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SD Abortion Laws on Mother-Child Relationship Imperil “Safe Haven” Adoption Law

“Safe Haven” laws, allowing women who’ve just given birth to surrender their newborns for adoption at hospitals, police stations, fire stations, or other places, were recently all the rage: every state passed them. Justice Amy Coney Barrett uses them as her escape from the argument that she and her fellow theocrats are forcing motherhood on women by taking away the erstwhile constitutional right to abortion. Unfortunately, South Dakota’s newly fanged abortion restrictions may render South Dakota’s safe haven law unconstitutional.

South Dakota’s 2001 safe haven statutes (SDCL 25-5A-27 through 25-5A-35), the only practical guidance directly available from Governor Kristi Noem’s new website to “help” pregnant women on how to place one’s child for adoption, allow parents to surrender newborns up to 60 days old to any emergency medical services provider or child placement agency for adoption anonymously, with no questions asked. Those parents get 14 days to reconsider and ask for their children back; after two weeks, children surrendered to a nurse, EMT, cop, firefighter, or Department of Social Services official become wards of the state or receiving agency and the parents rights are terminated.

However, South Dakota’s abortion statutes (SDCL Chapter 34-23A) refer repeatedly to a “relationship between a pregnant woman and her unborn child.” (I put key phrases in bold below.)

  • SDCL 34-23A-1.3 says that relationship exists “during the entire period of gestation”—i.e., from conception to birth.
  • SDCL 34-23A-1.4 finds that women have a “constitutionally protected interest” in that relationship and that women who would consider ending that precious relationship by abortion “may be subject to pressures which can cause an emotional crisis, undue reliance on the advice of others, clouded judgment, and a willingness to violate conscience to avoid those pressures.”
  • SDCL 34-23A-54 finds that the Legislature needs to “protect the pregnant mother’s interest in her relationship with her child….” This statute further finds that “It is a necessary and proper exercise of the state’s authority to give precedence to the mother’s fundamental interest in her relationship with her child over the irrevocable method of termination of that relationship by induced abortion.
  • SDCL 34-23A-85 finds that the informed-consent disclosures dictated by the Legislature “are important for the pregnant mothers to fully understand that the pregnant mother has an existing relationship with her unborn child while the child is in utero, that the law recognizes this relationship has value to her, and that by terminating that relationship she loses something of great value to herself, and gives up one of the greatest rights she has in all of life.”
  • SDCL 34-23A-86 affirms the need for “the legal protection” of a pregnant woman’s “constitutional rights to maintain her relationship with her child.”

Most references to this “relationship” are in Legislative findings, which themselves do not command or prohibit any action. In codifying findings, legislators are writing into law the arguments they expect they’ll need to make in court to defend related laws, clarifying for the court the legislative reasoning and intent that they expect the court to recognize and defer to in upholding those related laws if they are challenged. Thus, while findings have no standalone enacting power, they serve as the foundation of the enacting power of other statutes.

South Dakota’s Legislative findings about the “relationship between a pregnant woman and her unborn child” serve as the foundation for the major obstacles to abortion that the Legislature enacted to undermine Roe v. Wade when that ruling was the law of the land.

  • SDCL 34-23A-10.1 requires doctors to provide written statements to women seeking abortions that this “the pregnant woman has an existing relationship with that unborn human being” that “enjoys protection under the United States Constitution and under the laws of South Dakota” (a bold declaration, given that the words womanrelationship, and unborn do not appear in the United States Constitution, but shhhh! Don’t tell Justice Alito) and that abortion will terminate those rights.
  • SDCL 34-23A-53 and SDCL 34-23A-58 require that the “pregnancy help centers” to which the Legislature would force women to go for anti-abortion browbeating before having abortions have as part of their principal missions “to provide education, counseling, and other assistance to help a pregnant mother maintain her relationship with her unborn child and care for her unborn child.”
  • SDCL 34-23A-56 imposes the 72-hour waiting period (not counting weekends!) that ensures women have time to overcome their clouded judgment, resolve their emotional crises, and, with the necessary and proper advice from pregnancy help centers mandated by the Legislature, recognize and preserve their relationship with their child in utero.

All of this language is ridiculously patronizing, patriarchal, and dismissive of the judgment and equality of women. But until we have legislators willing to recognize and repeal this insulting misogyny, we must consider the implications of this language as our patriarchal legislators have written it into law.

