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Judge Extends Injunction on Noem’s Practical Ban on Safe Medical Abortion

Judge Karen Schreier gave the State of South Dakota a week to come up with some kind of argument to convince her not to extend her January 27 restraining order and let the state make it practically impossible for South Dakota women to use mifepristone to terminate their pregnancies. The state evidently failed. Today, Judge Schreier said women still have a right to control their bodies and that right is unduly burdened by a new, medically unjustified rule banning the use of mifepristone and misoprostol outside of medical facilities.

The state failed to offer any new evidence to overturn Judge Schreier’s previous conclusion that there is no science, professional medical guidance, or FDA finding that demonstrates any legitimate purpose that its medication abortion rule might serve. Judge Schreier found the state’s rule, in conjunction with the state’s burdensome abortion waiting periods, would actually put women at greater risk of harm from delayed care, incomplete medication, and discovery of their abortions by abusive partners. The rule would harm women for whom medication abortion is medically indicated but who would be unable to comply with the state’s prolonged timeframe for obtaining mifepristone and misoprostol and thus would have to submit to the much more invasive alternative of procedural abortion. Additionally, forcing women seeking medication abortions to return for third and fourth appointments would back up other appointments at Planned Parenthood, delaying abortions for other patients. Judge Schreier sees the agreed science in the arguments that says, “Abortions are safer and lower risk when performed earlier in gestation” [p. 34] and concludes the state’s rule runs counter to its stated purpose of protecting women.

This ruling signals plaintiffs could easily win a similar injunction against House Bill 1318, Governor Kristi Noem’s effort to write this rule into law. It could also stop cold House Bill 1208, Representative Steven Haugaard’s proposal to completely ban chemical abortions, and House Bill 1326, Haugaard’s attempt to outlaw all abortion drugs and procedures except for women on the edge of death. Those three bills are the only abortion restrictions i the Legislative hopper.


  1. mike from iowa 2022-02-09 20:21

    I’m beginning to whole heartedly believe magats can’t comprehend the meaning of new evidence. Sure baffled drumpf’s election lawyers. Reckon Noem hired the same lawyers on drumpf’s glowing recommendations?

  2. larry kurtz 2022-02-10 11:00

    In 2015 Schreier’s ruling overturned South Dakota’s 1996 ban and 2006 constitutional amendment threatening marriage equality after six couples filed a lawsuit challenge.

    After a cult known for watershed decimation installed tile to drain four federally-protected wetlands the US Fish and Wildlife Service filed suit in 2014 and in 2016 Schreier issued an order requiring the Mayfield Hutterite Colony to restore that part of the Prairie Pothole Region.

    Democrats have to retake all three branches of the federal government, drive the buyouts of the welfare ranchers who occupy the Mountain West and High Plains then offer tribal nations reparations through land repatriation.

  3. Mark Anderson 2022-02-10 22:16

    Come on folks, the Republican’s are doing it all for the women. They also oppose equal rights for women, the women need protecting doggone it. Barefoot and pregnant is going into the Republican legitimate political discourse 101. You heard it here first. Soon you’ll see it on truck banners near you. No vaccine, no mask, barefoot and pregnant and by the way, no women truck drivers.

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