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South Dakota's Republican lawmakers may not be keen on the federal Affordable Care Act, but if they have to live with it, they're going to make sure it's abortion-free.

Members of the South Dakota House of Representatives on Tuesday passed HB 1185, which would ban abortions from any taxpayer-subsidized health care plans on a South Dakota health insurance exchange.

Under the Affordable Care Act, each state has to set up a health insurance exchange, where individuals can shop around for health insurance plans and be eligible for government assistance to buy that insurance.

But the act also gave each state the right to opt-out by banning abortion coverage on any taxpayer-subsidized plans.

HB 1185 is South Dakota's opt-out under that law.

Supporters said it simply continued long-standing South Dakota policy against taxpayer-funded abortions.

Opponents said it was hasty for the Legislature to enact policy about health care exchanges before the state has set one up.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard has previously announced his intention to delay setting up a health insurance exchange until next year.

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The bill passed the House 55-15, and now heads to the Senate.

Contact David Montgomery at 394-8329 or


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