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HB 1169: Allow Abortion If Pregnancy Would Permanently Physically Disable the Woman

South Dakota currently bans abortion except in cases where “there is a reasonable medical judgment that performance of an abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant female” [SDCL 22-17-5.1]. Republican leaders are now proposing a slight widening but also a notable complication of that exception to include substantial and permanent physical harm to the pregnant woman.

House Bill 1169, filed yesterday by prime sponsor and Assistant House Majority Leader Representative Taylor Rehfeldt (R-14/Sioux Falls), widens the exception to South Dakota’s abortion ban by explaining that an attending physician may justify an abortion as “necessary to preserve the life of a pregnant female” by determining that continuing the pregnancy would put the woman “at serious risk of death or of a substantial and irreversible physical impairment of one or more major bodily functions.” HB 1169 thus expands the exception for abortion from death to death or permanent disability.

HB 1169 still would not allow Planned Parenthood to resume offering abortion services to women at its Sioux Falls clinic. Hb  1169 requires that the few abortions it will allow must be performed by a physician at a licensed hospital.

HB 1169 doesn’t let these exemptions come easily. Section 2 of the bill requires that the attending physician who performs a justified abortion must within 30 days report to the Department of Health “demographic information regarding the patient, a brief description regarding the medical condition that necessitated the abortion, the method by which the abortion occurred, and the gestational age of the fetus.” In other words, doctors must tell the state about every abortion performed and provide evidence that the state could use to prosecute them if someone in Pierre wants to argue that the woman wasn’t really in enough danger to justify exercising the right other American women have to control their pregnancies.

Rehfeldt and her SDGOP leadership co-sponsors, including House Majority Leader Will Mortenson (R-24/Pierre) and Senate Omnipotentiary Lee Schoenbeck (R-5/Lake Kampeska) want HB 1169 enacted immediately. The bill includes an emergency clause declaring this measure “necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety” and providing for its immediate implementation upon passage and the Governor’s signature.


  1. Nick Nemec 2023-01-27 07:27

    I don’t know what it is but there is more going on here than first meets the eye.

  2. sx123 2023-01-27 07:49

    It seems that way Nick. I’m guessing that doctors/hospitals/insurance companies realized they are open to big lawsuits if they allow a birth that didn’t completely kill the mother, but rather severally maimed her.

  3. larry kurtz 2023-01-27 07:52

    6. No foetus in the United States has any civil rights. Republicans preach civil rights for human blastocysts but deny the protections of the First, Fourth and Ninth Amendments to people who enjoy cannabis.

  4. All Mammal 2023-01-27 12:19

    I have a feeling we’re getting closer to a law that might protect them from divorce when they knock up their young girlfriends…. that’s my hunch, anyways.
    I feel violated every time these sick, creepy old men discuss ways of controlling a woman’s pregnancy. They are total pigs.

  5. Mark Anderson 2023-01-27 12:29

    You know DeSantis is trying to make child rape a death sentence. I never knew he hated Matt Gaetz that much. He still wouldn’t let her abort however.
    It’s nice to see your healthcare legislated by buffoons isn’t it. I hope they don’t get into the heart business since they don’t have one but you never know. Legislators acting on medical procedures, sheriff’s who KNOW the constitution, America is becoming an Idiocracy.

  6. bearcreekbat 2023-01-27 16:57

    I wonder if these proposed reporting requirements would violate HIPPA?

    Protected Health Information. The Privacy Rule protects all “individually identifiable health information” held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate, in any form or media, whether electronic, paper, or oral. The Privacy Rule calls this information “protected health information (PHI).”12

    “Individually identifiable health information” is information, including demographic data, that relates to:

    the individual’s past, present or future physical or mental health or condition,

    the provision of health care to the individual, or

    the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to the individual,

    and that identifies the individual or for which there is a reasonable basis to believe it can be used to identify the individual.13 Individually identifiable health information includes many common identifiers (e.g., name, address, birth date, Social Security Number).

  7. e platypus onion 2023-01-27 17:40

    Violations Schmioltaons. Who is there to prosecute the violators in embarrassingly red South Duhkota?

  8. Loren 2023-01-28 08:48

    Pretty soon this “law” will look like the tax code, absolutely no abortions except… except… except… When will these dolts understand that you can’t enact a blanket law to cover all situations. Perhaps pot-bellied old men ought to stick to something they understand, and who knows what that might be, rather than decide medical issuers from the floor of the legislature.

  9. Dan Shields 2023-01-28 09:18

    The first official fascist state in the nation will judge whether you qualify for medical treatment.

  10. Eve Fisher 2023-01-28 13:31

    They cannot get it through their heads that some fetal malfunctions and malformations cause death. Ectopic pregnancy, septic fetus (i.e., a miscarriage that will not be expelled without help), pre-eclampsia, to name 3. And there are others. Without an abortion, the mother will die, and the fetus will die in either case. And ten year olds who get impregnated are going to have permanent damage done to their body, if they survive the birth process at all.

  11. Anne Beal 2023-01-29 06:35

    All this does is tell people they can’t use abortion for birth control. I met a young woman once who said she had a boyfriend who pressured her to have unprotected sex because if she did get pregnant she could “always get an abortion.” Not, “don’t worry, I’ll take care of both of you,” he said “you can get an abortion.”
    She told him no, she couldn’t, and kicked him to the curb. (Where, hopefully, he became roadkill.)

    At the same time, efforts to get men to pay for pregnancy-related expenses are ramping up, to the dismay of irresponsible men everywhere who are already complaining about child support payments.


  12. larry kurtz 2023-01-29 07:32

    Thank god for states like Minnesota, Colorado and New Mexico for protecting women’s rights.

  13. e platypus onion 2023-01-29 09:04

    What magats have in mind is to stop birth control from preventing abortions because wasicu fake kristian men want total control over women and their bodily functions.

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