Interestingly, the Alito Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade last week and its activation of our trigger law banning all abortions except those necessary to save the mother’s life appears to moot the above findings and restrictions. The forced disclosures, abortion waiting period, and pregnancy help center propaganda sessions apply only to a procedure that no woman can legally obtain in South Dakota. South Dakota law already exempted abortions for medical emergencies like the imminent death of the mother from those restrictions, so in Alito’s Gilead, those restrictions no longer matter.

But the “relationship” findings are still law. South Dakota law still recognizes women’s Constitutional (again, where? which Article? which Amendment?) right to relationships with unborn humans in their uteri. South Dakota law deems that relationship “something of great value” to women, “one of the greatest rights” women have “in all of life.” South Dakota law says that relationship is so important that the state should intervene with laws to protect a woman’s “fundamental interest in her relationship with her child.”

Hey—they left “unborn” out of that last one. What happens if we leave “unborn” out of all of those findings?

If a woman’s relationship with an unborn fetus is of overriding value, “one of the greatest rights” a woman can enjoy, then surely her relationship with that entity when it becomes an actual born child is a right of even greater value. A woman (or a man, one would think, since, ex utero, we can make as much of a fuss over a father’s rights as a mother’s, right, Tom Pischke?) who would consider terminating her relationship with her child must be “subject to pressures which can cause an emotional crisis, undue reliance on the advice of others, clouded judgment, and a willingness to violate conscience to avoid those pressures.” A right of such importance demands the state exercise its authority “to give precedence to the mother’s fundamental interest in her relationship with her child over the irrevocable method of termination of that relationship….”

Substitute “adoption” for “abortion”, and South Dakota law, specifically its findings on the state’s fundamental interest in protecting a woman’s Constitutionally protected relationship with her child, indicates that we must repeal our safe haven law.

The safe haven law allows a mother (or a father, but let’s keep out pronouns simple) to relinquish custody of her child on the spot. The mother does not have to sign any form. She does not have to wait 72 hours. She does not have to see a counselor committed to talking her out of putting the child up for adoption. The mother can terminate her relationship with her child without answering a single question or even giving her name.

The termination of that relationship is not instant; SDCL 25-5A-29 gives the mother 14 days to change her mind before the state terminates her parental rights. But South Dakota’s safe haven law does not impose upon offer to a woman in distress any of the “protection” of her “fundamental”, “constitutionally protected” interest in a “relationship” with her child ex utero that South Dakota’s abortion laws offered to a woman with a child in utero.

Dang—it’s almost as if the people writing our mom/baby laws were focused on making harlots who have nookie suffer through a complete pregnancy and delivery, and that once those fallen women have given birth, they’ve suffered enough for their sins. But who would think such a dastardly thought?

As they stand, South Dakota’s laws spell out a woman’s fundamental right to a relationship with her child. Those laws justified all sorts of restrictions on abortion. Those restrictions are now moot, superseded by the Alito Court and a near-total abortion ban. But those laws and their authors may now turn their hungry eyes toward other threats to that fundamental right… and the plain language of those laws say that safe haven laws, allowing women to terminate their relationships with their newborns anonymously and without restriction, are just such a threat.


  1. sx123 2022-06-29 13:31

    So now, in SD, mothers must keep their relationship with their unborn child until after birth. At that point mothers have up to 60 days to terminate the relationship, no strings attached.

    Due to the Supreme Court ruling, and trying to maintain consistent thought, from a relationship perspective in SD, mothers should never be able to terminate the relationship with their children without severe penalties. Am I getting the gist?

  2. All Mammal 2022-06-29 14:38

    Why are Noem and them so concerned about something that is not a citizen of this country? That’s strange. It doesn’t even have a social security number or tax ID. Or a name.
    These sick freaks are investing now in their slave force of the future to combat the labor shortage. It’s a pretense for the bodies needed to supply the juice in the battery to run their machine. I’ve watched The Matrix a hundred times and know the archetypal symbols, man. The SD CL semantics Mr. H shows us reeks of male petulance and one day soon, I hope, will be catalogued in the ‘Never Forget-Never Again’ pile.

  3. larry kurtz 2022-06-29 14:39

    Hey, Mr. Heidelberger, you enrolled in law school yet?

  4. Arlo Blundt 2022-06-29 15:13

    All of this abortion legislation is just legal chaos leading to human tragedy, on a grand scale. Republicans are “kicking down” as usual.

