Our nation was founded on the fundamental principle “That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Among these, Life comes first. All other rights are not even possible if Life is not first protected.
When protecting life, it is paramount that we protect the most vulnerable—those who cannot protect themselves. First and foremost among these are the unborn.
If all human beings possess such unalienable rights, then each new human life possesses them by virtue of their own humanity. When a new child is conceived, a truly miraculous event occurs. A new human, with entirely unique human DNA, is created. This unborn person possesses half of their mother’s DNA and half of their father’s, but this combination is itself unique. This isn’t a personal or religious belief — 91% of biologists agree that life begins at fertilization.
In 2005, the South Dakota legislature passed a law banning all abortions, “unless [the] performance of an abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant female.” That law took effect when the Supreme Court handed down the Dobbs decision earlier this year.
Governor Noem realizes that it’s not enough to only protect life if we don’t give those children a chance at a successful life. And their mothers, who may be facing incredibly tough situations, need our support.
Governor Noem launched Life.SD.gov, a website to provide available resources to women through whatever situation they may be facing. The site’s goal is to help mothers and their babies both before birth and after. The new website includes resources for families that want to give their child up for adoption, as well as for folks looking to adopt a child.
In recent years, the South Dakota legislature has proven that abortion policy does not have to be a divisive issue. Both chambers of the legislature voted unanimously to guarantee protections from abortion for unborn children with Down syndrome. Every human has rights—even those who may be born with unique challenges or abnormalities. These differences make that person more unique but no less human.
And protection of human life does not stop once the child is born. Expanding access to foster care and adoption is a vital part of guaranteeing that every child has the opportunity to grow up in a loving, caring home.
Every aspect of public policy should fall back on this fundamental principle of our great nation. Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are possible once Life is guaranteed. We must protect each of these rights, and we must protect them for each of our people, including the unborn.