Sections of HB1217 Vetoed

Today Governor Noem issued a partial veto of HB1217. Commonly referred to as a “style and form veto,” this veto proposes changes to a piece of legislation. Her recommendations include:

-Striking college athletics from Section 1, striking Section 2, and striking Section 4.

As we see it, these changes are subject to two questions:

-Are the changes a good idea? 

-Are they within her authority to make?

The answer to both questions, is no.

To the first question – Are these changes a good idea?

No, we do not see them as friendly, helpful, or needed. We cannot be in the position of claiming that “biology matters in high-school, but not when you get to college.” This claim will not stand up in court, nor is it based in reality. The changes suggested by the Governor would delete approximately half of the bill’s language.

To the second question – Are they within her authority to make?

No, these changes are not within her authority to make. Article 4, Section 4 of the SD Constitution clearly states that “Bills with errors in style or form” may be returned to the legislature with recommended changes. Even if the proposed changes were beneficial, they are outside of her authority to make. These changes are not corrections to errors in style or form, but instead, would set a dangerous precedent for lawmaking in South Dakota.

The Governor’s recommendations will be delivered to the Legislature on veto day, and the members will be asked to approve or disapprove of her recommendations.

If the members vote not to approve of the recommendations, the South Dakota Constitution says that the Governor will certify that the recommendations were not accepted and “…it shall be returned to the Legislature as a vetoed bill.”

Reference Links:

HB1217 Full Text

The Governor’s Message

Article 4 of the SD Constitution

Supreme Court uses Bostock to Legislate

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in three Title VII cases by a vote of 6-3. Title VII prohibits discrimination in employment “on the basis of sex,” and dates back to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In today’s ruling the Court has said that an employer who fires an individual “merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII.” In essence, the Court ruled that the word “sex” in laws from the 1960’s also covers sexual orientation and gender identity.

In his dissenting opinion, (Justice Thomas agreeing), Justice Alito wrote that

 “There is only one word for what the Court has done today: legislation.”


 “A more brazen abuse of our authority to interpret statutes is hard to recall.”

The ruling creates multiple problems, including:

-Undermining equal opportunities for women.

-Jeopardizing the bodily privacy of individuals.

-Placing the religious freedom and conscience rights of employers at risk.  

Today’s decision brought criticism from many faith leaders across the nation, including:

Franklin Graham: “I believe this decision erodes religious freedoms across this country. People of sincere faith who stand on God’s Word as their foundation for life should never be forced by the government to compromise their religious beliefs.” (1)

Sarah Kramer: “…the Court has delivered a truly troubling decision: Unelected officials and courts can effectively rewrite laws—forcing Americans to guess what the law means—including something as fundamental as the meaning of ‘sex.’” (2)

Tony Perkins: “The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling today that makes the nation’s high court look more like a uber-legislative body than a judicial one.”

“In redefining the term that describes biological sex, the Supreme Court took the question of protected categories out of the hands of the American people and once again created judicial legislation.” (3)

& Jim Daly: “I’m extremely disappointed to learn that the U.S. Supreme Court today took it upon itself to brazenly rewrite a federal employment statute to add sexual orientation and gender identity to a list of protected classes contained in the 1964 Civil Rights Act.” (4)

1 – Franklin Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

Remarks posted to his personal Facebook page June 15, 2020. LINK

2 – Sarah Kramer, Alliance Defending Freedom

Supreme Court Delivers a Troubling Decision Against Harris Funeral Homes, June 15, 2020 LINK

3 – Tony Perkins, Family Research Council

Supreme Court Rewrites Civil Rights Act, June 15, 2020 LINK

4 – Jim Daly, Focus on the Family

6 Supreme Court Justices Brazenly Proclaim Themselves Legislators in Landmark Decision, June 15, 2020 LINK

Election Resources

The Primary Election is coming soon in South Dakota, do you know which candidates represent your values? We can help!

First, for the candidates who are running for re-election, you can check their Legislative Scores on the FHA Action scorecards to see how they line up with the positions of FHA Action.

2020 Scorecard

2019 Scorecard

2018 Scorecard

Second, you can check an incumbent’s score with South Dakota Right to Life.

SD Right to Life Scorecard

Finally, we have launched a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) compliant, Legislative Voter Guide for every district! Visit to learn more.

Stopping Commercial Surrogacy – HB1096

HB1096 is an act to stop the business of commercial surrogacy in South Dakota. Commercial surrogacy is a practice that a New York task force previously labeled as “indistinguishable from the buying and selling of children.”

Below is a video of Jennifer Lahl and Kelly Martinez giving testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee in South Dakota. Jennifer Lahl is a widely recognized expert on the topic of surrogacy, and Kelly Martinez is a mother from the Custer area who has been taken advantage of by abusive surrogacy contracts.

Ask your Senator to Support HB1096!

Click Here to watch the entire committee hearing,

or Click Here to contact your Senator!

HB1057 – Vulnerable Child Protection Act

HB1057 failed in Senate Health & Human Services Committee on a 5-2 vote.


New South Dakota bill protects children from harmful drugs, surgeries and treatments Rep. Fred Deutsch and 46 co-sponsors introduce Vulnerable Child Protection Act Tuesday

PIERRE, S.D. – Rep. Fred Deutsch Tuesday introduced the Vulnerable Child Protection Act, a bill to prevent medical harm against children struggling with questions about their identity.