  5. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-06-29 15:26

    SX123, I’m not sure I get the gist, either.

    This is why women all over this Land of the Free Males and the home of the Brave Misogynistic Reptilians hide their pregnancies, give agonizing birth totally alone, and wrap their newborns in multiple layers of plastic trash bags and bury them in dumpsters. Not an attractive fact, but it happens.

    The numbers are simply unknown.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-29 16:38

    PHCs are widely recognized to be peddling false information to women. Now that abortion is banned in South Dakota, the state can no longer try to force women to go these religious propaganda mills. But Gov. Noem is still promoting them with her new state website.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-29 16:42

    All Mammal, yes, these statutes do reek of male petulance, arrogance, and disregard for women’s ability to think clearly and make decisions for themselves. It disgusts me to read them and quote them, not to mention think that hundreds of thousands of women have to live under them.

    But as they stand, they completely contradict the notion of no-fault, no-questions-asked safe-haven adoption drop-offs.

    How can South Dakota law recognize the mother-fetus relationship as fundamental and base a whole slew of paternalistic restrictions on its overriding interest in protecting that relationship, yet not have comparable statutes laying restrictions on mothers and fathers to prevent them from giving up their parent-baby relationships without proper deliberation and guidance from the State?

  8. larry kurtz 2022-06-29 16:56

    Amen. Then end up running a Cinnabon in Omaha like Saul ends up doing would be sentence enough, for sure. How you keep all this stuff in your head without exploding in anger at South Dakota remains a mystery.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-29 16:56

    SX, you are getting the gist. The Alito Court hasn’t outlawed safe haven laws, but the principle used in South Dakota law to undermine Roe while it was in force—this notion of the state’s overriding interest in protecting women from indiscriminantly, uninformedly giving up their fundamental right to a relationship with their fetuses, a right concocted out of whole cloth and not the U.S. Constitution—remains in statute, now stripped of its original target, waiting for some legal-eagle patriarchist to apply it to some other aspect of women’s autonomy. The safe-haven laws give a woman with an unwanted pregnancy one last escape from the motherhood that the state wants to force upon her. If SD Republicans were willing and able to put 2 and 2 together, they’d realize they are obliged by their rhetoric to ban anonymous safe-haven adoption drop-offs.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-29 16:58

    Bonnie, our laws and our culture should not drive any woman to the extreme action you describe. We must change our ways.

  11. All Mammal 2022-06-29 17:43

    Tyranny is nicely urging a healthcare professional or panAmerican trucker to get a free vaccine-according to our SD law writing prickheads who ‘follow the science’ and will protect us from being told what to do by Washington democrats.

    What do you call a state government forcing a woman to have a relationship with an unwanted parasite against her will? This holiest of mandatory relationships is completely irrelevant once the state can get their limey hooks on the infant and adopt them into a completely unfunded foster system to learn their place early as a means for the demigods to reign over the forced living forevermore. It is called the most debasing, pathetic abuse of power that, until here and now, the groskiest of tyrants could only aspire to. Abortion at least allows for dignity before and after. The slimy laws written in SD strip dignity from women, innocent children, and the whole community to know the children know that they know. It also robs the dignity from the umpteen 6 week old infants whose mother just found out she is again with child. (I have no numbers or statistics to back up my assertion that one of the main reasons terminating a pregnancy is chosen is due to how fertile women are who have just given birth. It is a decision made in the best interest of the 6 week old infant the mom doesn’t want to deny it’s right to get to be the baby until the mom can manage to care for and love a younger sibling. After childbirth, women have hormones that make it likely for her to get pregnant again right away. With no time to rest and build that strong relationship with her new infant, three individuals are stripped of their dignity. If mom is empowered with the right to choose, and she decides to safely terminate something that never was, she and her newborn keep their dignity and both have immeasurable opportunity they would have been denied by the SD big bad government.) it is so clear that this bunkass ‘relationship’ they claim they are preserving only in utero is a cop-out. If that ‘relationship’ ceases to matter after birth-when it is the difference between a healthy, happy baby or an orphaned, unimportant ward of the state- then it has no merit to begin with.

  12. Jake 2022-06-29 18:40

    What say we ALL “tip” the jar above and give this blog continued reason to be available to let us know what is and what could be with ideas from such good readers/commentators? Ever expect to see topics discussed at length here in the major SD press? They try, yes, and bless them for trying. But they seem to not be interested in really getting into hard topics off the beaten, well-trodden paths of “normalcy”!!

