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Noem signs executive order to block telemedicine abortions in South Dakota

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Official headshot of Gov. Kristi Noem, SD

PIERRE, S.D. (KTIV) - South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has issued an executive order to restrict access to abortion medication and make it clear that medicine-induced abortions fall within state law requiring an in-person consultation with a physician.

The order restricts telemedicine abortion by declaring abortion drugs may only be prescribed or dispensed by a physician who is licensed in South Dakota after an in-person examination. It also blocks abortion-inducing drugs from being provided via courier, deliver, telemedicine or mail service.

The order also prevents abortion-inducing drugs from being dispensed or provided in school or on state grounds, and reiterates that licensed physicians must ensure that Informed Consent laws are properly administered.

The order also directs the South Dakota Department of Health to do the following:

  • Develop licensing requirements for “pill only” abortion clinics;
  • Collect empirical data on how often chemical abortions are performed as a percentage of all abortions, including how often women experience complications that require a medical follow-up; and
  • Enhance reporting requirements on emergency room complications related to chemical abortion.

Noem’s order was made in anticipation that the Food and Drug Administration later this year will allow abortion medications to be dispensed through the mail or virtual pharmacies. About 39% of abortions in South Dakota last year were done through medication

You can read Noem's full executive order here.


The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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