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Smith Affirms Abortion Rights, Says Noem Dodging Special Session to Focus on Campaign

If she weren’t so busy traveling around the country, Governor Kristi Noem might be able to make some progress on arranging that Special Session on abortion that she promised everyone over two months ago.

But Democratic candidate Jamie Smith says she doesn’t want a Special Session on abortion any more than she wants to face hard questions about other difficult policy matters in South Dakota. While Noem continues to dodge questions about whether she’s even going to call a Special Session, Representative Smith says Noem is too busy boosting her political celebrity to lose time working through a Special Session:

On Wednesday, Tony Mangan with Governor Kristi Noem’s office told KELOLAND News there is no official update on the issue of whether there will be a special session on abortion.

Democratic candidate for governor Jamie Smith, a state representative from Sioux Falls, told KELOLAND News a special session on abortion would be a chance to change the state’s restrictive trigger law despite Republicans outnumbering Democrats 94-11.

“This law allows children to be forced to have children and we are better than that in the state of South Dakota,” Smith said. “That’s not a compassionate law and I believe we need to do something about that.”

Smith said he believes Noem doesn’t want a special session on abortion for political reasons.

“We know that when Kristi Noem gets up in the morning, the first thing she thinks about is herself and how to promote herself,” Smith said. “I think Kristi Noem is looking out for Kristi Noem in this case and I don’t know if she’s looking out for women and girls in our state” [Eric Mayer, “Smith Says Noem Silent on Abortion Special Session for Political Reasons,” KELO-TV, 2022.07.13].

Smith also reminds voters that, as Governor, he would respect their will and protect the abortion rights that South Dakotans affirmed in 2006 and 2008:

“I haven’t changed who I am on this. It’s a very difficult issue. It’s not an easy one,” Smith said. “The will of the voter in South Dakota matters a great deal to me and they said twice that there should be access in the state of South Dakota to this medical procedure” [Mayer, 2022.07.13].

Speeches on the coasts to adoring conservatives are a lot easier than actually sitting at the desk in Pierre and planning real policy for real Legislative action. Smith sounds like he’s ready to do the job that Kristi Noem has mostly ignored for three and a half years.


  1. larry kurtz 2022-07-14

    It seems incredulous that a Governor Smith’s veto would be sustained in a state where the legislature is mostly comprised of vampires and brutes.

  2. All Mammal 2022-07-14

    Exterminate All the Brutes is on HBO. It is a 4 part documentary. I heard about it on Democracy Now! Check it out.

  3. All Mammal 2022-07-14

    Sorry, Mr. Kurtz’s comment calling them brutes made me want to share the title of the documentary.
    Relevant to Mr. H’s article, how do these people stay awake at these fundraisers? I can’t understand anybody actually wanting to attend such a snorefest. Bet it smells like aftershave and mothballs. Stale. I can think of more fun ways to solicit folks’ money. Way more fun could mean way more mon.

  4. All Mammal 2022-07-14

    Actually, instead of donating to me, if I were Gov. Kristi, I would want my supporters to do a fun community service project with me and donate their time. We could help everyone and get things done and bring people together and entice the voters. That would be a great way to be seen and set an example and bring people together for a good cause.

  5. 96Tears 2022-07-14

    The idiot Noem is the dog that caught the car. She’s a coward and a bully to anyone she thinks won’t punch back. But what the idiotic cowardly bully knows is if she wants to see 5,000 white-hot, angry women show up with hangers to decorate her $400,000 mansion fence, she should call a special session to fulfill her phony pledge to make South Dakota the most hostile, anti-choice state in the nation.

    It isn’t like holding hearings in the dead of winter in the isolated middle of the state. To quote the Stones, “‘Cause summer’s here and the time is right for fighting in the street!”

    Note to America’s Party Girl: You’ve managed to REALLY piss off more people than any previous South Dakota Governor. Mission accomplished!

    We know you’re a fake about ethics, morality and reproductive rights. We know it’s only because you’re a candidate for POTUS and that’s why you’ve been only too willing to dance on the bones of people who died from your dimwitted recklessness to climb the political ladder one or two notches.

  6. jerry 2022-07-14

    I wonder how NOem, in her “special session”, will address Ectopic pregnancy. NOem is the dog that caught the car tire and she can chew on it with that dumb look on her face.

  7. larry kurtz 2022-07-14

    More Democrats have moved out of state since the 2018 election so Rep. Smith’s chances seem infinitesimal so maybe he needs a boob job and some Botox to catch up a little bit.

