Senate Health and Human Services

SD Legislature

South Dakota lawmakers are weighing the issue of a mother's privacy over her infant's health. The debate begins in the Senate Health and Human Services committee.

Senate Bill 105 authorizes healthcare practitioners to test infants up to 28 days old for controlled substances if they exhibit relevant symptoms. The bill allows the test with or without parental consent. If results are positive, the practitioner must report them to the Department of Social Services. 

File photo by Victoria Wicks

In a move one state senator described as “sneaky,” the Senate Health and Human Services Committee made a last-ditch effort to resurrect a bill on Monday. The committee was asked to reconsider House Bill 1155, regulating responses to prenatal Down syndrome diagnoses. Part of that bill puts obligations on doctors performing abortions. As SDPB’s Victoria Wicks reports, the bill was not posted on the agenda, and apparently some committee members hadn’t been told that it was up for discussion.

More Discussion Needed on Sex-Selective Abortion Ban

Mar 3, 2014

State lawmakers want more time to address concerns over legislation that bans sex-selective abortions in South Dakota. House Bill 1162 makes it illegal for a doctor to perform an abortion based on the sex of the baby, and doing so is a Class 6 felony.

Opponents argue it targets Asian women and attempts to make obtaining any abortion more difficult. Abbie Peterson with NARAL South Dakota says HB 1162 isn’t the way to combat gender discrimination.

Bill Allows More Time For Medication Before Hearing

Feb 24, 2014

A bill that allows more time to administer medication without a hearing to people who are mentally ill is one step closer to becoming law. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee unanimously passed House Bill 1198. Representative Mike Stevens says the bill allows physicians to forcibly administer medication for ten additional days before a hearing is required. He says this is good for patients, and the court system.

Leaders on both sides of a bill involving CPR education are working together to come to an agreement. Members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee deferred action on Senate Bill 145 until next week. The bill requires schools to teach CPR to students at some point from seventh through 12th grade, and makes it a requirement for graduation. Proponents shared the importance of CPR and say if taught in schools, the half hour class equips thousands of South Dakotans with the ability to respond quickly. Opponents support CPR education but say there are several problems with the bill.

Nursing Loan Changed to Scholarship

Jan 22, 2014

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed a bill that changes the nurses’ education loan assistance program to a scholarship program. Gloria Damgaard is the Executive Director of the South Dakota Board of Nursing. She says the change decreases the amount of red tape to process and receive the assistance.