Attorney General Headshot

Attorney General Mark Vargo

Attorney General Seal


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 15, 2021

PIERRE, S.D. -- South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has prepared the following statement regarding the appointment of co-counsel in the appeal to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in the matter of Planned Parenthood v. Noem. 

As Attorney General I have made the rights of the unborn a priority.  For many years, Planned Parenthood has denied South Dakota women access to free counseling that is needed to properly inform their consent to the abortion procedure and protect them from coercion and pressure from others to have an unwanted abortion.  The South Dakota Attorney General’s office is tasked with defending all state statutes, including South Dakota’s abortion counseling statute.  Consequently, after the District Court denied the state’s motion to dissolve the injunction on the state’s counseling statute, I consulted the notable constitutional scholar Jay Sekulow.  Mr. Sekulow has served as President Trump’s lawyer and has argued numerous cases in the United States Supreme Court and federal Circuit Courts of Appeals.

As a result of our conversations, Mr. Sekulow and his staff have agreed to co-counsel with attorneys here in the South Dakota Attorney General’s office on the appeal now before the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.  To that end, I have appointed Mr. Sekulow and his staff Special Assistant Attorneys General to work alongside attorneys in the South Dakota Attorney General’s office to assist in preparing the state’s case for the next stage of this litigation in the federal appeals courts.  Mr. Sekulow brings a wealth of experience in the areas of First Amendment and pro-life litigation in the federal courts.  His office’s participation in this case reflects the merits of the state’s counseling statute, the strength of state’s legal position and the importance of this case in the legal fight for the unborn.” 


The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal officer for the State of South Dakota and provides legal advice to agencies, boards, and commissions of the State as well as representing the State in state and federal court.  The Office of Attorney General also handles prosecutions, felony criminal appeals, civil matters, consumer protection issues, and issues formal opinions interpreting statutes for agencies of the state.  Visit to learn more.

Connect with us on Facebook or on Twitter at @SDAttorneyGen

CONTACT: Tim Bormann, Chief of Staff, (605) 773-3215