Republican Governor Kristi Noem suggests child rape victims should be forced to endure pregnancy

South Dakota governor says she wouldn’t change law to allow exceptions for rape

John Bowden
Monday 04 July 2022 13:19 BST
Kamala Harris calls Supreme Court ruling on abortion 'outrageous'

The Republican governor of South Dakota was pressed by CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday on whether she thought child rape victims should be forced to endure pregnancies, just days after the existence of such a case was reported in Ohio.

Kristi Noem was grilled on the issue in response to gut-wrenching media reports concerning a 10-year-old victim who was forced, along with her family, to cross state lines and find an abortion clinic in Indiana due to Ohio’s restrictive abortion law.

After several attempts to dodge the question and accuse the media of “not talking” about the rape that had occurred and the need to prosecute such criminals, Ms Noem admitted that she would not push for child rape victims to be allowed to terminate their pregnancy under South Dakota state law, which banned all abortions statewide without exception after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade.

The law is by definition one of the most restrictive in the country.

“What I would say is I don’t believe a tragic situation should be perpetuated by another tragedy,” the governor told CNN finally. “And so there’s more that we’ve got to do to make sure that we really are living a life that says every life is precious.”

The issue represents a stunning and immediate look at how conservatives are swiftly being faced with the reality caused by the restrictions and outright bans on abortion that state legislatures across the country are pursuing in response to the Supreme Court’s historic overturning of abortion rights at the federal level. Many experts are warning that more cases and others involving women who will die if they do not receive abortion care will arise in the near future as a result of these new restrictions.

Abortion rights supporters have pointed to those cases with fury and despair as they hammer the Biden administration and congressional Democrats on what they will do to reverse this course. So far, Democrats have offered little in terms of immediate concrete action to protect abortion rights for women beyond calls for their supporters to turn out once again in November in the hopes of securing a stronger majority in the US Senate.

Rage over the Supreme Court’s ruling and the perceived hopelessness of the situation has led to some activists damaging or defacing the headquarters or offices of anti-abortion organisations as the likelihood of action at the federal level looks minute.

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