If Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court, the South Dakota Legislature will convene in Special Session to debate new pro-life laws. Here are some of the measures that I will advocate to be passed during our Special Session (thread):
(1) Strengthen our ban on abortion that goes into effect (“triggers”) when Roe v. Wade is overturned and increase the criminal penalty for performing illegal abortions.
(2) Ensure the right to equal protection of the law for all human beings–including those living in utero.
(3) Affirm our telemedicine abortion prohibitions and criminalize the usage and shipment of abortion drugs into the state when those drugs are being used to terminate the lives of South Dakota babies.
(4) Require that out of state abortionists refer pregnant South Dakota mothers to third party counseling to screen for pressure and coercion before abortionists can terminate the life of South Dakota babies across state lines.
(5) Prohibit all advertising for abortion services in South Dakota.
(6) Ban South Dakota corporations like Amazon and Citibank from paying for the expenses to abort South Dakota babies and prohibit the state from doing business with any corporation that pays for babies to be aborted.
(7) Pass a resolution calling on congress to ban abortions at the federal level [Rep. Jon Hansen, Twitter thread, 2022.05.16].
Obviously Hansen spent more time in law school fostering his long-standing misogyny and fetus obsession than learning actual law. If his proposals withstand judicial scrutiny (and Hansen, like too many of his Republican colleagues, is really bad at Constitutional law), they’ll only oppress women, expand government, and damage South Dakota’s economy.
Hansen’s first proposal, to strengthen the abortion ban that formal pronouncement of the Alito draft will trigger, is pretty ominous. South Dakota’s trigger law already will make any abortion performed at any stage of pregnancy for any reason other than saving the life of the pregnant woman a Class 6 felony. How will Hansen strengthen that ban? Raise it to a Class 5 felony? Take away the exception for saving the woman’s life? Require women to report to pregnancy camps so the Unruhs and Bishop DeGrood can watch over them until they deliver their babies into good Christian hands? Hansen’s top priority indicates that even the draconian trigger law won’t be enough to satisfy these theocratic Republicans’ thirst for control over women and doctors and everyone else.
Hansen’s second proposal is similarly vague and wholly fallacious. Whatever he plans to do to “ensure… equal protection” for fetuses, he’s actually contradicting himself. In pretending that fetuses are “human beings… living in utero” just like human beings living in Utica, he’s mistaking potential life for actual life and prioritizing the rights he imputes to that potential stuff over the rights of actual human beings, free women who might actually vote for Hansen if he weren’t so committed to denying their equal protection under the law.
In his third proposal, Hansen opens the pretense of calling fetuses “South Dakota babies,” a subtly scary phrase that implies the state’s ownership of fetuses and the women who are carrying them. Hansen proposes to ban the use of abortion drugs in South Dakota and their shipment hereto. Banning this safe and effective method of abortion only increases the chances that the women who will continue to seek to end their unwanted pregnancies face more delay in obtaining less safe abortion care and suffer injury and death.
Hansen isn’t content with sticking his nose in local women’s business. Hansen proposes to reach across state lines and control the actions of health care providers in other states. Somehow Hansen will use South Dakota law to force out-of-state health care providers to refuse to provide abortions to women from South Dakota until the women submit to the anti-abortion propaganda sessions that his friends the Unruhs and others get to force onto all women in this state seeking abortions. That Hansen could extend this authority across state lines seems absurd: South Dakota can’t stop or delay a woman from going to the doctor in Denver and ending her pregnancy any more than South Dakota can stop its residents from traveling to Denver and sampling the herbal remedies at the local head shops.
And how will South Dakota know if a woman is pregnant and is traveling out of state to end that pregnancy? Will Hansen’s Special Session legislation require women to report their menstrual cycles to a statewide database and restrict travel for women more than two weeks late? Will Hansen establish checkpoints at the South Dakota border and interrogate all females? Will border guards attach tracking devices to all women’s cars so they can flag any vehicle that comes within a block of any out-of-state medical facility or other establishment that may provide abortion procedures and pills? Will South Dakota DCI agents then travel to those out-of-state facilities to execute search warrants and interrogate their staff? How far will Hansen have to reach into the private affairs of traveling women and out-of-state businesses to enforce his total control over fetuses?
Hansen’s fifth proposal, prohibiting all advertising for abortion services in South Dakota, is simply unworkable. If South Dakota bans abortion, I’ll put up ads on this blog for anyone who wants to advertise safe and legal services in other states. Thousands of South Dakotans will read those ads. Come and get me, Jon. Just try it. Hansen’s only real option for banning advertising is to adopt a Putin-style plan to isolate South Dakota’s Internet… which won’t work any better in South Dakota than it does in Russia.
We can only hope Hansen’s sixth proposal, to ban corporations from reimbursing their South Dakota employees to escape Hansen’s overlordship of their uteri and to boycott businesses that cover employees’ exercise of their reproductive rights, spurs Citibank, Amazon, and other businesses counting on Hansen’s District 25 to provide happy skilled workers to help elect Democrats Dan Ahlers and David Kills a Hundred to the Legislature. Hansen wants to control what health care benefits private businesses provide to their employees. As with his desire to expand forced counseling to out-of-state abortions, Hansen will have to come up with some intrusive scheme requiring businesses to report to the state all of their payments to employees and the pregnancy status of their employees. So much for Hansen and the Republicans being the limited government, pro-business party.
Hansen’s last proposal, a resolution calling on Congress to pass a national abortion ban, doesn’t do anything in South Dakota. However, it does expose the real agenda. Justice Alito’s claim that abortion is properly decided at the state level is just a ruse to establish a foothold for abortion bans in Republican-controlled states. The moment the Republicans get the White House and majorities in Congress, they will forget Alito and states’ rights and argue that abortion should be decided at the national level. Don’t be fooled by Mitch McConnell’s downplaying prospects for such national legislation: he and Hansen and their party will seize the first opportunity they get to ban abortion nationwide. Hansen wants to control every woman in America, not not just every woman in South Dakota.
Such is the misogynist authoritarianism that professed conservative Jon Hansen considers so urgent that it must be enacted in a Special Session of the Legislature. To gloss his attack on women and freedom, Hansen throws out a bunch of vague promises about things he might support in the next regular Session.
The passage of these protections for the unborn during a special session should be followed up in regular session by the most pro-family agenda that our state has ever seen:
Cut property taxes for families with kids. Cut grocery taxes. Put parents in control of their child’s upbringing and education. Combat drug and other addictions that destroy families. There’s so much opportunity if we will pursue a stronger pro-family, pro-life South Dakota [Hansen, Twitter thread, 2022.05.16].
Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard those campaign slogans before. Half of them—parental control of children and education, more war on drugs—are just code for more of Hansen’s theocratic agenda. Tax cuts might be nice, if Hansen and his party could ever actually deliver them, but Hansen can’t afford to starve the government; he needs those taxes to keep flowing in to fund the government’s enforcement of all of his abortion restrictions and other controls on your private life.
And even those slogan-promises are not as important or urgent to Representative Jon Hansen as seizing immediate control of every woman’s body in South Dakota.