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South Dakota Gov. Noem sends bill banning biological males from female sports back to legislature for changes

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After saying she was “excited” to sign HB 1217 days ago, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has instead sent the bill back to the legislature with recommendations for changes in “style” and “form.”

The House Bill will ban biological males from playing in female sport teams. It also declares there are only two genders — and it lists “inherent” differences between the two.

“I believe that boys should play boys’ sports, and girls should play girls’ sports. I’m returning House Bill 1217 with the following recommendations as to STYLE and FORM,” Noem tweeted Saturday.

The bill was sent to her desk on March 10 and until yesterday, rumors spread the governor may veto the bill.

In a twitter thread, the governor lists many changes she wants made to the bill. Mainly adding specifics and more detailed rules in the bill.

“Unfortunately, as I have studied this legislation and conferred with legal experts over the past several days, I have become concerned that this bill’s vague and overly broad language could have significant unintended consequences,” Noem tweeted Saturday.

“I support this legislation and hope that House Bill 1217, with the changes I am proposing, becomes law,” she tweeted.

The Daily Caller reported yesterday that Noem was “wavering” in her support. The Twitter thread showed this in Noem’s requests for specifics surrounding performance-enhancing drugs and college athletics.

As recently as March 8 Noem had said she was “excited to sign this bill very soon.”

Screenshot, Twitter.

Whether the legislature will make the changes and Noem will put her signature on paper has yet to be seen.

You can follow Ben Davis Wilson on Twitter @BenDavisWilson

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Healthcare

Supreme Court rules anti-abortion doctors lack standing to sue FDA

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In a unanimous decision on Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that the anti-abortion doctors who challenged the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the abortion pill mifepristone lack the standing to sue the federal agency. This ruling preserves the FDA’s existing approval of the drug.

The opinion, authored by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, emphasized that the plaintiffs presented “several complicated causation theories to connect FDA’s actions to the plaintiffs’ alleged injuries in fact.” However, none of these theories were sufficient to establish Article III standing, which requires a personal stake in the dispute.

National Review reports the lawsuit was filed in November 2022 by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) on behalf of the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine and four pro-life doctors. The plaintiffs claimed that the FDA had no authority to approve the two-pill chemical-abortion regimen under Subpart H, a federal code section allowing expedited approval for drugs treating “serious or life-threatening illnesses.” They argued that pregnancy is not an illness but a normal physiological state.

The plaintiffs also challenged the FDA’s 2016 and 2021 decisions to relax restrictions on mifepristone, such as increasing the gestational age for its use, reducing required office visits, allowing non-doctors to prescribe the pills, and permitting mail delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Abortion opponents expressed disappointment with the decision. Erin Hawley, a lawyer with ADF, criticized the FDA for allegedly endangering women by allowing the use of mifepristone without in-person medical supervision. Ingrid Skop from the Charlotte Lozier Institute and Katie Daniel from Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America echoed similar sentiments, stressing their concerns about the safety of mail-order abortion drugs.

President Joe Biden, however, applauded the decision, highlighting the ongoing risks to women’s rights to necessary medical treatment in many states.

Justice Kavanaugh’s opinion stated that the plaintiffs did not demonstrate a direct injury that would force them to participate in abortion procedures against their conscience. He added that concerns about the potential for increased emergency room visits did not justify legal standing.

Kavanaugh noted that doctors and citizens opposed to FDA regulations should seek changes through legislative and executive branches rather than the courts. This decision aligns with a previous lower court ruling that found the legal challenge was filed too late, beyond the statute of limitations.

Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Texas ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, suspending the FDA’s approval of mifepristone. This decision was subsequently overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which restored access to the drug. The Supreme Court’s stay ensured that the drug remained available while legal proceedings continued.

Democratic lawmakers welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley described it as a “major relief & victory for anyone who has ever or will ever need essential medication abortion care.” Senator Elizabeth Warren criticized the challenge as baseless and underscored the safety and effectiveness of chemical-abortion pills. She warned of ongoing efforts by Republicans to impose a nationwide abortion ban and called for continued protection of reproductive freedom.

 

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