F&P Episode 115: South Dakota’s Pivotal Moment on Abortion

South Dakota’s 2023 legislative session marked the first time that state lawmakers had gathered since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its June 24, 2022 decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and restored to the states the ability to set their own public policy on abortion. Host Michael Pauley is joined by Dale Bartscher, the Executive Director of South Dakota Right to Life, for a discussion on how state lawmakers responded to the Dobbs decision, and how South Dakota’s pro-life community is responding to a citizen-initiated amendment that proposes to create an unlimited right to abortion in the state constitution.

F&P Episode 114: Obscenity and the First Amendment

During the 2023 legislative session, South Dakota lawmakers introduced five different bills that sought to regulate the spread of obscenity, especially by limiting the access of minors to harmful materials. Despite a growing public awareness of the harms caused by obscene material and programs, not one of the anti-obscenity bills made it through the legislature. Michael Pauley is joined by Norman Woods of the South Dakota Family Heritage Alliance to discuss the debate surrounding obscenity laws, the role of the courts and their interpretation of the First Amendment, and the surprising involvement of South Dakota’s public-school establishment in opposing anti-obscenity legislation.

F&P Episode 113: The abortion pill on trial

In the year 2000 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug mifepristone (also known as RU-486 or Mifeprex) as part of a regimen for chemically induced abortions. But on April 7, 2023—late on Good Friday—a federal judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction that suspended the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, pending a trial on the merits of the case. The preliminary injunction was partially reversed on appeal, but the judge’s opinion in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA casts a spotlight on the damage that mifepristone has caused to women and their preborn children. Host Michael Pauley is joined by Adam Schwend of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America to discuss the implications of the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine case, regarded by many legal experts as the most important abortion-related litigation since the Dobbs decision.

F&P Episode 112: Marijuana, addiction, and South Dakota’s future

In 2022 voters rejected a measure to legalize recreational marijuana in South Dakota. Yet in the 2023 session of the state legislature, a dozen bills were introduced related to marijuana, and in 2024 yet another ballot measure on marijuana is likely to come before voters. Why is this issue still so unsettled? To answer this question, host Michael Pauley is joined by Jim Kinyon, the Chairman of Protecting South Dakota Kids, and the Executive Director of Catholic Social Services in Rapid City. Jim and Mike discuss the ambitions of the marijuana industry in South Dakota, some troubling aspects of the state’s “medical marijuana” program, and why Catholics should care deeply about the effects that marijuana has on our society.

House Bill 1116

The South Dakota Catholic Conference supports passage of HB 1116, which would prohibit the use of any state funding or state resources, including public school district resources, for promoting or hosting content that is lewd and lascivious. The bill defines “lewd and lascivious” as including obscene live conduct that appeals Read more…

House Joint Resolution 5006

The South Dakota Catholic Conference opposes House Joint Resolution 5006, which seeks to amend the state constitution to permit mobile sports betting throughout the state. The Catholic Church does not understand games of chance to be inherently wrong in every instance. However, very serious concerns arise in the context of Read more…

House Bill 1129

The South Dakota Catholic Conference supports passage of HB 1129, which would establish certain safeguards in South Dakota’s medical marijuana program to protect patient safety and prevent abuses. The use of marijuana for medical purposes was legalized when voters approved Initiated Measure 26 in 2020. The Church teaches, “The use Read more…

Senate Concurrent Resolution 602

The South Dakota Catholic Conference supports passage of SCR 602, a legislative resolution that affirms support for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the high court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade and its creation of a national entitlement to abortion. Regarding Read more…

Senate Bill 117

The South Dakota Catholic Conference opposes passage of SB 117, a bill that would double the amount of money that can be spent on a video lottery machine game, from two dollars to four dollars, and increase the award amount per bet from $1,000 to $2,500. While games of chance Read more…

Senate Bill 75

The South Dakota Catholic Conference supports passage of SB 75, which modifies existing laws related to parental support for a child born out of wedlock. SB 75 provides that both the father and mother are jointly responsible for paying the expenses related to pregnancy or prenatal care for the child, Read more…

Senate Bill 57

The South Dakota Catholic Conference opposes passage of SB 57, which would limit the ability of students receiving alternative instruction (e.g., homeschooled students) to participate in school district activities such as athletics and fine arts. SB 57 would reverse a key component of SB 177, a 2021 enactment supported by Read more…

F&P Episode 111: Sex, gender, and surgery: a Catholic doctor’s perspective

Host Michael Pauley is joined by Dr. Alfonso Oliva, a physician specializing in plastic and reconstructive surgery, and a member of the Executive Board of the Catholic Medical Association. Dr. Oliva and Michael discuss the various controversies surrounding the use of drugs and surgeries as “treatment” for persons experiencing gender dysphoria. What are the purported benefits of such procedures, and what are the known complications? Dr. Oliva shares his thoughts concerning the rapid rise in cases of reported gender dysphoria among adolescent females, and the growing trend of administering drugs and performing so-called “gender reassignment” surgeries upon minors in the United States.

House Bill 1080

The South Dakota Catholic Conference supports the passage of House Bill 1080. This legislation, often referred to as the “Help Not Harm” bill, would prohibit medical providers from prescribing puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones, or conducting mutilating surgeries on a child who has emotional distress surrounding his or her sex. HB Read more…

Abortion Amendment

2024 Abortion Amendment Proposed Amendment Would Legalize Abortion in South Dakota On June 24, 2022, when the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, South Dakota won the freedom to immediately begin enforcing a law passed in 2005 that protects preborn children and their mothers Read more…

F&P Episode 110: The abortion threat in South Dakota

Michael Pauley is joined by Jon Hansen for a discussion of a proposed amendment that would create a right to abortion in the South Dakota state constitution. Hansen is the Speaker Pro Tempore of the South Dakota House of Representatives and also serves as Vice President of South Dakota Right to Life. Hansen and Pauley discuss the implications of the proposed constitutional amendment, which would be placed on the ballot for the November 5, 2024 election, if sponsors are able to gather the legally required number of signatures. Supporters of the amendment describe it as an initiative to put Roe v. Wade into the state constitution, but Hansen explains the amendment would impose a legal regime of unrestricted abortion-on-demand that is far more radical than the policy under Roe.

F&P Episode 109: Marijuana: Panacea or Poison?

Chris Motz and Michael Pauley welcome Dr. Bonnie Omdahl for a conversation about marijuana, Initiated Measure 27, and public health. Dr. Omdahl explores what medical science says about the effects of marijuana on brain development, mental health, and physical health. Chris and Mike share thoughts on the huge gap between the scientific reality of marijuana and public perceptions of the drug. A Gallup survey reports that 71 percent of Americans consider chewing tobacco to be “very harmful” to one’s health, but only 27 percent said the same about marijuana. Dr. Omdahl offers her prescription for what can be done to make cultural perceptions of marijuana better conform to reality.

F&P Episode 108: Marijuana and Crime

Co-host Michael Pauley is joined by Pat West, Sheriff-elect of Meade County, for a discussion of marijuana and its association with criminal behavior. Michael and Pat examine a number of questions relevant to Initiated Measure 27, a proposal in the November 8, 2022 election to legalize the possession, use, and distribution of marijuana in South Dakota. Will legalizing marijuana reduce crime, or make it worse? Is marijuana a “gateway drug” that leads to the use of illicit drugs that are even more toxic, such as heroin or cocaine? What are “marijuana edibles,” and what dangers do they pose? What are the challenges that law enforcement face when dealing with drivers who are under the influence of marijuana? Michael and Pat explore how marijuana use by a minority of the population has adverse effects on the whole of society.