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Women Smell a Rat in Hansen’s Destroyed-Embryo Census

Republicans don’t want to count all the people in America, but South Dakota Republicans want to make sure every embryo counts.

House Bill 1248, sponsored by the baby-lovin’est Republicans in our Legislature, originally proposed a yearly census of test-tube embryos created or handled by any medical facility in South Dakota. HB 1248 called for counts of embryos transferred to wombs, embryos kept on ice (with their location), and embryos disposed of (with reasons for their disposal).

Evidently a full embryo census was a bit much for the hospitals. But the committee accepted prime sponsor Rep. Jon Hansen’s (R-25/Dell Rapids) amendment to require every facility that handles test-tube embryos to report each year the number of embryos it disposes of or destroys, the number of embryos it ships out of state for disposal, and the total number of embryos shipped out of state for any reason. Rep. Hansen told House Health and Human Services Tuesday that we need to count destroyed embryos, because “if a human life is intentionally destroyed in our state, then the state at the very least has an interest in knowing about it. I think we can all agree on that.”

The embryo count isn’t really about bookkeeping: it’s about giving another foothold in law for Hansen’s absolutist crusade to declare that life begins at conception and that abortion should thus be completely illegal. Of course, the logical conclusion of Hansen’s enshrinement of test-tube entities as lives with rights should require fertility clinics to maintain all embryos in a viable state and ultimately implant them into women (willing, we assume, but Hansen and his Gileadean absolutists might argue that saving those human lives warrants drafting handmaids) for delivery… or just stop practicing in vitro fertilization, since creating all those extra embryos, only to have to destroy them, is obviously, in the thinking of Jon Hansen and his party, murder.

The only woman who spoke in favor of HB 1248 was Governor Kristi Noem’s attack dog, Maggie Seidel. The other proponents were all men. Besides Sanford Health representative Mitchell Rave, the individuals who spoke against HB 1248 were all women.

HB 1248 and its frightful premise passed Health and Human Services Tuesday on an 8–5 vote. The yeas came from seven Republican men and one Republican woman. The nays came from two Democrats and three Republicans, all women.


  1. DaveFN 2021-02-18

    …“if a human life is intentionally destroyed in our state, then the state at the very least has an interest in knowing about it. I think we can all agree on that.”

    Yes, can agree on the operative word “if.”

  2. Richard Schriever 2021-02-18

    Next thing you know they will be demanding women inform them of every time they menstruate and men inform then of every excretion of seminal fluid that is unsuccessful at carrying its sperm to an unfertilized viable egg.

  3. Eve Fisher 2021-02-18

    Richard – they’ll never ask about men’s excretions for the simple reason that Monty Python got it wrong: no, every sperm is not sacred (otherwise men would never have any fun), but every egg must be accounted for (and women must be constantly monitored and punished, either for not using their eggs or for using them frivolously).
    What a BS bill.

  4. Donald Pay 2021-02-18

    If we named all the fetuses Joe Boever, Republicans wouldn’t have an interest in knowing about it.

  5. leslie 2021-02-18

    The perp’s future is to be announced today?

  6. Loren 2021-02-18

    So it is “too much effort” to keep track of Noem’s flight records, but we should keep track of all embryos, location, disposition… ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? Did someone drop these folks on their collective heads?

  7. SD is 20 per cent nonwhite 2021-02-18

    90 days on misdemeanor charges only.

    Surely Joe’s life is valuable.

    Remorseless GOP-Q?

    Borg should fit into a jump suit.

  8. mike from iowa 2021-02-18

    Probably get off on name recognition. Weren’t magats demanding death for doctors that performed abortions? All lives matter? Not in Northern Mississippi.

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