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Frye-Mueller Provides Sole Senate Objection to Legal Immunity for Women Who Abort Pregnancies

Senator Julie Frye-Mueller (R-30/Rapid City) sure is hostile toward her fellow woman. She draws censure from her Senate colleagues for harassing a female Legislative employee with lewd comments about breastfeeding (with Frye-Mueller’s husband smirking his approval from the office door). Now she casts the lone vote against protecting women from criminal prosecution for aborting their pregnancies.

House Bill 1220, the dubious immunity the Legislature is offering women who find a way around South Dakota’s near-total abortion ban, reached the Senate floor yesterday. Senate Health and Human Services didn’t think it needed debate and placed it on the consent calendar, which means it would have been voted on with a passel of other bills in a single vote. But last week Senator Al Novstrup (R-3/Aberdeen) asked that HB 1220 be removed from the consent calendar and subjected to floor debate, evidently so Republicans would have one more chance to stand up and bark their misogyny for their masters at South Dakota Right to Life.

Senate Health and Human Services had minorly repaired the misogynist language of HB 1220, replacing the agency-denying “A female who is subjected to an abortion” with “A female who undergoes an unlawful abortion”. Leading off “debate” on HB 1220, Senator Jessica Castleberry (R-35/Rapid City) put the weak-women misogyny right back in,  portraying women as “victims” emotionally duped by the profiteering abortion industry. She also peddled the myth that women suffer long-term harms from abortion.

In blatant SDRTL-treat-barking, Senator Castleberry’s desk-neighbor Senator Novstrup then rose to recite “a few paragraphs from South Dakota Right to Life”. (Again, Al is too lazy to come up with his own speech.)

Then Senator Frye-Mueller rose to say SDRTL is wrong in supporting HB 1220, which only makes excuses for letting women escape the consequences of their sin:

I’m very much pro-life, but I have concerns with this bill, because it still allows…it—the baby is still a consequence. So I will be voting no on this bill, even though Right to Life is supporting it, because I don’t want to make excuses for people who—in my opinion, I understand it’s hard—but the baby is—shouldn’t be the consequence [Senator Julie Frye-Mueller, Senate floor remarks on 2023 HB 1220, 2023.03.06, SDPB video timestamp 1:09:56].

Senator Frye-Mueller’s opinion certainly is hard… to understand from her own words. Frye-Mueller appears to be saying that it’s not enough to punish women for sex by imposing pregnancy and childbirth upon them; if theocracy is going to be any fun, the pious state needs to come down on those sexy women with fines or jail time or a good pelting in the town square.

Senator Castleberry closed debate with a brief and incorrect statement that HB 1220 merely clarifies state law. No, Senator Castleberry, HB 1220 changes state law, at least purportedly taking away the ability of prosecutors to haul women into court for aborting their pregnancies.

Senator Frye-Mueller then cast the lone vote against 33 yeas to maintain the prospect of criminal prosecution for uppity women who dare exercise control over their bodies. Senator Frye-Mueller’s desk-neighbor and only friend in the Senate chamber, Senator Tom Pischke (R-25/Dell Rapids), appears to have taken a well-timed Stace Nelson potty break and miss that vote (Pischke was present for votes on the bills immediately preceding and succeeding HB 1220), leaving his pal Julie as the only Senator who can face the charge that she voted to put women in jail for having abortions.

Frye-Mueller joins seven House members—radical right-wingers Aaron Aylward, Randy Gross, Phil Jensen, Karla Lems, Tina Mulally, Marty Overweg, and Tony Randolph—as on-the-record supporters of criminal penalties for women who abort their pregnancies.


  1. CK 2023-03-07

    Women who sell out their fellow women are the worst.

  2. All Mammal 2023-03-07

    Senator Castleberry was at the Rapid City Board of Education meeting a few weeks back speaking as a proponent of Hillsdale’s SS standards. No, not Hitler’s SS. She said she cannot imagine how anyone could possibly complain about the amazing and well-written proposed standards. Yeah, crotchety gender traitors are rampant in the leg.

  3. Eve Fisher 2023-03-07

    The Aunt Lydias of the world truly believe that a woman’s only purpose for existence is to bear children, no matter what the conditions of conception were, so no abortion can ever be allowed. Thus of COURSE a woman must be punished for an abortion under any circumstances. And biological problems like ectopic pregnancy, septicemia, pre-eclampsia, etc. are simply EXCUSES, because the fetus must always be left in the womb until the fetus is literally, provably dead. And if that kills the woman, well – she was a deformed, inadequate woman, and God took her home because she couldn’t fulfill her purpose on earth.

