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Dems 7, Noem 0: Smith Offers Special Session Bills to Help Women and Children

Governor Kristi Noem most likely reneged on her promise to hold a Special Session to protect women and children because she only cares about herself, not women and children. But maybe she also balked because she didn’t want to face the embarrassment of opposing sensible abortion bills promoted by people who really care about women and children—i.e., Representative Jamie Smith and his fellow Democrats.

At a press conference yesterday, Smith, the Democratic candidate working hard to replace Noem, said his caucus was prepared to introduce seven bills related to abortion at the now-canceled Special Session. One of those bills would have added an exception to South Dakota’s abortion ban for cases of rape and incest, an issue that Noem inadroitly dodged on national TV earlier this month. And this exception wasn’t just some liberal ploy—Smith was working with his Republican colleagues to bring forward this bill:

Smith, the minority leader in the South Dakota House of Representatives, said he had been discussing the exception with Republicans before Noem pulled the plug on a special session.

“There was definitely a conversation that was happening,” he said. “We know that is something South Dakotans support for certain” [Jonathan Ellis, “Had There Been an Abortion Special Session, SD Democrats Wanted Exception for Rape, Incest,” Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 2022.07.18].

In addition to adding that humane and popular exception to South Dakota’s draconian abortion ban, Smith and the Democrats planned six other bills:

  • Property tax relief for childcare providers: 2% off for each child cared for, maximum reduction 20%.
  • Property tax relief for foster care providers: 2% off for each foster child, maximum reduction 10%.
  • Ongoing funding for domestic violence support and rehabilitation.
  • Establishment of an Early Learning Advisory Council, just to study the need for early childhood education, which South Dakota does not fund. Just the idea of studying early childhood education has proven toxic to Governor Noem, who sent her Department of Education people to testify against and kill this proposal in 2019 and 2020.
  • Legal authority for pregnant minors to consent to medical procedures related to prenatal care, delivery, or postnatal care.
  • Expansion of Medicaid benefits for pregnant women to 180 days after the end of pregnancy.

Governor Noem had more than two months after she promised a Special Session to come up with a bill or two to support women and children. She still hasn’t come up with one. Jamie Smith yesterday offered seven bills that could help women, children, and caregivers. Draw your own conclusion about who the real practical “pro0life” party is.


  1. Eve Fisher 2022-07-19

    The GOP likes to talk pro-life, but they sure don’t want to fund it. No money for prenatal care, maternal care, maternity leave, expanded Medicaid, and women are giving birth on toilets out at the Rosebud Indian Health Service Hospital.

    Also, I have news for the South Dakota GOP – 80% of the people of this country want abortion to be legal in cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother.

  2. O 2022-07-19

    How about a bill from the Governor/GOP to accept pregnant undocumented immigrants and refugees into SD? The moment they are birthed, they are US citizens (but would still need to give the Governor a call?).

  3. jerry 2022-07-19

    Abortion is a terrible thing that dirty republians have dictated to all of us. They have also decided that climate change is okey dookey as well. Democrats have allowed the dirty rats to be able to go about their business as if they had nothing to do with either. Smith takes them to task, she has the fire in the belly to inspire all of us to defeat the frumpy trumpy NOem.

  4. bearcreekbat 2022-07-19

    Perhaps offering an amendment to South Dakota murder statutes to exclude women and others involved in an unauthorized abortion might be appropriate, especially sense no one seems to want to talk about this travesty that has developed with the the implimentation of South Dakota’s trigger law. The deafening silence about a possible murder charge and death sentence certainly suggests that the murder statutes that suddenly include\ unauthorized abortions due to the SCOTUS overruling of Roe may have been an oversight rather than intentional. If so, these statutes ought to be amended before some overzealous prosecutor decides to make a name for himself or herself by charging a woman or doctor with 1st degree murder based on a disagreement about whether the woman’s life was actually in danger (the only defense available under the trigger South Dakota statute).

  5. P. Aitch 2022-07-19

    Keep it up, BCB. People are starting to understand that SD now considers unauthorized abortion, even by your own hand, murder.

  6. bearcreekbat 2022-07-19

    I would like to think you are correct P.Aitch in your suggestion that “People are starting to understand that SD now considers unauthorized abortion, even by your own hand, murder,” but given the lack of responses here on DFP, the lack of any local or national public news source reporting about these statutes, and the lack of any Democratic candidates or the Democratic party complaining about these horrible murder statutes, I sure have my doubts.

  7. Mark Anderson 2022-07-19

    It’s simple, women are but vessels. Their babies are more important. A few months of slavery is what God intendeded. If the woman dies from complications she will be prayed for. Once the babies out, your on your own.
    Did I miss anything Republicans? At least you will prevent women from taking over colleges and turn them back into marriage academies. A bright trip back to the 50s. Praise the lord.

  8. Richard Schriever 2022-07-20

    Offer a bill banning artificial limbs, artificial hip joints, artificial knee joints, dental implants, crowns and so on. God intended you to wear out and be decrepit and finished with life. It is surely unholy, immoral and criminal to mess with what God intended.

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