SD House advances bill on immigrant prenatal care

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — After a vigorous debate, the South Dakota House has passed a bill to provide prenatal health care for low-income women who are in the country illegally.

Legislators have voted 46-22 to pass the bill. The Senate will review it next.

Opponents of the bill say it will make South Dakota a sanctuary for immigrants with illegal status. One amendment that failed to pass would have required that hospitals and clinics report mothers who are suspected of being in the country illegally to the federal immigration offices.

The House has accepted an amendment to require an annual report on the medical outcomes and financial impact from the Medicaid expansion proposed in the bill. Supporters say prenatal care for these women will save lives of babies and save the state money.

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