    Anyone looked at War College lately and compared what you read there to this?

  13. Bob Newland 2022-06-29 18:47

    We’re all exploding in anger at the pharasitic proclamations of the pharasitic SoDak legislature and executive branch. I have personal experiences which exemplify both the favorable and unfavorable outcomes of folks’ battles with the pharasitic, patriarchal, and misogynistic uterine intrusions of Noemistic laws going back 50 years.

  14. Allen Jeris 2022-06-29 18:58

    That’s because it’s not about the women or “child bearing person”. It’s about the child and if you can’t afford it…well to bad, pay up. At least that’s the advice you give others. At least try to be consistent.

  15. Bob Newland 2022-06-29 19:05

    Allen Jeris. In what respect do you suggest there is a lack of consistency in our position on the SoDak official policy of misogyny?

  16. Bob Newland 2022-06-29 19:06

    Allen Jeris. In what respect do you suggest there is a lack of consistency in our position on the SoDak official policy of misogyny?

  17. Mark Anderson 2022-06-29 19:08

    Well young women in South Dakota, vote Democratic for equal rights, otherwise get yourself to Minnesota where you have equal rights. Any blue state will do you are a full American citizen there, in red states you are property of the state, a slave to your womb. In blue states you get to decide your future, not in South Dakota.

  18. Allen Jeris 2022-06-29 19:17

    Bob newland- not talking to you.

  19. Bob Newland 2022-06-29 19:37

    Ah, but you are, Allen.

  20. Arlo Blundt 2022-06-29 19:46

    Well…the abortion ruling by the Supreme Court is certainly a wake up call for those of us who believe that the STATE was created to protect the rights of individuals. Not in conservative Republican world which preaches its respect for the individual and then does all in their power to restrict freedom and impose their version of morality. Personally as a man, I have never felt abortion was any of my business. At this juncture, men had better make it their business. Birth control is next. In the end, Republicans want to institute a version of white slavery on women.

  21. grudznick 2022-06-29 20:11

    You fellows realize that if the Freedom Caucus starts meeting on Sundays, for breakfast, you’re going to have to pick between attending their sad breakfast bar and oatmeal outing, or the Conservatives with Common Sense Breakfastings, where no one goes home hungry or not having had an opportunity to enter the debates, don’t you? The Freedom Caucus might be offering some free T-shirts that we don’t, but you should not be swayed by their fancy swag. grudznick can get you extra gravy at your breakfast if you just ask.

  22. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-29 20:23

    Thanks, Jake. Your comparison to the content at Dakota War College is apt. Pat Powers was at the SDGOP convention in Watertown when the Alito Court issued the historic ruling that prompted this discussion. Powers had access to many of the big Republicans—Noem, Schoenbeck, Hansen, Allen Unruh, Mike Rounds, John Thune—who made possible the laws under discussion here, South Dakota’s oppressive abortion regime, and, in the case of Thune and Rounds, the two Republicans in this state who played the most direct role in rigging the court, cheating President Obama of Merrick Garland’s rightful nomination and then abrogating their stated principles to rush Amy Coney Barrett onto the court to guarantee Friday’s outcome. But aside from one brief note upon the breaking of the news on Friday morning, Powers has not written a single post offering original analysis or commentary on what the reversal of reproductive rights means in South Dakota. No interviews with Noem or Schoenbeck or Hansen, no commentary on the mechanics of the trigger law, no discussion of what the Republicans plan to do next to further deny women of their rights without due process—Powers just plugs along with his lazy press releases and some extended whining about how the convention needs to change its format for better entretainment and less riff-raff.

    The post I offer here on the contradiction of safe-haven laws and the principles of the mother-child “relationship” enshrined in the findings underpinning abortion law invites a complicated discussion of policy that is beyond Powers and his partisan cheap-shot readership. Together, you commenters and I offer South Dakota more constructive conversation than a blog dedicated only to the affirmation of its sponsors’ power-seeking agenda.

  23. grudznick 2022-06-29 20:32

    Better entretainment [sic] and less riff-raff is always an admirable goal, so let us not be too hard on Mr. PP for those objectives. grudznick spends a lot of time pushing towards those goals.

    But as to the Alito business, it is bad, it is very bad, and Mr. PP should at least have blogged some about it. I can only hope that he is working up a really, really big blogging on the issue, taking into account all those high brow GOP thoughts.

