In Reason Online, Ronald Bailey has a careful consideration of the ambiguities in the language of the bill.
South Dakota's anti-abortion act does not outlaw contraception. The bill reads that "nothing...may be construed to prohibit the sale, use, prescription, or administration of a contraceptive measure, drug or chemical, if it is administered prior to the time when a pregnancy could be determined through conventional medical testing and if the contraceptive measure is sold, used, prescribed, or administered in accordance with manufacturer instructions."
This language is not a clear as it might at first seem. For example, it generally takes about a week for a fertilized egg to develop into a blastocyst which is capable of implanting itself in a woman's uterus. Then it's another eight days after implantation before the most sensitive commercial pregnancy tests can find that a pregnancy has begun. So "conventional medical testing" cannot detect a pregnancy until two weeks after fertilization, i.e., conception.
Consequently, one possible reading of the statute is that there is a two week window in which the administration of a "contraceptive measure" would be legal and another contradictory reading in which anything after conception would be an illegal abortion. This second reading could outlaw some popular birth control methods. Consider intrauterine devices (IUDs) which can occasionally prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg. And what about high-dosage hormonal emergency contraception such as Plan B, which needs to be taken 72 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse? Again in rare cases, Plan B may halt the implantation of an already fertilized egg.
South Dakota has also banned stem-cell research and any form of human cloning, or any treatments or medicines derived from it. Bailey envisions a possible scenario in which
a U.S. Supreme Court newly packed with anti-abortion justices could use South Dakota's legislation as a vehicle to overturn Roe v. Wade and declare that embryos under the Constitution are people. Such a ruling would not only outlaw abortion nationally, it would also criminalize human embryonic stem cell and cloning research and impose onerous restrictions on in vitro fertilization [because this new bill could be interpreted to outlaw in vitro fertilization in which not all embryos are implanted in a patient's womb. After all, they are by law all "unborn human beings."] America's culture war over who gets to control human reproduction—individuals or the state—is far from over.
Hat tip:Andrew Sullivan.