  4. DaveFN 2023-03-07

    Embryo and fetus fetishists. Frye-Mueller has been traumatized by reading too many RTL billboards on I-90.

    In many of the several avatars of Judaism life begins when the first breath is taken, as that is considered the moment the soul arrives.

    As far as viability is concerned there’s a Jewish maxim that life doesn’t truly begin until the children finish graduate school.

  5. bearcreekbat 2023-03-07

    So under this bill a woman cannot be punished criminally for taking a clothes hanger, homemade poison concoctions, or other self-inflicted means of terminating the unwanted appropriation of her body:

    gynecologist Waldo L. Fielding wrote:

    The familiar symbol of illegal abortion is the infamous “coat hanger” — which may be the symbol, but is in no way a myth. In my years in New York, several women arrived with a hanger still in place. Whoever put it in – perhaps the patient herself – found it trapped in the cervix and could not remove it…However, not simply coat hangers were used. Almost any implement you can imagine had been and was used to start an abortion – darning needles, crochet hooks, cut-glass salt shakers, soda bottles, sometimes intact, sometimes with the top broken off.[33]

    Charles Jewett wrote The Practice of Obstetrics in 1901. In it, he stated, “Oil of tansy and oil of rue are much relied on by the laity for the production of abortion, and almost every day one may read of fatal results attending their use. Oil of tansy in large doses is said to excite epileptiform convulsions; quite recently one of my colleagues met such a case in his practice.”

    In the 1994 documentary Motherless: A Legacy of Loss from Illegal Abortion, Louis Gerstley, M.D., said that, in addition to knitting needles, some women would use the spokes of bicycle wheels or umbrellas. “Anything that was metal and long and thin would be used,” he claimed. He stated that a common complication from such a procedure was that the object would puncture through the uterus and injure the intestines, and the women would subsequently die from peritonitis and infection. Later in the film he mentioned that potassium permanganate tablets were sometimes used. The tablets were inserted into the vagina where they caused a chemical burn so intense that a hole may be left in the tissue. He claimed the tablets left the surrounding tissue in such a state that doctors trying to stitch up the wound couldn’t do so because “the tissue was like trying to suture butter.” Dr. Mildred Hanson also described the use of potassium permanganate tablets in the 2003 documentary Voices of Choice: Physicians Who Provided Abortions Before Roe v. Wade. She said, “the women would bleed like crazy because it would just eat big holes in the vagina.”

    Dr. David Reuben mentions that many African women use a carved wooden “abortion stick” to induce, which has often been handed down.

    That leaves the question open whether a doctor or medical provider may still be charged with a crime, especially attempted 1st degree murder with the death penalty threat, by providing medical care to a girl or woman that severely injures herself attempting to self-abort. The safest course for ambulance personnel, physicians, nurses and hospital personnel, would be to refuse to transport, admit or treat this girl at the emergency room or otherwise. I guess Frye-Mueller and too many others don’t feel that is punishment enough for such a girl.

  6. Mark Anderson 2023-03-07

    Julie Frye-Mueller should sell Tits Ahoy t shirts online. With her notoriety, she would make a killing. Tom had to take a Pischke but Julie doesn’t really need a supporter. Now for the designer….

  7. Mark Anderson 2023-03-07

    I really have to apologize for continuing to milk this issue. My bad. I won’t do it again.

  8. DaveFN 2023-03-07

    Embryo and fetus fetishists with an obsessional fixation on the moment sperm meets egg, a monomania or idée fixe widely shared by many and resistant to any attempt at modification, traceable, perhaps, to having witnessed as a child the parents in the act of coitus and forever fixated on it.

    Frey-Mueller may additionally be suffering from secondary trauma, her hysteria being triggered by all those images on the RTL billboards littering I-90. A course in world religions–or at least Judaism–might serve to open her closed mind and loosen up her fixed ideas about the centrality of conception and “the baby.”

    Judaism in one of its avatars, for example, maintains that life begins when the first breath is taken, as that is when the soul arrives in the body. Another school in Jewish thought is that life begins when the child has more than halfway emerged from the mother’s body. In any case, it is the act of birth itself that changes the status of the fetus from a nonperson to a person (nefesh),

    As far as viability goes, however, a Jewish fetus is traditionally not considered viable until after it graduates from a medical or law school, an old Jewish saying popularized by Joan Rivers.

    Then there’s Mishnah Oholot 7:6:

    “If a woman is having trouble giving birth, they cut up the child in her womb and bring it forth limb by limb, because her life comes before the life of [the child].’

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