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Debate on Abortion Insurance in South Dakota


The selected healthcare policy is the Health Insurance Abortion Ban in South Dakota which prevents Medicaid funding for any abortion procedures unless the patient’s life is in danger. This directly contradicts federal law of the Hyde Amendment to the Affordable Care Act which allows insurance funding under Medicaid for rape and incest pregnancies as well (Government Accountability Office, 2019). The identified solution is multifactored, attempting to influence the South Dakota state legislature into compliance with federal law. First, the Central Medicaid Services (CMS) can take action with non-compliance it has ignored for over 25 years by putting pressure on the state with fines and funding, ensuring that proper reporting and resource distribution is done for abortions. Furthermore, through the aid of organizations such as Planned Parenthood, the state can be challenged in court and forced to comply.

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This is relevant to the affected population of rape and incest victims who are disadvantaged and forced to pay out-of-pocket healthcare and abortion costs which can be as much as a third of monthly income. South Dakota has the second-highest rate of rape in the country and has significant populations which are influenced either directly or indirectly by this policy. Furthermore, disadvantaged populations are forced to bear the financial burden as well as could have potential implications of negative psychological effects such as depression. Overall, for the state, considering that at least a quarter of individuals who are refused abortions go on to give birth which must be covered by Medicaid, the financial and social costs are much higher in the long term.

The selected elected official is Sarah Stoltz who is the President and CEO of The Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She has the experience and capabilities to reverse such inequitable legislation and has been an avid advocate for women’s reproductive rights. The four presentation techniques that are viable are using factual knowledge, data visualization, predictive analytics, and real-time policy instruments (Williamson, 2014). These use a combination of data to provide a visualization of the status quo, affected populations, and with proper tools, the future impact. It will be a data-driven presentation that focuses on many factual and governance aspects that are effective at presenting a comprehensive case for the issue.


Overall, the presentation went well as it was both highly comprehensive and effective in delivery. The content was well-developed, backed by factual data and competent reasoning, discussing the aspects and implications of the healthcare policy concern. This was the positive aspect of the content of the presentation as the information considered the multifaceted factors and far-reaching outcomes for the vulnerable populations as well as the state health system which greatly suggested that change is necessary. The one concept in content that needs to be improved is the solution as it seemed too general and requires more concrete steps in the context of policymaking, considering that South Dakota largely ignored any mandates for over 25 years.

The method of delivery was successful and positive. It felt that the overall presentation made an impact on the audience, presenting facts and driving advocacy for change. Therefore, the positive aspect was being able to stay connected to the audience and keeping them engaged in the topic. One aspect that could be improved was the effectiveness of opening and closing statements, which would have greatly contributed to the overall competency of the presentation. The style of delivery was highly proficient and focused. Efforts were made to present a professional appearance while maintaining eye contact with the audience, to make a connection between the presenter and those watching. One aspect that could be improved is the clarity of audio and gestures, as these seemed muted and awkward at times, and require further practice for presentation purposes.


The Healthcare Insurance Ban health policy in South Dakota is a public health concern and a direct violation of federal law. It affects vulnerable populations of rape and incest victims which may be carrying the burden. It is vital to resolve this troublesome health policy by creating pressure on state lawmakers to comply with federal CMS and advocate for the patients in need. It was the purpose of this paper to reflect on the policy and the presentation made to bring awareness around it.


Government Accountability Office. (2019). CMS action needed to ensure compliance with abortion coverage requirements. Web.

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Williamson, B. (2015). Digital education governance: data visualization, predictive analytics, and “real-time” policy instruments. Journal of Education Policy, 31(2), 123-141. Web.

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