    But, BAH on Mr. Obama.

  24. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-29 20:33

    Allen, you are talking to all of us. Bob has asked a legitimate question. We invite your rational response.

    I also invite your explanation of the relevance of your comment to the statutes explained above. The statutes establishing the right of a woman to a relationship with her child, a right so fundamental and valuable that the state is obligated to intervene in her potentially bad decisions and try to persuade her of the value of that right, seem to be all about the woman. The statutes don’t say, “The state must preserve the life of the fetus at all costs.” The statutes speak of the value of the relationship to the woman.

    Then, Allen, you say, “…if you can’t afford [the child]…well to[o] bad, pay up. At least that’s the advice you give others. At least try to be consistent.” Can you clarify what advice you are referring to, who gave that advice, and on what topic? We all value consistency, but we cannot evaluate our consistency if we don’t know to what specific statements you are referring.

    Your explanation of that point may still not be relevant to this discussion, because again, the statutes in question don’t say anything about a woman’s obligation to pay for a pregnancy; they speak only of the evidently precious and constitutionally protected mother-child relationship that the state is assuming an obligation to protect on behalf of poor, confused, stressed-out women. Nor does the safe haven law speak to payment; parents may surrender their newborns to emergency medical providers at no cost.

    We welcome your constructive contributions to the conversation, Allen. We just need to know what specific issues you are talking about… or whether you’re just trying to poke people in the eye to start a fight. I’ll respond to the former and ignore the latter.

  25. Guy 2022-06-29 20:44

    Cory, did you see the protest tonight in Sioux Falls, WOWZERS??!!?? Men and women are coming out against the recent decision in Roe v. Wade!!! I’ve never seen a protest as big as this and I once lived in Sioux Falls. The protest goes on and on and on for blocks…must be in the thousands? Is this a sign of what November may bring?

  26. Guy 2022-06-29 20:51

    PROTEST IS HUGE IN SIOUX FALLS TONIGHT….They are not happy with Kristi Noem and Roe v. Wade Decision.

  27. Arlo Blundt 2022-06-29 22:03

    Yes, Guy…big march in Duluth Minnesota tonite which I saw as I’m up at our summer place…protest about 4 blocks long, at least…usually they have about a dozen people for a demonstration…think the decision and the January 6th Hearings (great entertainment, there Grudz, you’ve got to invite Lynn Chaney for breakfast) have activated everyday, non political people. I have two groups I patronize here…one is a breakfast group that talks politics..I’m the Liberal though one guy who was a Union officer sometimes joins me..the others are all God, Guns and Guts..the second has a rule that we can only discuss Sports and old pals who are dead…all other topics are off limits. Agree with Cory on the War College…its a scam as are all Republican political efforts in South Dakota (and elsewhere).

  28. sx123 2022-06-29 22:04

    There are articles out there now saying that some are trying to write up legislation to keep women from crossing state lines to get the procedure done in states where it is legal, claiming that just because someone is in a different state doesn’t mean they aren’t still under the jurisdiction of their state of residence. This is just getting stupid. America’s Mailbox might lose a lot of customers shortly…

  29. Guy 2022-06-29 22:13

    As Cory suggested last week, this might be Kristi’s Noem’s political end. We all know she squeaked by in the last election. I remember reading that they studied the 2018 Election by GENDER and found that Kristi’s Noem’s support among women voters was so weak that if women just voted, she would have lost. Based on her stance over the Roe v. Wade decision and that she does not even support abortion in the case of rape, I find it difficult that improves her electability among women voters. She can not afford to lose anymore support from women voters. Women might just decide who are next Governor is and frankly I hope it is not her.

  30. grudznick 2022-06-29 23:15

    Do you fellows think Mr. Smith might be open to hiring some moderate Conservative lobbists? For a friend, I’m just askin…

  31. Arlo Blundt 2022-06-29 23:30 you know in Pierre, a persons political philosophy isn’t as important as their reputation for being truthful and effective. It is especially true of lobbyists. They are just “guns for hire” and as long as they deliver a consistent and truthful message, and do so in a smooth, non threatening way, they are in demand. I doubt that the Governor’s office will hire any lobbyists but will depend on staff. People and corporations whose interests align with the Governor will hire lobbyists.We’ll see more legislative lobbying by so called Liberal associations and organizations than in the past..though its hard to find many Liberals in South Dakota. Even with a Democratic Governor, it will be mostly the same old crowd of lobbyists, lackeys, and hangers on.

