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South Dakota governor signs bill banning abortions based on Down syndrome diagnosis

PIERRE, S.D. (KTIV) - South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has signed a bill banning abortions after testing indicates a fetus may have Down syndrome.

Now that HB 1110 has been signed, no person in South Dakota may perform or attempt an abortion with knowledge that the pregnant woman is seeking an abortion because the unborn child has been diagnosed with Down syndrome.

Any person who violates the law can be charged with a Class 6 felony. If there was an intentional, knowing, or negligent failure to comply with this law, a pregnant woman who undergoes an abortion, or her survivors, may bring a civil action against the physician and the facility that performed it.

This action could be in the amount of $10,000 plus additional fees and costs. This amount would be in addition to any damages the woman or her survivors may be entitled to due to injuries or wrongful death.

The law explicitly states the ban does not apply to any abortion that is necessary to save a pregnant woman who's life is endangered due to complications with the pregnancy.

The governor's office has cast the law as a way to protect people with Down syndrome, but also part of a larger effort to eliminate legal abortions altogether.

After signing the bill Noem released the following statement:

“The Declaration of Independence summarizes what we all know in our hearts to be true: God created each of us and endowed all of us with the right to life. This is true for everyone, including those with an extra chromosome.”

“I look forward to the day when the Supreme Court recognizes that all preborn children inherently possess this right to life, too. Until that time comes, I am pleased to sign a ban on the abortion of a preborn child, just because that child is diagnosed with Down syndrome.

Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD)

Advocates for abortion rights have stated it is part of a political effort to erode access to "sexual and reproductive health care" for patients who already have limited access to abortions.

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Dean Welte

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