Republican government leader Kristi Noem went into hiding and dodged Sunday morning when asked if South Dakota would force a raped 10-year-old to give birth — ultimately suggesting that the “tragic situation” shouldn’t change her state’s restrictive abortion laws.
“Today’s law is that abortions are illegal, except to save the mother’s life,” Noem told CNN host Dana Bash. State of the Union.
Bash had pressured Noem over the case of a 10-year-old girl in Ohio who was denied an abortion because she was three days past the state’s six-week abortion ban. The girl had to travel to Indiana for the procedure, according to the Indianapolis star.
“Since this was a trigger law passed before you became governor, I want you to be clear, in the future will the state of South Dakota force a 10-year-old in the same situation to have a baby?” asked Bass.
Noem started by avoiding the direct question and instead focused on the little girl’s rapist.
“What’s incredible is that no one is talking about the perverted, horrible and deranged person who raped a 10-year-old,” Noem said. “What do we do about that?”
Bash agreed with her, but pointed out that women are ultimately the ones who get pregnant. She then continued to pressure the governor — who recently signed an executive order banning telemedicine abortions as part of the state’s total abortion ban — whether she “allowed a 10-year-old girl to have a baby.”
“No, I’m never comfortable with that. That story keeps me up at night. It breaks my heart,” Noem said.
Bash tried again, asking if she would “change the law to make an exception for such a situation?”
“I can’t even imagine. What I’d say is I don’t believe a tragic situation should be perpetuated by another tragedy,” Noem said finally. “And so there’s more we need to do to make sure we’re really living a life that says every life is precious, especially innocent lives shattered like that 10-year-old girl.”
South Dakota was one of 13 states to enact a “trigger law” banning abortions once the Supreme Court was overturned Roe v. Wadewho guaranteed the right to abortion, and Noem has continued to try to twist South Dakota’s decisions by advertising state resources to help support pregnancies, whether they like it or not.
Bash concluded her interrogation by leaving Noem — who hasn’t kept her political ambitions quiet, even though her star has faded as Florida’s Mr. Ron DeSantis — rises up the unequivocal question: “Former President Trump may announce he will be leaving this month. If if he does, would you support him and be his running mate?”
“I think there are a lot of people who want to be his running mate. I don’t work in the hypothetical,’ Noem evaded. “I’d be shocked if he asked and right now I’m so focused on South Dakota.”