South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) turned the tables on CNN host Dana Bash Sunday when the journalist attempted to corner Noem over South Dakota’s pro-life laws.
During a segment on “State of the Union,” Bash asked Noem about South Dakota’s pro-life “trigger” laws, which are set to take effect because the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Bash invoked the story of a 10-year-old girl, the victim of child rape, who was forced to travel outside of her home state of Ohio for an abortion because the Buckeye State outlawed abortion after the Supreme Court’s historic decision.
“Will the state of South Dakota going forward force a 10-year-old in that very same situation to have a baby?” Bash asked.
But Noem, sensing the attempted ambush, flipped the script — and Bash agreed with her.
“You know what I think is incredible, Dana, in this tragic story? Because I heard about this last night,” Noem responded. “What’s incredible is that nobody’s talking about the pervert, horrible and deranged individual that raped a 10-year-old.”
“What are we doing about that? What are we doing about those individuals that do this to these children?” the governor added.
“Right,” Bash responded. “I agree with you, I mean, of course. That is an important discussion to have.”
Noem went on to predict that incidents of child abuse will never begin to decrease unless America addresses “those sick individuals that do this to our children.”
“Right. I couldn’t agree more,” Bash said again.
Bash asks Gov. Kristi Noem if South Dakota would force a 10-year-old to have a baby
Despite agreeing with Noem, the CNN host still asked her whether the 10-year-old girl should be forced to birth the child.
“Every single life is precious. This tragedy is horrific. I can’t even imagine. I have never had anybody in my family or myself gone through anything like this. I can’t even imagine,” Noem responded. “But, in South Dakota, the law today is that the abortions are illegal, except to save the life of the mother.”
Noem added that she is not “OK” with the young girl being pregnant, saying the story “breaks my heart.”
“I don’t believe a tragic situation should be perpetuated by another tragedy,” Noem said. “And so there’s more that we have got to do to make sure that we really are living a life that says every life is precious, especially innocent lives that have been shattered, like that 10-year-old girl.”
In the end, Noem defended what the Supreme Court ruled about abortion, namely that states should decide for themselves what restrictions should or should not be placed on abortion.
“That situation, the doctor, the family, the individuals closest to that will make the decisions there for that family,” Noem said of the 10-year-old girl. “That’s what’s interesting about the time we live in right now, is every state will have different laws on the books. The decisions will be made by the legislators that are closest to the people. That’s appropriate. It’s the way our Constitution intended.”