Release: Bill Introduced to Protect Lives of Mothers

Bill Introduced by Rep. Taylor Rehfeldt, Sen. Tobin to Protect Lives of Mothers

PIERRE–Today, House of Representatives Assistant Majority Leader Taylor Rehfeldt (R-District 14) and Senator Erin Tobin introduced HB1169 in an effort to protect the lives of pregnant mothers.

“The lives of both mother and child are precious, and South Dakotans understand that,” said Rep. Taylor Rehfeldt. “There is uncertainty today amongst health care providers on when they can intervene to save the life of the mother during a complicated pregnancy. Doctors need certainty, and patients deserve care.”

The June 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision overturned Roe v. Wade and triggered an abortion ban in South Dakota except for protecting the life of the mother. HB 1169 adds a clear definition to protect the life of the mother in the circumstance of death or irreversible injury.

The proposed legislation states:

Notwithstanding any other law, before an abortion may be justified as necessary to preserve the life of a pregnant female, as set forth in § 22-17-5.1, the attending physician, exercising reasonable medical judgment, must determine that, by continuing the pregnancy, the female is at serious risk of death or of a substantial and irreversible physical impairment of one or more major bodily functions.

“I look forward to discussing this important update to South Dakota’s abortion ban so that doctors have an understanding of when to act in an emergency situation for the long-established belief that preserving the life of the mother is the moral and right thing to do.” said Rehfeldt.

The draft legislation is available to view here.