GOP governor suggests she would force ten-year-old rape victims to carry pregnancies to term
South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi Noem hinted to CNN's Dana Bash on Saturday that her state would force pre-teen rape victims to carry the resulting pregnancies to term. Noem's remarks come days after a 10-year-old Ohio girl was denied an abortion because she was three days past the six-week restriction and had to travel to Indiana to access the procedure.
Citing South Dakota's "trigger law" outlawing nearly all abortions that went into effect upon the United State Supreme Court's reversal of Roe versus Wade, Bash asked Noem whether she would follow Ohio's example. Voters in The Mount Rushmore State rejected a ballot referendum banning abortion in early June.
Noem immediately deflected, complaining that "nobody is talking about the pervert, horrible, and deranged individual that raped a 10-year-old. And what are we doing about that?"
While Bash agreed that holding the perpetrator accountable "is an important discussion to have," she pressed Noem a second time to answer her original question. Again, Noem refused.
"This is an issue that the Supreme Court has weighed in as well, and as much as we talk about what we can do for that little girl, I think we also need to be addressing those sick individuals who do this to our children," she said.
Bash pushed back, noting that "women are the ones who get pregnant and in this case, it wasn't a woman it was a girl." Bash then asked for the third time, "should she have to have a child – a child – should she have to have that baby?"
Noem continued to avoid the topic, pivoting instead to right-wing anti-choice talking points and opting to defend South Dakota's ban.
"Every single life is precious, and this tragedy is horrific. I can't even imagine - I've never had anybody in my family or myself gone through anything like this. I can't even imagine. But in South Dakota, the law today is that abortions are illegal except to save the life of the mother," she said.
Bash was not having it.
"And you would be okay with that, a ten-year-old girl having to have a baby?" she asked the governor.
"No, I'm never okay with that, in fact, that story will keep me up at night, it absolutely will," Noem replied.
"So would you try to change the law to have an exception in a situation like that?" Bash asked.
Noem's muddy response suggested that she would force young victims to bear their rapists' offspring.
"I don't believe a tragic situation should be perpetuated by another tragedy," Noem said. "And so there's more that we've got to do to make sure that we really are living a life that says every life is precious, especially innocent lives that have been shattered like that ten-year-old girl."
\u201cDana Bash: Will the state of South Dakota going forward force a 10-year-old in that very same situation to have a baby? \n\nKristi Noem: In South Dakota, the law today is that abortions are illegal except to save the life of the mother.\n\n[that's a yes]\u201d— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1656855251
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