Noem and AG letter warns pharmacists about abortion medication

Following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on abortion, South Dakota's strict law went into effect.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on abortion, South Dakota's strict law went into effect.(Robin Marty / CC BY 2.0)
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 3:18 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - While a release from Gov. Kristi Noem’s office calls a letter to South Dakota pharmacists a reminder, it also outlines that the state Attorney General Marty Jackley will enforce the law banning chemical abortions.

“Chemical abortions remain illegal in South Dakota. Under South Dakota law, pharmacies, including chain drug stores, are prohibited from procuring and dispensing abortion-inducing drugs with the intent to induce an abortion, and are subject to felony prosecution under South Dakota law, despite the recent FDA ruling. Their resources should be focused on helping mothers and their babies, both before birth and after,” wrote Noem and Jackley.

When the Supreme Court ruled there was no constitutionally-protected right to abortion, South Dakota’s strict abortion law went into effect. The Noem-Jackley letter reminds pharmacists that abortion is illegal in South Dakota, regardless of method, except when necessary to save the mother’s life.

The letter was prompted by the Federal Drug Administration ruling that made abortion pills available at pharmacies, even in states like South Dakota where abortions are severely restricted.

The letter to pharmacists states that the FDA rule violates state law and that dispensing abortion medication is a felony and that anyone who administers, prescribes, or procures this medicine with the intent of inducing an abortion is guilty of a felony.