SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) – A federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction against a rule backed by Gov. Kristi Noem limiting access to medication abortions in South Dakota.
Noem initiated the rule in January through an executive order. It would have required abortion-seekers to return to a doctor to receive the second of two drugs used for a medication abortion.
The rule was previously blocked by a temporary restraining order granted late last month at the request of Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. That order was set to expire Wednesday. Tuesday night’s ruling essentially extends the order while Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit against the rule makes its way through the court system.
In the ruling granting a preliminary injunction, the federal district court found that the new regulation requirements are medically unnecessary, impose unecessary medical risks, and amount to a substantial obstacle for patients seeking medication abortion. The court also rejected the state’s argument that the regulation’s overarching purpose was patient health, noting that the FDA, an entity the state cited as authoritative on the subject, says that there is no medical reason for the challenged requirements under the regulation.