  8. Arlo Blundt 2022-07-14

    Yes, the Supreme Court ruling has put Mrs. Noem half way down a very slippery slope. She has always been way over her head when discussing law and precedence and likes to cling to Biblical generalities….she has no appreciation for the human dynamics of forced parenthood. As a single mother, she should be sympathetic, but, as she would say, “It’s not in her nature.” The special session would produce nothing but controversy and ill will, and, of course, she avoids the unpleasant.

  9. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-07-14

    While I applaud and appreciate Mr. Smith’s recognition of Kristi Lynn’s overweening narcissism and lack of compassion, he falters (sorry, f*cks up) badly addressing the issue of abortion in South Dakota. It is NOT a difficult issue and it SHOULD be an easy decision.
    Quit pandering to stupid, misogynistic a******s, Jamie, and just declare a woman has the HUMAN RIGHT to control her body. Got it? You would if you had ovaries, a brain, and never been raped.

  10. Guy 2022-07-15

    “We know that when Kristi Noem gets up in the morning, the first thing she thinks about is herself and how to promote herself,” Smith said. Yep, while looking in all her mirrors: “”Mirror, mirror, on the wall — who’s the fairest of them all?”

  11. Vi Kingman 2022-07-15

    One of the State republican representatives from Harrisburg said he wants to close the loopholes that allow women to still get abortions. What loopholes?

  12. Rob 2022-07-15

    Where do we currently stand on getting abortion medication via mail? I see the Gnome has been pushing to ban it, but has she gotten the job done?

  13. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-16

    Rob, the 2005 trigger law and 2022 House Bill 1318 mean abortion medication via email means someone’s going to jail.

    The trigger law—as of June 24, South Dakota’s near-total abortion ban—says, “Any person who administers to any pregnant female or who prescribes or procures for any pregnant female any medicine, drug, or substance or uses or employs any instrument or other means with intent thereby to procure an abortion, unless there is appropriate and reasonable medical judgment that performance of an abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant female, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.” Administer, prescribe, or procure abortion pills for a pregnant woman, and you go to jail.

    The U.S. still doesn’t allow over-the-counter sales of mifepristone or misoprostol, so anyone trying to order those medications will have to get a prescription, which is illegal now in South Dakota. A South Dakota woman could perhaps order the pills from Mexico, and Mark Vargo and Marty Jackley would have a hard time sending DCI to Tijuana to slap cuffs on the sender.

    The trigger law refers to “any person”—hey, bearcreekbat, remind me: does that apply to the pregnant woman herself?

    2022 HB 1318 is Kristi Noem’s much ballyhooed telemedicine abortion ban, which seems mostly redundant now that Alito has triggered our near-total abortion ban. But it says (in part), “Any person who practices medicine, osteopathy, or any of the branches thereof without a license, certificate, or permit issued by the board and prescribes medicine in order to induce a medical abortion, as defined by section 4 of this Act, is guilty of a Class 6 felony,” which arguably would allow the state to bust the sender of the abortion medications for practicing medicine without a license and thus add a second felony charge to the case.

    Hey, wait a minute: What would happen some wealthy benefactor simply sent every woman in South Dakota a free sample of misoprostol? Misprostol is used for treating ulcers. A donor could say, “Hey, I’m not trying to promote abortion. I just know that South Dakota’s abortion ban and its concomitant declaration that women are emotional ninnies who can’t be trusted to make their own decisions and thus must be made wards of the state is causing South Dakota women a lot of stress, so, women, here are some pills that can help you if you get an ulcer.” Just get the FDA to allow over-the-counter distribution of misoprostol, and that generous mailing would not violate any South Dakota law.

  14. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-16

    Vi Kingman, the only loopholes I can see are those highway border crossings where women can travel to free states like Minnesota. Former Libertarian Aaron Aylward thus no longer believes in freedom of travel.

  15. Rob 2022-07-17

    Cory, I hear that some states have said that they will not cooperate with investigations from other states pertaining to abortions that are assisted by doctors in their state. Could this potentially help the situation?

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-17

    Rob, yes, ironically, in this case, states asserting their sovereignty may be helpful.

    Now you get me thinking: if South Dakota tries to assert its police power over the activities of out-of-state residents, perhaps other states should respond by denying cooperation more broadly. Perhaps states protecting abortion rights will need to establish a broader policy of not cooperating with South Dakota law enforcement in its overextension of South Dakota authority and refuse to help enforce the Wayfair tax, the remote sellers sales tax in which South Dakota somehow imposes its law on businesses located in other states.

    South Dakota collected $105 million in remote sales tax in 2021. I don’t have a geographical breakdown of those sales, but if a majority of those remote sellers are in states that protect abortion rights, those states could blow a big hole in South Dakota’s budget.

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