  32. Guy 2022-06-29 23:58

    Governor Jamie Smith…January 2023. Sounds about right.

  33. Guy 2022-06-30 00:05

    Maybe Jamie Smith will be the “Rich Strike” of the 2022 South Dakota Gubernatorial Election? Remember, Rich Strike was the horse who filled in for the scratched horse of this year’s Kentucky Derby and ended up winning the Race for the Roses. Rich Strike was not even supposed to be in the event and he came late in to win the race! Praying that Jamie Smith is “Rich Strike” and comes out of no where to beat Kristi Noem in one of the largest upsets of South Dakota election history. I wonder who Jamie will pick to be his running mate next week at the Democratic Convention in Fort Pierre? Billie Sutton? I would encourage Billie to run with Jamie because THAT will be a DYNIMATE ticket!

  34. Guy 2022-06-30 00:06

    Jamie Smith & Billy Sutton in 2022!!!

  35. bearcreekbat 2022-06-30 00:35

    The “constitutional rights [of a woman] to maintain her relationship with her child” was apparently gleaned by the SCOTUS from the 14th Amendment “liberty” language.

    The Supreme Court initiated the constitutional protection of family relationships in Meyer v. Nebraska and Pierce v. Society of Sisters,24 placing the parent-child relationship within the private autonomy paradigm of the Constitution.25 In both cases, the Court acknowledged that the liberty provision of the Fourteenth Amendment 26 limits a state’s ability to interfere with parents’ child-rearing and education decisions. 7 In these initial discussions, the Court did not clearly indicate that parents’ right to control family decisionmaking was a fundamental liberty interest.28 Subsequently, however, the Court clarified that the liberty interest in family relationships was indeed fundamental and granted the highest constitutional protection to the family decision-making process. 29,clause%20of%20the%20Fourteenth%20Amendment.

    Both Meyer and Pierce (and numerous other cases) were also cited by the majority in Roe, along with the 14th Amendment’s concept of liberty as the source of Roe’s right to be free from government interference in family relationships:

    The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy. In a line of decisions, however,. . . . the Court has recognized that a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy, does exist under the Constitution. In varying contexts, the Court or individual Justices have, indeed, found at least the roots of that right in the . . . in the concept of liberty guaranteed by the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment, see Meyer v. Nebraska, . . . . These decisions make it clear that only personal rights that can be deemed ‘fundamental’ or ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,’ . . . , are included in this guarantee of personal privacy. They also make it clear that the right has some extension to activities relating to marriage, . . . ; procreation, . . ; contraception, . . . .; family relationships, ; and child rearing and education, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, Meyer v. Nebraska, supra.

    This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, . . . .

    So there you have it – the constitutional right described by the SD State legislature in the laws quoted by Cory has the same fundamental source as the now abandoned right of privacy identified in Roe. As Cory pointed out, the right identified in the statutes cited by Cory lack the same explcit support that Alito claims a woman’s right of privacy in deciding whether to carry a pregnancy lacked, just as do all the various constitutionally protected rights (marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, and child rearing and education,) identified in the above quote from Roe. along with the rights found to be protected by the Constitution in cases after Roe, lack, which may well mean any or all of these long standing constitutional rights should be removed in the future by this particular conservative SCOTUS, and full unlimited power to make decisions for individuals given to State lawmakers.

  36. Guy 2022-06-30 00:58

    Cory, sorry I did not intentionally mean to highjack this thread with support for Jamie Smith & Billie Sutton…but, it looks like I did. I apologize for digressing in such a disrespectful manner. You can delete my two previous posts if you like. So, to get back to the original subject on this thread as Bearcreekbat has so respectfully done with his most recent post…I will say this in all honesty, I’m not a fan of abortions in all cases, but, I realize that really is none of my business. I have come to understand in my own Faith and maturity, that abortion is a decision that is reserved for the woman to make on her own. After all, it is the woman who bears the child and not me as a man. So, who am I to make that judgement call? God is the one who has NOT deemed me to make that decision. That decision is reserved for the woman, alone. I will respect that the woman is the ONLY one who can make that decision. Once again, I did not mean to make this thread into a campaign for Jamie Smith. Although, I do believe Jamie said he respects a woman’s right to choose.

