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SB 75 Clarifies Dads Must Pay for Moms’ Pregnancies, Does Not Change Child Support Status Quo or Inequity of Abortion Ban

Governor Kristi Noem is making a big deal of pushing fathers to support the eggs they fertilize. But I’m not sure her bill changes much.

Senate Bill 75, introduced to gubernatorial fanfare last week by Senator David Wheeler (R-22/Huron), revises the provisions related to parental support for expenses related to pregnancy and childbirth. Current statute says that dad and mom “are jointly and severally liable to pay the expenses of the mother’s pregnancy and confinement.” SB 75 elaborates in Section 1, saying dad and mom have equal responsibility to pay “the reasonable expenses related to the mother’s pregnancy or prenatal care for the child, labor and delivery of the child, and postpartum recovery and any medical complications arising from pregnancy with the child.”

“Confinement” seems an old-fashioned term properly replaced. But while I appreciate the update and specification SB 75 offers, the brief terms of existing statute, “pregnancy and confinement”, seem to encompass everything that SB 75 would make explicit. Having those words in statute may make it harder for Senator Tom Pischke’s angry-dad constituents to lawyer their way out of paying moms’ medical bills, but SB 75 does not seem to substantially change the paternal obligations the state already recognizes.

Sections 2 through 5 of SB 75 clarify the legal procedure for forcing dads to pay pregnancy support, but like Section 1, these provisions don’t appear to substantially change the legal burdens fathers may face.

South Dakota’s radical right-wing leaders will point to Senate Bill 75 as evidence that they are working to protect women from any harmful impacts of the pregnancies they are forcing on women with their near-total abortion ban. But SB 75 appears to be the only substantive legislation filed so far even remotely related to the impacts of South Dakota’s near-total abortion ban. There is no bill to reinstate exceptions for rape, incest, or health of the mother. There is no bill expanding health care benefits or family leave for moms or dads.

And there certainly is not and never can be any kind of legislation that would subject men to the same burden that women face from an unwanted pregnancy. With or without Senate Bill 75, a man can still cause a pregnancy and walk away. If the pregnant woman can find him and subject him to a paternity test, the man can still just write a check and keep walking. No legislation can force a man to allow the implantation of a growing organism into his gut and require him to leave that organism growing and feeding off his body for nine months and then deliver that organism through a relatively small hole in his body or through an opening created by a surgeon’s knife.

Senate Judiciary hears SB 75 on Thursday morning at 7:45 a.m. in Capitol Room 413.


  1. Edwin Arndt 2023-01-24 09:25

    I totally support laws to make a father shoulder his obligations.
    But there is no law that forces a woman to get pregnant.

  2. All Mammal 2023-01-24 13:26

    Wrong, Mr. A. Come to SD if you want to rape. You will get to do so, free from punishment. Rape is, by definition force.

    Men should have equal laws on the books. They should have to face the inquisition after every wet dream session. They should go to jail for millions of potential murders every time they punch their clown. They should drive to CO in order to have their bed sheets laundered. Who raised you sick men?

  3. Arlo Blundt 2023-01-24 13:28

    Good Heavens, Edwin, this man-woman thing has been going on since the dawn of time and by now it should be obvious that we can pass all the laws in creation and it won’t stop women from becoming pregnant or men from being responsible. While it takes two to tango, it is the man in our culture who has the primary responsibility for the financial support of the child. Given the economics we have inherited and seem reluctant to change, that is as it should be. The stringent laws the Republicans have passed which make it nigh impossible for a woman to avoid carrying to term make this responsibility of men more necessary and obvious.

  4. Mark Anderson 2023-01-24 13:42

    South Dakota is going to make the widdle boys pay? Try sex education.

  5. Edwin Arndt 2023-01-24 15:04

    Show me which law forces a woman to get pregnant.
    I have said before that I support exemptions for rape,
    incest, and where the life of the mother is in danger.
    I am opposed to abortion used as birth control.

