Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is under fire after defending the Supreme Court's overturn of Roe v. Wade even after being challenged with the horrific story of a pregnant 10-year-old Ohio rape victim forced to flee to another state to obtain an abortion in recent days.
Noem, a diehard supporter of former Republican President Donald Trump, who has long been suspected of having presidential ambitions herself, was repeatedly asked by CNN's Dana Bash whether she would force a child in South Dakota into a similar situation.
Noem refused to answer the question again and again, changing the subject instead to the Ohio girl's rapist.
The story of the Ohio grade-schooler has shocked many across the nation and has served as a chilling warning of the impacts of the Supreme Court's decision now that abortion rights are no longer federally protected.
Ohio is one of many states with a so-called "trigger law" in place that took effect the moment Roe v. Wade was overturned, banning abortions in the state after six weeks without exception.
The 10-year-old rape victim was hence forced to go to Indiana, which is poised to ban abortion too but will not do so until its next legislative session on July 25.
Asked by Bash if Noem would force citizens of South Dakota, which also has a trigger law in place, into similar situations, she responded by changing the subject.
She told Bash:
“What’s incredible is that nobody’s talking about the pervert, horrible and deranged individual that raped a 10-year-old, and what are we doing about that?"
Given that is not at all the question Bash posed, Bash restated her query, to which Noem responded:
"Every single life is precious. This tragedy is horrific...
"But in South Dakota, the law today is that abortions are illegal except to save the life of the mother."
Bash countered by asking Noem if she would be okay with "a 10-year-old girl having to have a baby."
"No, I would never be okay with that. In fact that story will keep me up at night..."
"I don't believe a tragic situation should be perpetuated by another tragedy."
Many found Noem's circular logic infuriating and shockingly cruel.
Though her opponent Democrat Jamie Smith is expected to give Noem a run for her money for the South Dakota Governor's office, Noem is likely to win her reelection bid in November.