Gov. Kristi Noem says 'every life is precious' when asked if a pregnant 10-year-old girl should be forced to have a baby under abortion laws

·3 min read
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks during the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center on May 27, 2022 in Houston, Texas.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks during the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center on May 27, 2022 in Houston, Texas.Brandon Bell/Getty Images
  • South Dakota bans abortions unless the mother's life is at risk.

  • The law came into effect after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

  • Gov. Kristi Noem refused to answer if she'd change the law so a 10-year-old could get an abortion.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem avoided answering whether or not she would change the state's law to allow a 10-year-old rape victim to get an abortion.

"The Indianapolis Star" is reporting that a 10-year-old girl in Ohio who was six weeks and three days pregnant now has to travel across state lines to Indiana to receive an abortion," CNN's Dana Bash asked Noem on Sunday. "So I just -- because this is a trigger law that was passed before you became governor, I wanted you to be clear. Will the state of South Dakota going forward force a 10-year-old in that very same situation to have a baby?"

South Dakota bans abortions except in cases where the life of the mother is at risk. The trigger law went into effect after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

 

"You know what I think is incredible, Dana, in this tragic story? Because I heard about this last night. What's incredible is that nobody's talking about the pervert, horrible and deranged individual that raped a 10-year-old," Noem responded.

Noem added that the conversation should be about what needs to be done to protect children from abuse.

"And as much as we can talk what we can do for that little girl, I think we also need to be addressing those sick individuals that do this to our children," Noem said.

Bash replied, "Right. I couldn't agree more," before she pressed Noem on whether she would change the South Dakota law to protect young girls from having to carry out a pregnancy.

"But our bodies are our bodies, and women are the ones who get pregnant. And, in this case, it wasn't a woman. It was a girl," she said. "Should she have to have a child. A child. Should she have that baby?"

"Every life is precious," Noem said.

"This tragedy is horrific. I can't even imagine. I have never had anybody in my family or myself gone through anything like this. I can't even imagine," she continued. "But, in South Dakota, the law today is that the abortions are illegal, except to save the life of the mother."

She added that she'd never be "okay with a 10-year-old girl having to have a baby."

"In fact, that story will keep me up at night. It absolutely will," Noem said, still not answering if she'd change the law.

Noem said if a girl's life is in danger from having to carry out a pregnancy then it's up to her doctor to make that decision.

"What I would say is, I don't believe a tragic situation should be perpetuated by another tragedy. And so there's more that we have 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 10-year-old girl," Noem said.

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