“This is an issue that those who are pro-choice try to dehumanize – that they try to make an argument that we don’t care about women, that we don’t care about these babies,” Noem said during an online press briefing with the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List.
She added: “That’s just a false narrative that we have to push aggressively back against.”
Noem’s comments come just days before the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which Noem hopes will serve as an avenue for overturning Roe v. Wade.
A mother of three, Noem argued that women didn’t have to choose between career success and having children. She and more than 200 other women signed onto an amicus brief challenging Planned Parenthood v. Casey’s contention that women had “reliance interests” in abortion as it helped them “participate equally in the economic and social life of the nation.”
She also took aim at telemedicine or chemical abortions, a relatively new method that is expected to grow if the Supreme Court allows states to beef up restrictions on the procedure.
“For years and years, we’ve heard liberals talk about this decision on abortion being between a woman and her doctor,” she said Monday. “Now they’re changing their complete argument to now this can be a decision between a woman and virtually any stranger over the phone – that she doesn’t even have to prove it’s a doctor … or an informed decision.”
Noem added that these types of abortions were more “dangerous” for women and showed the left was “hypocritical” because it allows women to “make an impromptu” and “not well-informed” decision with strangers.
According to Kaiser Family Foundation, 17 states and the District of Columbia allow advanced practice clinicians, including nurses, to dispense medication abortions. Anti-abortion advocates have also raised concerns about sites like AidAccess, which provide abortion pills remotely.
Chemical abortions, which Noem attempted to restrict with an executive order, have prompted intense debate as they can provide easier access but also sidestep usual medical exams. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to announce a decision on the issue later this month but previously overturned a Trump-era rule that required in-person dispensing of the pills.
Janet Woodcock, the acting FDA commissioner, argued in April that existing literature doesn’t indicate serious complications arising without the in-person requirement. Meanwhile, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has praised the Biden administration’s decision as a way to protect patients and medical professionals from contracting COVID-19 during in-person visits.
The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) has said in-person visits are critical to detecting ectopic pregnancies, which can be life threatening; ensuring accurate estimations of gestational age; and for determining whether women need the medication Rhogam, which is used to prevent complications in future pregnancies.