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Bill creating informational video for state's abortion law advances

Brent Duerre

A legislative committee has advanced a bill aiming to help people understand South Dakota’s abortion laws.

House Bill 1224 requires the state to create an informational video and other materials explaining the state’s abortion restrictions.

State law prohibits all abortions except when it’s necessary to save the life of the mother. Some officials have raised concerns the bill is vague and creates confusion among health care providers.

Representative Taylor Rehfeldt is sponsoring the bill. The Sioux Falls Republican tried and failed to bring a bill last session to clarify the life of the mother.

Rehfeldt said HB 1224 creates a way to help health care providers understand abortion laws. She also said it does not have a political agenda.

“The bill does not change any of our abortion laws, or the ability to get an abortion. I think that’s an important clarification here," Rehfeldt said. "There really is no change to the substantive law. The measure merely attempts to clarify the impact of the law on protecting mothers and babies.”

Several right to life groups testified in support of the bill Monday, as did Sanford Health. There was no opposition testimony.

The House State Affairs Committee passed it on an 11 to 1 vote. It next heads to the House floor.