CNN’s Dana Bash pressed Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on the state’s law regarding abortion in cases of rape Sunday.
Bash pressed the governor on whether South Dakota would force a young girl to carry the child of her rapist after the Indianapolis Star reported a 10-year-old girl who was six weeks and three days pregnant was denied an abortion in Ohio, forcing her to travel to Indiana. South Dakota is one of 13 states to enact a trigger law following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and the state’s law prohibits abortion except in cases of the mother’s life being in danger, according to CBS News.
Noem said there needs to be a discussion about the “sick individuals” who rape young girls rather than adding a tragedy on top of another.
“Every single life is precious,” she said. “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.”
“And you’d be okay with that? A 10-year-old girl having to have a baby?” Bash asked.
“No, I’m never okay with that. In fact, that story will keep me up at night, it absolutely will,” the governor said. Bash then asked if she will attempt to change the state law to ensure that a victim of rape can receive an abortion. (RELATED: Judge Blocks Kentucky Abortion Law After SCOTUS Ruling)
“What I would say is that I don’t believe that a tragic situation should be perpetuated by another tragedy and so there’s more that we got to do to make sure that we really are living a life that says that every life is precious. Especially innocent lives that have been shattered like that 10-year-old girl,” Noem said.
Bash pressed the governor on the physical, mental and emotional ability of a young girl in such circumstances to carry a baby to term. She asked the governor if she would consider that as a threat to the mother’s life.
Noem said the doctor and the family will make that decision based on the child’s health. She said the state’s elected officials will regulate abortion laws based on their constituents. Her answer prompted Bash to ask if she supports a national ban on abortion.
“We’ll see what Congress does and what those discussions are,” she said. “I’ve never operated in hypotheticals, I’ve told people what my values are, how I would lead, and then I follow through on that. That’s just something I’ve always done running for elected office. You represent your people, but you also represent the person and the values that you hold and how you see your job as governor.”
Noem concluded that abortion should be a state-level issue.