• South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem proposed a six-week abortion ban, similar to the one in Texas.
  • Republican lawmakers who are anti-abortion declined to take up the bill on Wednesday.
  • Noem’s bill would have encouraged private citizens to sue each other to enforce the ban.

A Republican-led committee in South Dakota’s House declined on Wednesday to consider a bill proposed by state Gov. Kristi Noem that was intended to ban most abortions in the state.

The bill would have banned abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is around six weeks of pregnancy and sometimes before some women realize they are pregnant. The proposal also sought to use lawsuits brought by private citizens, rather than criminal charges filed by state prosecutors, to enforce the bill.

The enforcement mechanism was similar to that of Texas’ six-week abortion ban, which took effect in September of last year and the Supreme Court has thus far declined to block.

The South Dakota House State Affairs committee took a rare step and declined to take up the bill, despite the GOP members also being apposed to abortion, the Argus Leader reported.

Republican state Rep. Spencer Gosch, who is the House speaker and also on the committee, said he had multiple issues with the bill.

“I am as pro-life as can be, and because of that, I do not want to do something that will jeopardize our involvement in a court case that could abolish abortion in this country,” Gosch told the Argus Leader, referring to a separate ongoing legal battle between the state and Planned Parenthood.

Gosch also said the bill was brought last-minute and that he was concerned with its language, The Associated Press reported.

Noem, a Republican who is rumored to be eyeing a potential 2024 White House bid, blasted the lawmakers who rejected the bill, writing in a tweet: “Every single life is precious and deserving of our protection – but apparently South Dakota legislators think otherwise.”

She also shared a video in which she called the decision not to give the bill a hearing “unprecedented in the very worst way.”

The committee did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Some anti-abortion groups also flagged issues with the bill. Dale Bartscher, director of South Dakota Right to Life, said he was concerned that the bill’s language could jeopardize the Planned Parenthood case but added that he hopes another version of the bill will be introduced, according to the AP.

Noem’s bill follows efforts by other state lawmakers to use lawsuits brought by private citizens to enforce new laws. Experts previously told Insider the bills represent a dangerous trend toward legal vigilantism that could upend the American legal system and result in chaos.

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