  37. DaveFN 2022-06-30 01:23


    “Pope Innocent III was so shocked by the large number of dead babies floating in the Tiber River that he institutionalized the “foundling wheel” in the 12th century as a solution for dealing with the large number of foundlings—infants abandoned by their parents and left to die or be discovered and cared for by others. The size of the Ruota was purposely kept infant-sized to prevent older children from being abandoned. Older children were thought of as workers and laborers, and rather than be abandoned, worked on the farm or became apprentices to a local tradesman,”

  38. Jake 2022-06-30 08:43

    SX123- yep, in this and other deep red states, soon in time comes a law carried by the same crew that gave us this recent, (costly to the nation’s ‘balance’) ruling by GOP conservative, “making laws from the bench” (how they used to portray liberal judges): this new law shall make it illegal for a woman to refuse sex in the marital bed….This alone will satisfy the males fragile ego and put those females in their place.

  39. Jake 2022-06-30 09:04

    BCB as usual, this blog’s readers gain immensely from your ‘legal-minded’ postings. NO OTHER news media gives us this instant interplay between its participants to increase real knowledge and research.! Other media, one’s mind hast to fortify itself against the constant barrage of seedy advertising and some pure BS. Oh, yeah, we get the BS artists here but we know them like zebras by their stripes).
    One reads of the opinions of ‘expert’ learned men quoted frequently in other journalism endeavors, but you don’t see ever get a ‘sense’ of the response to that quotation until a future (maybe) edition.

  40. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-30 19:55

    BCB, thanks for that research and explanation.

    Tell me if I’m overreading your cogent explanation to reach a hasty conclusion that I want, but the language you cite seems to posit a fundamental right not to the relationship itself but a fundamental liberty to decide whether or not one wishes to have such a relationship. The Constitution as read pre-Alito, when the Legislature codified the above findings, protected the liberty, not the relationship.

    Could we say that the Legislature’s findings were thus wrong?

  41. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-30 20:19

    …Could we say that the relationship only has value if the mother chooses to have it, not if the state dictates it to her?

    Aren’t these false Legislative findings really putting a sign up over the gestation camp, telling all the women denied their liberty, Mutterschaft macht frei?

  42. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-30 20:22

    Remember, Guy, Billie Sutton wanted Roe v. Wade overturned. At this moment, choosing Billie Sutton as running mate would likely negate any chance of Jamie Smith exploiting this wave of outrage at the Alito Court and Book-Tour Kristi in the November election, because Sutton would have a really hard time expressing a desire to rid the books of these oppressive, patronizing, and constitutionally incorrect findings, not to mention our new triggered abortion ban.

  43. Richard Schriever 2022-07-01 16:04

    sx123 – Maintain of “consistent thought” is not a feature of the present conservative” ideologues on the SCOTUS. They are in fact, not conservative/preservative at all, but severative radicals.

  44. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-01 16:55

    Wait, John: how can South Dakota assert its jurisdiction over the legal activities of its residents in other states? If a South Dakota woman goes to Colorado, does a Colorado shop face any penalty for selling the woman marijuana in accordance with the laws of Colorado?

    Or, to turn to an example related to the original post, if a woman from Montana (where the safe haven law allows relinquishment of newborns up to 30 days old) comes to Rapid City and drops her 32-day-old infant off at the police station, can Montana prosecute her for committing a legal act in South Dakota?

  45. John 2022-07-01 17:24

    Cory, you again have fascinating questions and analysis.
    We ought defer to our BearCreekBat friend who has access to legal research. (Gave up mine years ago.)

    I suspect that the morons in South Dakota state government may use this doctrine, combined in a perverse interpretation of the latest Indian Law case, Oklahoma v Castro-Heurta to shut down the thriving marijuana market on the Flandreau Santee Reservation.

  46. John 2022-07-01 17:32

    State “compacts” sort of allow states to sanction criminals from other states.
    If one is behind on child support, or has a hunting / fishing violation/suspension in another state – one is not receiving a lawful SD license. SD (and other states) use past convictions to enhance criminal charges and sentences: think DUIs, and whole classes of crimes.

    Yet, somehow these rules do not apply to most bad cops . . . who apparently hop to a new state jurisdiction, procure a license, and repeat similar bad behavior under the shield of the court-invented “qualified immunity”.

