Noem says abortion laws should be determined by the state

April 21, 2024

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) sided with former President Trump on the abortion issue Sunday, saying that the laws should be determined by the state.

CNN’s Dana Bash asked Noem on “State of the Union” if she supported Trump’s stance on abortion laws being up to the states, noting that Noem cosponsored legislation that would ban abortion on the federal level when she was in the House. Noem explained that her position on abortion laws changed once Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2022.

“The environment changed when Roe v. Wade was overturned. That returned the power back to the States, which is appropriate, and Donald Trump is exactly right. Every state’s laws will look different based on what the people in those states want to be their law when it comes to abortion,” Noem said.

“And we should be focusing on these women that are in crisis and they’re in unprecedented situations, and they need help and support and all the information that they can possibly have. So, my state’s laws may look different than what’s going on in California or Arizona or New York and I think that’s entirely appropriate,” she added.

Trump said earlier this month that he believed states should decide their own laws on abortion, breaking from several members of his party who believe abortion should be banned at the federal level. Trump has also said he would not sign a federal abortion ban.

After Roe v. Wade was overturned, Noem said doctors who perform abortions will be targeted for prosecution in her state after a new trigger law went into effect following the Supreme Court decision. South Dakota’s ban prohibits all abortions except to preserve the life of a pregnant person.

“I may be pro-life but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m a dictator and that I get to decide that. Donald Trump recognizes the constitutional authority of the states and I love that. I love that we have somebody running for president who actually follows our Constitution and recognizes on this issue, that having that decision made at the state level is the appropriate decision,” she said on CNN.

When pressed further on whether she believes South Dakota law on abortion goes too far, Noem said that it’s what the people of her state want. The abortion ban in the state does not allow for exceptions for rape or incest cases.

“But I think that our law today is what South Dakota wants, and they’ll continue to have that debate, and I’ll continue to follow through on my role, which is to make sure the will of the people is enforced” she said.