Gov. Noem, lawmakers will not hold special session on abortion

Abortion-related legislation planned for the special session will instead be introduced during the regular legislative session early next year, the governor said in a joint statement released Friday afternoon.

FSA South Dakota capitol
Undoing plans for a special session on abortion at some point this year, Gov. Kristi Noem and legislative allies announce they will move forward with abortion-related legislation during the regular legislative session in Pierre early next year. (Forum News Service)
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A special legislative session on abortion will not occur, according to a news release issued Friday afternoon, July 15, by Gov. Kristi Noem, a handful of Republican state legislators and representatives from anti-abortion interest groups.

The authors of the joint statement say the reversal stems from South Dakota already being the most "pro-life" state in that nation, writing "we are of one mind that South Dakota can prepare to advance on our progress in the regular legislative session, and a special session will not be necessary."

Plans for a special session to "save lives and help mothers" were announced June 24, hours after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled there was no constitutional right to abortion. In that statement, Noem and legislative leaders wrote that the "exact dates of the Special Session will be decided promptly after discussion with legislative leadership."

On Nov. 8, South Dakotans rejected a ballot measure that would have legalized marijuana in the state among anyone 21 years and over. Now, the more than 100 businesses clamoring for a piece of this industry will have to attempt to sustain themselves on a few thousand medical patients.

Jason Harward is a Report for America corps reporter who writes about state politics in South Dakota. Contact him at 605-301-0496 or

Jason Harward covers South Dakota news for Forum News Service. Email him at
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