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Health Dept. Scrubs Abortion-Rights Advocate from Website, Still Shares Links to Abortion Locator on Flyers

The South Dakota Department of Health stopped supporting birth control, STD testing, and other family planning services at clinics in Mobridge, Lemmon, and Burke last month. While noting that counterproductive fact yesterday, I noticed that the DOH did offer a link on its website to Bedsider.org, a national online birth control support network for women maintained by Power to Decide, an organization that, unlike South Dakota, “envision[s] a world where everyone—no matter who they are or where they live—has control over their bodies and can decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child.” To promote that vision, Besider offers a searchable database of abortion providers.

I figured the fact that the state was providing a link to an organization that would help women exercise their reproductive rights had to be an oversight that would be rectified quickly.

24 hours later, the Department of Health has scrubbed Bedsider from its website. They’ve also renamed the “Reproductive Health” webpage, changing the heading and URL to “Family Planning“:

South Dakota Department of Health, "Reproductive Health," screen cap 2023.08.31.
South Dakota Department of Health, “Reproductive Health,” screen cap 2023.08.31.
South Dakota Department of Health, "Family Planning," screen cap 2023.09.01.
South Dakota Department of Health, “Family Planning,” screen cap 2023.09.01.

Fortunately, the DOH is still handing out flyers that will help South Dakota women and the men who love them find information from Bedsider. Toward the bottom of the freshly updated Family Planning page, DOH offers a PDF brochure, in English and in Spanish, that, when properly folded, features Bedsider and Power to Decide on the back:

Departmento de Salud de Dakota del Sur, Programa de Planificacíon—Guia de Servicio," revisado 2020.09.01.
Translation: Ladies, if scruffy-looking dudes are following you through fields of flowers, you may benefit from family planning services. Departmento de Salud de Dakota del Sur, “Programa de Planificacíon Familiar—Guia de Servicio,” revisado 2020.09.01.
Department of Health, "South Dakota Family Planning Program—Service Guide," revised 2023.08.
Department of Health, “South Dakota Family Planning Program—Service Guide,” revised 2023.08.

The Spanish version available online today says it was revised three years ago, but it somehow lists the updated and shorter list of clinics where the state continues to subsidize family planning services—Burke, Lemmon, and Mobridge are not listed. The English version indicates it was revised in August 2023.

I have to wonder if DOH flunkies will now have to spend the day redesigning the backs of those PDF flyers and calling the clinics to tell them to pull and burn those nice new English-language flyers and the old Spanish translations to get those Besider and Power to Decide links away from women.

8 Comments

  1. sx123 2023-09-01

    At least they read your website…

  2. AmyB 2023-09-01

    Pretty soon the DOH will start saying things like “It’s the duty & a privilege of all good SD women to have babies. We can’t let people move into our state & erode SD values”

  3. All Mammal 2023-09-01

    All types of birth control methods are available through the Family Planning Program including but not oral contraceptives….

    huh? That makes no sense in the brochure section, Contraception Services.

  4. John 2023-09-01

    The South Dakota legislature’s zealots will unleash a new barrage of anti-family proposals on us in four months. One of the leading plots is making criminal the use of public roads to facilitate abortion. Abortion trafficking. Ordinances passed in 2 Texas counties. Another 16 are considering these zealots affronts to the right of freedom of association.
    “The laws allow any private citizen to sue a person or organization they suspect of violating the ordinance.
    Antiabortion advocates behind the measure are targeting regions along interstates and in areas with airports, with the goal of blocking off the main arteries out of Texas and keeping pregnant women hemmed within the confines of their antiabortion state. These provisions have already passed in two counties and two cities, creating legal risk for those traveling on major highways including Interstate 20 and Route 84, which head toward New Mexico, where abortion remains legal and new clinics have opened to accommodate Texas women. Several more jurisdictions are expected to vote on the measure in the coming weeks.”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/09/01/texas-abortion-highways/

    Oh for the hypocrisy of the “small government” and “freedum” conservatives. They will not rest until putting the christian Taliban in charge.
    And you thought that Margaret Atwood wrote fiction.

  5. Miranda Larson 2023-09-02

    Exactly how did pointing this out help the women of SD?? Now instead of a generally useful resource, people will be directed to some bogus information that helps NOBODY. You just helped the very people & state organizations you mock, simply to have fodder for your blog?!?!

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-09-03

    I point out facts.

    And I do wonder: how much traffic does the DOH website get? How many women turn to the State of South Dakota for advice on health care?

  7. John 2023-09-04

    Miranda, I begrudgingly agree, the timing of the post could have waited.

    Not only are the christian – taliban zealots after one’s freedom to travel on public roads, and the prosecutors for not doing their bidding, now it appears they enshrine themselves with the eugenicists.
    “A high-end hotel in the liberal Texan enclave of Austin is playing host to a conference whose theme is boosting global birth rates, but which will in fact feature racist and eugenicist internet personalities and far-right media figures.

    The Natal conference – whose website warns that “by the end of the century, nearly every country on earth will have a shrinking population, and economic systems dependent on reliable growth will collapse” – is scheduled to be held on 1 December at the Line Hotel.”
    “Natal’s website claim the conference has “has no political or ideological goal other than a world in which our children can have grandchildren”, but the Guardian can reveal its organizer Kevin Dolan has been promoting the event on the far-right podcast circuit, and has explicitly linked the conference’s “pro-natalist” orientation to eugenics.

    Dolan was at one time a social media influencer connected to the far-right Mormon “Deznat” or “Deseret nationalist” subculture and has himself linked the conference’s theme with eugenics in interviews.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/sep/04/natal-conference-austin-texas-eugenics

    Real scientists like the late Hans Rosling, and present student of demography, geography, and international relations, Peter Zeihan, have know for generations about the population declines and, in the cases of China, Japan, and South Korea, coming demographic collapse.
    Rosling’s TED talks are brilliant and humorous. Don’t be like the chimps. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVimVzgtD6w and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LyzBoHo5EI

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