  6. All Mammal 2023-01-24 16:55

    A woman doesn’t use abortion as birth control. Birth control is used for birth control. Why would a woman rather abort than use birth control? That doesn’t make sense. Have you ever considered where it is from that you acquired all your beliefs about women and abortions? Time to reflect on the sick ideas your kind has been clutching to like a mama’s apron. You have been fed lies so that the GOP can raise MONEY. Miseducation is their bread and butter. Scared, mad, duped, sanctimonious crusaders are so malleable and eager to burn witches. Abortion is the perfect rouse. Why do you think it is always kept at the fore? Anti-choicers are against women having options because equality is a threat to your supremacy. What you believe about abortion is simply a made up pretense to a tyrants tyranny. Don’t be used as a tool. Get the facts. NOBODY likes abortion. It isn’t a skank’s frivolous deposit so she can get back to floozin’ around while the devil taunts God. And it isn’t any of your business. If you want to do something righteous, mentor some young men in your community. Show them how to look out for grannies by cleaning out her gutters and shoveling her walks. Teach them not to rape and treat women like property. I know you obviously want to do right. Stand up for women, not greedy weirdos. Go after molesters and rapists, how bout, instead of women in a crisis.

  7. Jenny 2023-01-24 17:43

    There’s no law that forces a man to wear a condom either, huh Edwin?

  8. cibvet 2023-01-24 18:01

    Well put, All Mammal, except you are wasting precious breath on a birther. The mass shooting and killing fields of the US are the “price of freedom”and those slaughtered should have no expectations for a “right to life”. Once there is an exit from the birth canal,life gives up any right to exist so fat boys can measure and compare their d**ks without being in harms way.

  9. Edwin Arndt 2023-01-24 18:09

    If a woman becomes pregnant as a result of consensual sex, she is as much responsible
    for the pregnancy as the man. If the man refuses to wear a condom the woman can
    refuse to have sex. A woman can always refuse to have sex. I shouldn’t have to explain this. And keep in mind that a condom
    is no guarantee against pregnancy.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-01-24 18:47

    Making the boys pay? Aren’t we already doing that, Mark? Do you see any sign that SB 75 subjects men to any more liability than they already do?

    With or without SB 75, making men financially support the women they impregnate still falls far short of the burden the state imposes on women by forcing them to carry pregnancies to term. All pregnant women are automatically subjected to the burden imposed by the state’s near-total abortion ban. Men are only subjected to the burden of financially supporting a pregnant woman and the child that results from his actions if the woman presses the case, if the man can be found, if the paternity test comes back positive, and if the man has any wages to garnish.

    Abortion bans exist to make women second-class citizens. Bills like SB 75 exist to distract us from the misogyny of abortion bans (of which Edwin is doing a good job of reminding us).

  11. Edwin Arndt 2023-01-24 19:12

    Does anyone refute that abortion kills a child?

  12. larry kurtz 2023-01-24 19:17

    1. Abortion is health care and a pregnant woman is the patient.

    8. A blastocyst is no more an unborn child than it is an unborn grandparent.

    12. One fifth of all pregnancies end in miscarriage — or as some would call God working in mysterious ways but when a person chooses to terminate a pregnancy the creator doesn’t condone that decision? How does that work?

  13. P. Aitch 2023-01-24 19:55

    Are you that bored, Edwin? ok – The only thing Republicans had to get their voters out to vote was emotional outbursts about abortion. You guys are WAY in the weak, now. And just as many abortions are going to occur as when abortion was legal.
    The wrong side of history is filled with stories about shallow thinkers making bad legislation. You don’t learn because you don’t think ahead. You take meaningless victories and watch we liberals waltz on by and get what we want.

  14. Mark Anderson 2023-01-24 20:14

    Edwin, it kills a fetus. You can call it a child if you wish. It also is still a woman’s right to choose, if you don’t believe that then I guess you believe in enforced slavery. That the fetus takes precedent over the woman for 9 months. It’s OK if the woman loses her job, can’t afford another child, her health. Whatever, your overwhelming sense of righteousness will carry the day.

  15. Jenny 2023-01-24 21:24

    P. Aitch is correct. Women in the Dakotas and other surrounding states are going to MN to get their abortion procedures done and there is already an Underground Railroad here to help poor pregnant SD women while they are here. MNs abortion rates have gone up because of out of state women coming here so SCOTUS overturning Roe v Wade has not decreased abortion rates one bit. Go to MN department of health website and get the abortion rate statistics if you don’t believe me.

