’s ability to make medical decisions about pregnancy. Rep. Duvall appears to be coming around to clearer, better thinking on who should practice medicine: the Legislature is in no position to tell doctors how to practice medicine and should not try to make medical decisions for South Dakotans.


  1. Stace Nelson 2018-05-26 10:41

    @CAH Hard right position?!?!?!?! You must have missed liberal Rep Duvall attacking then Rep Jenna Haggar (R) in the Legislator Lobby for bringing an anti-abortion bill that prohibited sex-selection abortions. There are legislators who grudgingly vote to protect the unborn strictly for political sake of avoiding the rightful wrath of Republican voters.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-05-26 10:48

    Rep. Duvall isn’t as hard right as the Nelson wing, Senator, but she voted for all nine of the right-wing abortion restrictions I cite, even though she says the Legislature isn’t qualified to make medical decisions.

  3. Kathy Bergquist 2018-05-26 12:33

    She voted for all nine of the abortion restrictions but would not vote for opioid restriction? Just sounds like she is making money in the opioid trade. My guess would be she has a lot of medical stocks in her 401k or government equivalent portfolio. Who wouldn’t want to be heavy in med stocks. Those stocks pay well, very well.

  4. Roger Cornelius 2018-05-26 18:20

    Yesterday Ireland voters went to polls and repealed their strict abortion ban.

    60% of the voters voted to repeal the law that is now known as the “quiet revolution”.

  5. Debbo 2018-05-26 20:53

    It’s gets very confusing in GOPland. Keep the government out of painkiller prescribing, in control of a healthy woman’s body, out dead, bullet riddled children’s bodies, in bodily fluids of suspected impaired drivers, out of life-saving vaccines, in the urine of welfare recipients, etc.

    I don’t understand how “big government is bad” works.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-05-27 08:36

    Ireland and America are heading toward different centuries… and Ireland’s century has the bigger number.

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