Federal Judge Stops Noem’s Abortion Pill Restriction Rule | New Policies

PIERRE, SD (AP) — A federal judge has temporarily halted the enforcement of a South Dakota health care rule that would have made the state one of the toughest places in the United States to get medical abortion pills.

On Wednesday night, U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier granted Planned Parenthood’s request for a restraining order on a state Department of Health rule that was set to go into effect Thursday.

Republican Governor Kristi Noem initiated the rule change through an executive order. Abortion seekers would have had to return to see a doctor to receive the second of two drugs used to perform a medical abortion. The women were able to receive both drugs in one visit, taking the second drug at home.

Abortion rights advocates said the rule change would have effectively ended access to medical abortions in the state. Noem argued that the rule was necessary for women’s safety and introduced a bill, currently before the Legislative Assembly, to enshrine it in law.

Schreier, who was appointed under former President Bill Clinton, found that Planned Parenthood showed the rule “places an undue burden on a person’s right to have an abortion.”

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A hearing on Planned Parenthood’s motion for a preliminary injunction is scheduled for next week.

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