  16. Edwin Arndt 2023-01-24 21:28

    Apparently, there are major differences in belief and values here
    that will never be bridged.

  17. bearcreekbat 2023-01-25 01:32

    Apparently for the first ten weeks of a pregnancy there is no fetus, rather there is a zygote, then morula, blastocyst and then embryo. There is no baby until birth and only then there is a baby.

    The language we use to describe pregnancy and the developing embryo or fetus is important. Unfortunately, language has become part of the fight over access to abortion. Media outlets have put out guidance for their journalists on how to use certain terms when reporting on abortion, noting that language can be manipulated for political gain and not medical accuracy. . . .

    The language we’re exposed to may impact our attitudes toward abortion. In one study, Polish college students took a survey on fetal development. About half of the group was randomly assigned questions that used the term “fetus” and the other half answered questions that used the term “child”. The group that was exposed to questions that used the word “child” to describe a fetus was less likely to support abortion when polled at the end of the study. . . .

    In reality, prior to birth. there is no baby only a potential baby and that potential begins long before the development of a zygote – it exists in each and every sperm cell (after all each sperm cell has a similar olfactory sense or odor detector as an actual living person) and egg in the bodies of children that have reached puberty – any one of those sperm cells or eggs is a potential baby, and as larry k points out, a potential grandparent, among a myriad of other potentialities such as a potential Pope Francis or Jeffery Dahmer, et al.

    Thus, calling a zygote, blastocyst, embryo or fetus a baby makes as much sense as calling a sperm cell or pre-fertilized egg a baby. It is mere hyperbole designed to create an emotional reaction that clouds clear thinking about a living woman’s right to choose who and what can reside in and use her own body.

    And saying that there is “no law requiring a woman to get pregnant” makes as much sense as saying “there is no law that requires someone to get in an accident.” In each case there should be no law that prevents the individual from obtaining medical care to restore their bodily integrity to whatever status that choose.

    Finally, All Mammal tells the truth: “A woman doesn’t use abortion as birth control.” A woman turns to abortion as a last resort only when she has concluded she has no other means to prevent an unwanted or dangerous use of her body against her will.

  18. M 2023-01-25 05:26

    So Edwin, what do you use for birth control or do you think this pregnancy thing is all up to the woman?

  19. M 2023-01-25 06:08

    Edwin, do you think people have sex just to procreate, and not for pleasure? What about violent sexual crimes? Should the victim be punished more than the perp?

    By the way, women do not always get to say no. I bought a scooter for on campus parking right by the bicycle racks near the buildings, so I didn’t have to park a car in the lot and walk to class. I still carried pepper spray and Chinese stars. That was in the 80’s when abortions from campus rapes were only too common across the country. I don’t suppose most men ever have to live with that type of fear.

    My suggestion is that all men should make deposits to a sperm bank when signing up for the draft at age 18. Then, they get a simple vasectomy and when they are ready for a child with a willing partner, they go to the bank where the goods are invested, withdraw a couple thousand specimens and there you have a wanted child.

  20. P. Aitch 2023-01-25 07:40

    @ M ~ Just an obtuse observation but I’d imagine that Edwin’s personality was enough birth control for him, when he was younger.
    He’s older than me and I’m seventy so recreational sex has different connotations at our age. #grins

  21. M 2023-01-25 08:44

    Thanks P. Aitch

  22. Edwin Arndt 2023-01-25 09:19

    M, if you will read my previous comments your questions will be answered.
    P., congratulations, you should have a few good years left.

  23. Mark Anderson 2023-01-25 10:53

    In blue states women have equal rights. In red states it’s Handsmaids tale time.

  24. P. Aitch 2023-01-25 10:55

    Sculptor Mark Anderson has carved a truth …
    – In 2022, more than 3,600 people traveled to Colorado from places as far as South Dakota, Louisiana and Arkansas to access abortion care — that’s a 125 percent increase from 2021, according to provisional data from the Colorado state health department. – DenPost

  25. larry kurtz 2023-01-25 11:38

    A doctor tells a woman she only has six months to live so the doc tells her to marry an economist and move to South Dakota so it will feel like an eternity.

    -Garrison Keillor

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