Governor Will Prosecute Doctors Who Perform Abortions

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) announced on Sunday that her state will be prosecuting doctors who perform abortions.

In 2005, lawmakers in South Dakota passed two pieces of legislation that would make abortion illegal if the Supreme Court ever overturned Roe v. Wade. The legislation is known as a “trigger law,” and was very specific, stating that it goes into effect “on the date that the states are recognized by the United States Supreme Court to have the authority to regulate or prohibit abortion at all stages of pregnancy.”

According to the law, abortion is now a Class 6 felony in South Dakota, and is punishable by up to two years in prison and up to a $4,000 fine.

Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Noem said that while South Dakota would prosecute doctors who violate the ban on abortions, mothers would not be prosecuted.

“We’ll continue to have those debates on how we can support these mothers and what it means to really make sure we are not prosecuting mothers ever in a situation like this,” the Republican governor said. “It will always be focused toward those doctors who knowingly break the law to perform abortions in our state.”

According to reporting from The Hill, South Dakota’s ban on abortions does not have any exceptions for rape or incest. The only exception to this law would be cases in which it was necessary to save the life of the mother.

Noem also discussed her plans, which are included in a bill she has proposed, to ban telemedicine appointments for abortions and to stop care providers from mailing abortion pills to women following online consultation.

“We know so much more using technology and science than we did even 10, 15 years ago about what these babies go through and the pain they feel in the womb,” she said. “We’re putting resources in front of these women and walking alongside them, getting them the healthcare, the mental health counseling services they need.”