Press "Enter" to skip to content

Ignore the Law, Says Noem: South Dakota Won’t Prosecute Women for Abortions

We continue to have a spirited debate over whether South Dakota law as rewritten by the Alito Court will allow prosecutors to charge women who have abortions with first-degree murder. But we do have the assurance of Governor Kristi Noem told reporters in Washington, D.C., yesterday that no matter what the law says, South Dakota will never prosecute any woman for having an abortion, only her doctor:

Noem, who is seen as a possible 2024 Republican presidential candidate or running mate to former President Donald Trump, said she would not support legislation that would prohibit South Dakotan women from seeking abortions in other states.

“I don’t know of any legislators that are seriously pursuing that,” she said, “and I’m certainly not … and to be clear, even in South Dakota, if they were to get an abortion, even though the law doesn’t allow it, a woman would never be prosecuted. It would be the doctor that facilitated it and knowingly broke the law, not the woman” [Jeremiah Poff, “Kristi Noem Says GOP Has ‘Diversity of Opinions’ on Gay Marriage,” Washington Examiner, 2022.07.28].

Governor Noem doesn’t know much about law, so I’m not ready to take her pronouncement as a conclusive reading of South Dakota statute. She seems rather to be leaving women hanging on the slender thread of one governor’s promise rather than relying on the firm rule of law. We need legal clarity, not a fundamentally unhealthy vow to selectively prosecute illegal acts.

And what’s this about legislators not seriously considering restrictions on South Dakota women seeking abortions in other states? Representative Jon Hansen said in May that he wants laws subjecting out-of-state abortion providers to South Dakota’s erstwhile delay and forced-counseling requirements and denying contracts to companies that pay for South Dakota employees to get abortions in other states. Does Governor Noem not know about the legislative agenda of her party’s own incoming Speaker of the House?

Governor Noem seems to be out of touch with the problems in her own laws and the new laws her own party leaders may seek.


  1. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-07-29 10:55

    Kristi, you ignorant slut.
    Don’t listen to her. Every time her lips move, she’s lying. She can’t help it.

  2. P. Aitch 2022-07-29 13:28

    The Phony Express is just a manure spreader with a cute, l’il accent. But NEWSMAX Kristi? C’mon, lady! That’s low even for you.

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-29 15:11

    If Kristi Noem repeats this promise not to prosecute women back home on the campaign trail, reporters and voters, especially the women in the audience, should ask the Governor, “How do we know that? What specific law says women will not be prosecuted for having illegal abortions?”

  4. oldtimerDon 2022-07-29 20:06

    IF SD voters don’t clean up this fecal matter with a goodly amount of bleach and call her to task on it, then they deserve be occupy the lower level of a deep outhouse.

  5. AmyB 2022-07-30 08:28

    I don’t buy for one minute that she wouldn’t move to punish women who seek an abortion. She (and certain legislators) will need a deterrent to try and stop them from even thinking about it.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-30 12:21

    Right, Amy. Talk to the cameras is cheap. If Noem is serious about protecting women from prosecution, she needs to propose specific changes to the law, not expect that we will simply depend upon the good graces of the Snow Queen.

  7. P. Aitch 2022-07-30 13:33

    Making lemonade from “Alito’s Lemon”.
    ~ Liberals are constructing a nationwide adoption service so prospective parents and “already” parents choosing to adopt can receive federal assistance to choose babies from any state or territory as well as foreign countries.
    ~ That’ll get some new blood into SD and help salve the hate that’s so prevalent among the current populace.
    ~ I believe that more “thinking” young couples will choose adoption over childbirth moving forward.
    ~ Imagine 500 or so new non-white babies in SD every year to complement an equalized and energized Indian infancy group.
    ~ Within 30 years the conservative cycle would be tilting progressive and perhaps end your recurring cycle of regression and white supremacy.

  8. Arlo Blundt 2022-07-30 17:08

    “These men are nihilists, Donnie…we have nothing to fear. They are cowards.” Walter Sapek (John Goodman) –The Big Lebowski

  9. MJ Haugen 2022-07-31 08:47

    Does Noem & those of like mind realize that if they are threatening to charge the doctor that they will DRIVE AWAY not only those doctors but others. We all know that this country has a severe shortage of good qualified people medical field. Doctors are going to be afraid to do many other medical procures in fear that may come under some legal liability of some sort another. Doctors may put off doing certain medical care because they need to check with legal counsel to make sure that they will not face any legal action against them. So for Noem & the like are making a bad situation to something that could become disastrous in so many ways for many people.

  10. larry kurtz 2022-07-31 08:51

    So, this is a war against medical providers and not just against women? Planned Parenthood has been a target of the Council for National Policy since its beginning because of the Great Replacement paranoia.

  11. bearcreekbat 2022-08-02 02:16

    I don’t think a South Dakota Governor has the authority to decide who will be prosecuted, nor why they will be prosecuted. I think those decisions are made by each local State’s Attorney, and on some occasions by the Attorney General rather than the Governor. A Governor can, however, pardon people that violate South Dakota law so maybe Noem means she will pardon all South Dakota women that are prosecuted or could be prosecuted for obtaining unlawful abortions? SD Const. Art. 4, section 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.