South Dakota’s “freedom” is fools gold.

South Dakota’s “freedom” is fools gold. We’re the only state where simply have drugs in your body is a criminal offense. That tells you all you need to know about South Dakota actual philosophy about personal freedom.


Michael Specht had been cutting hair for 38 years in the state of Illinois.

“Illinois shut me down because of COVID ran me out of that state like a million other people,” Specht said.

So 10 months ago he moved to South Dakota, because he was told the state would honor his out-of-state barber’s license through the governor’s program ‘Freedom Works Here.’

“I believed what the governor said. I would have an easy go with reciprocity,” Specht said.

Specht was able to get his South Dakota license, but now he feels like the state is still trying to cut his career short.

Because his license falls under cosmetology the state is requiring him to do upgrades to his barbershop.

“Because I’m a licensed cosmetologist in a barber shop they want me to have a shampoo bowl and a shampoo bowl must be installed for me to rent a booth in this shop,” Specht said.

We reached out to the Cosmetology board and they told us, ‘To practice as a cosmetologist, one must be in a licensed salon. Mr. Specht’s location does not meet the basic salon requirements as determined by the Cosmetology Commission in rule and policy’ Tyler Evins Executive Director of the Department of Labor.

In South Dakota, the perception of personal freedom is often contradicted by various restrictive laws and regulations that significantly impact residents’ rights and autonomy. One of the most contentious areas is reproductive rights. South Dakota has implemented some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States. The state enforces a trigger ban that criminalizes abortion except to save the life of the pregnant person. Additionally, there is a mandatory 72-hour waiting period, which excludes weekends and holidays, and requires women to visit a crisis pregnancy center to receive biased counseling before obtaining an abortion (source source).

These laws are compounded by further restrictions, such as prohibiting abortions based on the sex of the fetus or a fetal Down syndrome diagnosis, and limiting the availability of medication abortions to nine weeks (source). Such measures create significant barriers for women seeking reproductive healthcare, often forcing them to travel long distances or endure prolonged waiting periods.

Beyond reproductive rights, other personal freedoms are also curtailed. For example, South Dakota was noted for passing racially charged legislation targeting Asian immigrants under the guise of preventing sex-selective abortions, reflecting broader xenophobic and sexist undercurrents in the state’s legislative approach (source). These laws not only infringe on personal freedoms but also propagate harmful stereotypes and discrimination.

Overall, while South Dakota promotes an image of freedom, its legislative actions tell a different story, with significant restrictions on personal freedoms affecting various aspects of residents’ lives.

South Dakota’s “freedom” is fools gold.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top

New Report