GOP Gov. Kristi Noem Says 10-Year-Old Rape Victim Should Be Forced to Have Baby (Video)
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem defended her state's criminalization of abortion even in the case of a "horrific" child rape case during a Sunday appearance on CNN.
Asked multiple times by CNN's Dana Bash if South Dakota would force minors to cross state lines to terminate pregnancies resulting from rape, as a 10-year-old was recently forced to do in Ohio, Noem balked.
"What's incredible is that no one is talking about the perverted, horrific and deranged person who raped a 10 year old and what are we doing about it?" Noem replied.
As Bash repeated her question, the governor said, "This tragedy is terrible, I can't even imagine it, I've never seen anyone in my family or myself go through something like this...but in South Dakota, the law is." today so abortions are illegal except to save the life of the mother.”
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Bash then asked bluntly if she "would be okay if a 10-year-old girl had to have a baby," to which Noem replied, "No, I'm never okay with that. In fact, this story will keep me up at night.”
But although she said the situation "breaks my heart," Noem said she would not seek to include an exception for such victims in her state's draconian policies. "I don't think a tragic situation should be perpetuated by another tragedy," she said, echoing a phrase often used by anti-abortion advocates.
Currently, South Dakota only allows an abortion if carrying the pregnancy to term would endanger the life of the mother. Since childbirth would undoubtedly pose a danger to any child, Bash said, "Would you risk a mother's life?"
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Noem didn't respond directly, saying the decision rests with "the doctors, the family, the people closest to this [situation]" and "the legislators closest to the people" who govern them.
South Dakota is one of several states with "trigger laws" that came into force after the repeal of Roe v. Wade to come into effect immediately. Under House Bill 1318, last week's SCOTUS decision codified the ban on abortion through telemedicine and increased penalties for unlicensed practice of medicine when performing a medical abortion in the state. With the exception of "preserving the life of a pregnant woman," abortion is now illegal in South Dakota.
Trigger laws also went into effect in Arkansas, Wisconsin and Missouri, with more states due to follow in the coming week.
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