SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota political leaders are reacting to the news that the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs v. Jackson case.

Governor Kristi Noem tweeted “Today, life wins!”

The South Dakota Democratic Party said Gov. Kristi Noem’s extremist views are out-of-line with most South Dakotans. 

“While Kristi Noem claims to be a champion for freedom, in reality, she’s the number one advocate for controlling the lives of South Dakotans,” the SDDP said in a news release. “All South Dakotans deserve the freedom to make their own healthcare decisions – including the choice to have an abortion. Reproductive rights are on the ballot in November and South Dakotans will make their voice heard.” 

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D), the second-highest ranking Republican in the Senate, said today is a day he and millions of Americans have worked and prayed.

“Overturning Roe v. Wade is a turning point in our nation’s history that will undoubtedly save millions of lives and open the door to great legal protections for the unborn.”

Brian Bengs, the Democrat candidate challenging Thune in the November election, said he was “appalled at the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade.” 

“I am heartbroken for my fellow South Dakotans now subject to the state’s trigger law that goes into effect immediately,” Bengs said in a statement. “South Dakotans already spoke and voted against total abortion bans in 2006 and 2008. This decision not only limits individual freedoms but will put hundreds of thousands of people at risk.” 

You can read his full statement posted on Twitter.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) called today’s ruling “shameful.”

“Because of the state’s trigger law, South Dakotans now have fewer rights than people in other states in this country,” the statement read. “The ACLU of South Dakota is working with partners and providers to respond to this ruling and fight back.”

Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) said “the unborn deserve protection.” 

“I’ve never believed the Roe v. Wade decision – which was ultimately a personal privacy case – was a justification to take a human life,” Johnson said in an emailed statement.

Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate, Jamie Smith, said we have to respect the will of South Dakota voters in a Tweet Friday morning. He added in a statement sent to KELOLAND News that today’s ruling was “not reasonable.”

“As your Governor, I will take action to protect the health and safety of mothers and their children through every stage of life,” Smith said. “This also means funding our foster care programs, creating opportunities for affordable childcare, and making sure a mother and child have access to quality healthcare for a safer birth experience.”

Senator Mike Rounds said today’s ruling was a victory for life and it puts the issue of abortion back at the state level.

“I think different states will have different approaches to how they regulate abortion, here in South Dakota we have a trigger law, which we signed into law back in 2005, because even at that time we thought Roe V Wade was an incorrect decision and we thought it should be regulated at the state level,” Rounds said.

Senator Rounds says South Dakota is a pro-life state and the legislature will probably put restrictions on abortion as a procedure.


In Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz Tweeted a statement in support of reproductive rights. “Let me be very clear: This ruling changes nothing in Minnesota today, tomorrow, or as long as I am governor,” the Tweet read. “We will not turn back the clock on reproductive rights. Minnesotans deserve to decide for themselves when to make the most important decision of their lives – whether or not to become a parent. Today, that fundamental right to personal freedom and privacy – a right that we have held for half a century – was overturned.”

Walz went on to express sympathy with Minnesotans and others across the country, and said he will stand with Minnesotans in the fight to protect access to reproductive health care and abortion.


In Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds Tweeted a statement saying, “I won’t rest until every unborn Iowan is protected and respected.”

She goes on to say “the Supreme Court’s greatest moments have come when it allows America to embody more perfectly the enduring truth on which it was founded: that all human beings, without exception, are created equal. By that measure, today’s historic decision is clearly one such moment. But the fight for life is not over.”