Deutsch, who represents South Dakota’s 4th District, is a civic leader who has devoted his life to protecting and helping children – as a school board member, in his work with the Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and now as a legislator. The Vulnerable Child Protection Act’s singular objective is to shield children from harm.

“Every child in South Dakota should be protected from dangerous drugs and treatments,” said Deutsch. “The solution for children’s identification with the opposite sex isn’t to poison their bodies with mega-doses of the wrong hormones, to chemically or surgically castrate and sterilize them, or to remove healthy breasts and reproductive organs. The solution is compassionate care, and that doesn’t include catastrophically and irreversibly altering their bodies.”

No studies have shown that these drugs and procedures are safe for children, but the permanent harm they can do is undeniable. However, parents are frequently given inaccurate, incomplete, and sometimes false information about the dangers of these treatments.

“Parents are further told that these treatments are well-studied, safe, and necessary. They are warned that if they do not consent to medical treatment, their child will be at higher risk of suicide,” said Deutsch. “But there’s no evidence to support this claim. Kids who are contemplating suicide require evaluation and treatment for conditions such as depression and anxiety. Castration, hysterectomies, puberty blockers and high dose hormones are not treatments for psychological conditions.”

The hasty intervention for children who are unsure of their identity ignores the experiences of the vast majority of young people. The Vulnerable Child Protection Act will prevent clinics and practitioners from pushing children and their parents to the point of no return.

“An ever-increasing number of people who had so called sex reassignment as minors now find themselves regretting the decision as they’ve matured. Performing irreversible sex reassignment on a minor whose brain is still developing is wrong,” Deutsch continued. “But we can try to prevent harm to those who may later regret it by hitting the pause button before someone pushes a child into a mistake today that cannot be corrected tomorrow.”

The bill was introduced Tuesday, January 14th.

Contact for media interview information:
Rep. Fred Deutsch, 605-868-9010

An informational website was started for HB1057, visit for more info.

Ministry Leaders’ Capitol Summit

Join us for the 2020 Ministry Leaders’ Capitol Summit!

February 6, 9:00am (CST) – Capitol Lake Visitor Center

Every year, pastors, priests, and para-church ministry leaders come to the Capitol for a day of inspiration, networking, and encouragement! Join us February 6 in Pierre, as we take everyone through a hands-on experience of how their State Government works and how we as Christians can be salt and light in this arena!

Phil takes you through a brief tour of the capitol and explains how you can have an impact!

Register today!

Summit Registration (Rapid City Bus)

Summit Registration (Sioux Falls Bus)

Summit Registration (Own Transportation)

Stand for Women’s Rights in Athletics

Do you have daughters who play sports? Did you play sports in high school or college? If you or someone you know played sports and wants to stand for fairness for female athletes to ensure male athletes do not take spots away from our young girls, we have an opportunity for you.

Join the Independent Women’s Forum in a friend-of-the-court brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in a landmark case being heard this fall, Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC, and stand for fairness in women’s athletics. The brief will explain the history of women in sports, how federal law has historically helped to ensure women had equal opportunities, and how women would be significantly harmed if they’re forced to compete against men who believe they are female.

How You Can Let Your Voice Be Heard

· You can stand for fairness and equality in women’s sports by going to Sign Your Support and joining hundreds of athletes and parents of athletes across the country.

· Share the Sign Your Support page with your friends and neighbors at church, school, and work.

· Share the Sign Your Support on your Facebook page noting that this is an opportunity for athletes and parents of athletes to stand for fairness in girls’ sports.

Thank you for considering this important opportunity to let your voice be heard at the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of female athletes across the country and those who stand beside them.

2018 Report Shows Elective Abortions on the Decline in South Dakota

South Dakota Right to Life (SDRTL) is more than grateful for the recent news reported by the South Dakota Department of Health that the number of elective abortion procedures performed in South Dakota went down from 497 in 2017 to 382 in 2018. This 23% reduction from the previous year is significant but not unexpected as SDRTL, in part through the efforts of its 42 Chapters, has been diligently working statewide to enhance our culture of life through education and pro-life Legislation.

Our efforts for championing life here in SD are encouraged by our partnering with other South Dakota pro-life advocacy groups such as the Family Heritage Alliance, Concerned Women for America, Respect Life, Sidewalk Advocates for Life, 40 Days for Life, Life Runners, SD Pregnancy Help Centers and the Catholic Conference among others. We are stronger and better together!

The South Dakota State Legislature passed six pro-life bills this year and our pro-life Governor signed them all into law. We are winning the science and we are winning the hearts and minds of reasonable, fair-minded South Dakotans of all ages.

With an attitude of compassion and truth, we are intensely committed to saving unborn babies. With that same fervor, we are concerned for and reach out to the mothers who are facing a difficult time in their lives and need our support. We ache for the fathers who have no legal recourse to protect their child and who also suffer loss in the death of that child. We love the elderly and those with disabilities whose lives are threatened by assisted suicide and other forms of euthanasia. And yes, we are concerned for those who do harm to all these precious human beings. We encourage them to join us in protecting life.

This report of the reduction of elective abortions is welcomed news as it is by far our lowest rate since statistics began to be kept in 1973. This being said, we will not rest until the God-ordained right to life is protected for every human being in our great state of South Dakota.