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Noem hopes SCOTUS case ends Roe v. Wade

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This week the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that tests whether state laws that ban pre-viability abortions are constitutional.

The ruling could strike down Roe v. Wade, a nearly 50-year-old decision that declares women have a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.

The new case before the high court comes from a Mississippi law, which bans most abortions after 15 weeks. That’s before fetal viability, which is when the fetus is incapable of surviving outside the womb. Viability occurs between 22 and 24 weeks. Roe v. Wade gives women the right to terminate a pregnancy in the first six months.

Gov. Kristi Noem calls the arguments the most important oral argument the U.S. Supreme Court will hear in decades.

“We’re hopeful that this case is going to spell out the end of Roe v. Wade,” Noem said during a press event. “Somebody has to be speaking up for these children, especially for the unborn. They’re innocent lives and that’s what all of us is called to do. It’s not just enough to talk about it and draw attention to it. We actually have to do something too. We have to go out and take actions that defend lives and save lives.”

South Dakota is involved in several abortion cases in the federal courts. Noem hopes one of them ends up in front of the Supreme Court.

Janna Farley, spokesperson for the ACLU of South Dakota, says persistent legislative attacks year after year rob pregnant people of basic human rights.

“Whether it’s forced waiting periods, medically unnecessary and stigmatizing procedures, requiring coercive and medically inaccurate medical information to be presented to pregnant people seeking abortion care, or legally empowering medical professionals to discriminate against pregnant people because of their identity or personal religious beliefs or just flat out bans," Farley says. "It just seems like our elected officials are determined to block our abortion access.”

Farley says reproductive freedom is a constitutional right that’s grounded in privacy protections guaranteed by several constitutional amendments.

SDPB will carry oral arguments in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization starting Wednesday morning at 8:30 CT/7:30 MT. The arguments will preempt our regular schedule on Wednesday morning.