Democratic candidate for governor Jamie Smith says Governor Kristi Noem reneged on her promise to hold a Special Session to tighten abortion laws because she’s afraid of political blowback:
“She decided this wouldn’t be best for her campaign image, that people were going to be bringing bills that she didn’t want to deal with, so she is backing out of it,” Smith said [Austin Goss, “Abortion Special Session ‘Highly Unlikely’,” KSFY, 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. “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].
Representative Jess Olson (R-34/Rapid City) says the Governor’s balk gives citizens more time to participate in a transparent process:
“You can’t do the whole process of vetting things and hearing from people in a short two-day special session. So allowing us to have it during the regular session, it makes the process transparent and we can hear from all the stakeholders, from the hospitals, from physicians, from families,” Olson said [Renae Ortiz, “SD Lawmakers React: No Special Session on Abortion,” KELO-TV, 2022.70.17].
…which is why Kristi Noem is transparently seeking input from Condoleezza Rice in California and young brownshirts in Washington, D.C.
Representative Linda Duba (D-15/Sioux Falls) says it’s more likely that, just as the Senate put off voting on killer Jason Ravnsborg’s impeachment until after the primary, Noem and her caucus now want to put off any potentially inflammatory votes on abortion until after the general election:
“It would bring this issue front and center to the legislature prior to the election… and there are a lot of concerned citizens in South Dakota…and so this would probably force people to take some pretty difficult votes and in competitive races, that can sway people,” Duba said [Ortiz, 2022.07.17].
Noem isn’t seeking public input on abortion. She didn’t react to the Alito draft or ruling by going around the state to hold public forums on what women’s rights to take away next. Noem is just insulating herself and her Republican legislators from any direct, immediate accountability to the voters.