  47. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-01 18:06

    Compacts! Interesting. Ballotpedia has a list of compacts of which each state is a member. Each compact appears to have a specific purpose. A quick (and biased by hope) glance at this list shows nothing that appears to relate to agreeing to enforce any other state’s restrictions on FDA-approved drugs (and there’s another aspect that Planned Parenthood should be taking to court instead of surrendering on). Perhaps that’s part of what the upcoming Special Session will do: draft a compact for Gilead states to enforce each other’s Handmaid restrictions.

  48. John 2022-07-01 18:28

    Mike, jeezus fuking christ. Thanks for sharing. Can we find a soul in the Catholic Church? Among the Evangelicals? Among the politicians? Doubtful to all.
    Recall the founder of the anti-abortion movement claims the movement lost its soul and won’t lift a finger to help young mothers.

  49. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-02 06:23

    From Mike’s link: “Hours after the Supreme Court action, the Buckeye state had outlawed any abortion after six weeks. Now this doctor had a 10-year-old patient in the office who was six weeks and three days pregnant.”

    So what relationship does that ten year old have with the fetus in her uterus? Does the Constitution protect the notion that a ten year old can be a parent?

  50. bearcreekbat 2022-07-02 13:06

    Hi Cory, I just got back to internet access after some time in the northern hills. I think your analysis in Saturday’s (7-2-22) DFP post (Mother-Child Relationship Depends on Choice, Not Biology; SD Abortion Restrictions Misread Constitution) nailed it. As I read the precedent the Court recognized constitutional “liberty” as equating to “freedom to choose” or “choice.” Thus, to the extent the SD legislature premised its findings on biology, I do think “we say that the Legislature’s findings were thus wrong” from a misunderstanding of SCOTUS precedent.

    By the way John, I don’t have special access to legal research, like Westlaw or Lexis. These days I find virtually everything that I think supports my comments from publicly available internet resources that appear to be credible and reliable, such as posts by the SD legislative research council, Cornel Legal Information Institute, Law review articles posted online, etc. Once you know a SCOTUS or other published case name you can often find the actual case decision posted online with a Google search using the case name, so it is easy to go to the original source to double check the credibility of whatever articles online might claim about the meaning or language of cases mentioned in their particular articles. And you should double check whatever I write as well, since I could be mistaken in both my analysis and conclusions, and if I am mistaken I want to know it so I can make the appropriate corrections to prior comments.

  51. mike from iowa 2022-07-02 16:58

    I can just about hear Noem and other magats blame the 10 year old for not using readily available birth control, at least until the time they banish it by scotus fiat. They certainly won’t blame themselves for removing sex education from public schools or defunding Planned Parenthood clinics.

  52. Marley Greiner 2022-07-03 03:39

    How delightful to find someone who is not a fan of Safe Haven and Safe Haven Baby Box laws (the next big push). The only group that objects to SH laws are adopted people and adoptee rights activists, and our allies I’ve been working against and writing about Safe Haven laws and now Baby Boxes for over 20 years., I can hardly remember the last time anyone outside of adoptee rights activists has been given a public forum or read someone who agreed with us. Congratulations! You are now unhinged, mentally disturbed, Satanic, and an all-around crackpot And you have a dead baby fetish. Sometimes “prolife” people get so upset with adopted people that they tell us “go kill yourself.”

    My new website, Stop Safe Haven Baby Boxes Now! has been up about 3 weeks. It’s got pages and pages of information, cases, opinion,etc. and growing. The Dobbs decision has taken up more time than I’d like, so I’m behind in getting other stuff written and posted. I linked this piece and another you wrote on the Abortion, Adoption, and Reproductive Justice page. Please look around the entire site, though You might find something interesting.

  53. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-03 07:23

    Marley’s enthusiasm for her cause and for promoting her new website appears to have caused her to miss the point of this article, which is not to oppose or support safe haven laws but to point out how South Dakota’s anti-abortion laws and their underpinning principle of the sanctity of the “relationship” between mother and child conflict with the South Dakota’s safe haven law.

    If someone handed me the Legislative Sharpie and let me strike some South Dakota laws, I’d strike the bogus findings about the mother-fetus relationship and leave the safe haven law alone.

  54. Marley Greiner 2022-07-07 22:36

    Actually, Cory, I got the point of your post and have linked it on our page. We discuss SH and SHBB from many angles. SH laws abrogate adoptee civil rights, but trad SH advocates oppose baby boxes and work with adopted people..

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