TwitterFacebook

S. Dakota Republicans Want to Legalize Killing Abortion Providers

The right wing war against women’s rights gets uglier
Politics • Views: 32,044

It was bad enough when they tried to redefine rape, and worse when they tried to let pregnant women die rather than have abortions, but now the Republican Party in South Dakota is actually trying to pass a law that would legalize killing abortion providers.

A law under consideration in South Dakota would expand the definition of “justifiable homicide” to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus—a move that could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions. The Republican-backed legislation, House Bill 1171, has passed out of committee on a nine-to-three party-line vote, and is expected to face a floor vote in the state’s GOP-dominated House of Representatives soon.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Phil Jensen, a committed foe of abortion rights, alters the state’s legal definition of justifiable homicide by adding language stating that a homicide is permissible if committed by a person “while resisting an attempt to harm” that person’s unborn child or the unborn child of that person’s spouse, partner, parent, or child. If the bill passes, it could in theory allow a woman’s father, mother, son, daughter, or husband to kill anyone who tried to provide that woman an abortion—even if she wanted one.

Jensen did not return calls to his home or his office requesting comment on the bill, which is cosponsored by 22 other state representatives and four state senators.

“The bill in South Dakota is an invitation to murder abortion providers,” says Vicki Saporta, the president of the National Abortion Federation, the professional association of abortion providers. Since 1993, eight doctors have been assassinated at the hands of anti-abortion extremists, and another 17 have been the victims of murder attempts. Some of the perpetrators of those crimes have tried to use the justifiable homicide defense at their trials. “This is not an abstract bill,” Saporta says. The measure could have major implications if a “misguided extremist invokes this ‘self-defense’ statute to justify the murder of a doctor, nurse or volunteer,” the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families warned in a message to supporters last week.

UPDATE at 2/15/11 9:46:03 am

Greg Sargent got in touch with the bill’s sponsor, State Representative Phil Jensen, and Jensen insisted that the bill would not legalize killing abortion doctors.

I just had a spirited conversation with the bill’s chief sponsor, State Representative Phil Jensen, and he defended the bill, arguing that it would not legalize the killing of abortion doctors.

“It would if abortion was illegal,” he told me. “This code only deals with illegal acts. Abortion is legal in this country. This has nothing to do with abortion.” In other words, since abortion is not “homicide,” the law could not apply.

Jensen’s defense of the bill, however, is unlikely to make abortion rights advocates any happier, since he seemed to dismiss as irrelevant the possibility that the measure could inflame anti-abortion fanatics to violence. …

When I asked Jensen what the purpose of the law was, if its target isn’t abortion providers, he provided the following example:

“Say an ex-boyfriend who happens to be father of a baby doesn’t want to pay child support for the next 18 years, and he beats on his ex-girfriend’s abdomen in trying to abort her baby. If she did kill him, it would be justified. She is resisting an effort to murder her unborn child.”

Pushed on whether the new measure could inflame the unhinged to kill abortion doctors, as some critics allege, Jensen scoffed. “You can fantasize all you want, but this is pretty clear cut,” he said. “Never say never, but if some loony did what your suggesting, then this law wouldn’t apply to them. It wouldn’t be justifiable homicide.”

Asked whether he was conceding that the law could conceivably encourage such behavior, Jensen pushed back: “You could cross the street and get hit by a car. Could happen, couldn’t it?”

^ back to top ^

TwitterFacebook

Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing!
For about 33 cents a day (per month) or 22 cents a day (per year), our subscription option turns off all advertisements at LGF!
Read more...

► LGF Headlines

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Articles

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Pages

  • Loading...

► Top 10 Comments

  • Loading...

► Bottom Comments

  • Loading...

► Recent Comments

  • Loading...

► Tools/Info

► Tag Cloud

► Contact

You must have Javascript enabled to use the contact form.
Your email:

Subject:

Message:


Messages may be published unless you request otherwise.
Tech Note:
Using the Contact Form
LGF Pages

This button leads to the main index of LGF Pages, our user-submitted articles. You can post your own LGF Pages simply by registering a free account with us.

Create a Page

This is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.

Last updated: 2014-03-07 2:19 pm PST

LGF User's Guide
Recent Pages
Randall Gross
Hands on With Facebook’s Nearby Friends
There's a lot that Facebook allows you to share with your friends. On Thursday, the company added "exact location" to that list. Facebook's new Nearby Friends feature enables you to flip a switch to start broadcasting your location with friends in the area. If you see someone nearby with whom you want to meet up, you can tap a button, and send them ...

15 hours, 27 minutes ago
Views: 94 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
FemNaziBitch
A 12-Year-Old’s Trek of Despair Ends in a Noose at the Border
Noemi Álvarez Quillay took the first steps of the 6,500-mile journey to New York City from the southern highlands of Ecuador on Tuesday, Feb. 4, after darkness fell. A bashful, studious girl, Noemi walked 10 minutes across dirt roads that cut through corn and potato fields, reaching the highway to Quito. She carried a small suitcase. Her grandfather Cipriano Quillay flagged down a ...

15 hours, 29 minutes ago
Views: 304 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
palmerskiss
Debate Discrimination - Houston Chronicle
We're glad to see Mayor Annise Parker finally stand up and propose a human rights commission that will provide local due process for victims of public discrimination. Parker told the Chronicle editorial board that she plans to release a formal version of her proposal within the next few weeks, but sometimes the process is just as important as the result. As the energy ...

1 day, 9 hours ago
Views: 139 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
cycroft
Russ Campbell’s Blog: Bill C-23, Fair Elections Act Seems Now on Solid Ground
Now that a Sen­ate com­mit­tee has rec­om­mended nine changes to Bill C-23, Fair Elec­tions Act, the leg­is­la­tion seems pretty solid. And, since Pierre Poilievre has, ap­par­ently, in­di­cated pri­vately that he's open to changes, an amended ver­sion of the bill will likely be­come law by this sum­mer. We would prob­a­bly have got­ten to this point ear­lier had not the min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for the bill ...

1 day, 11 hours ago
Views: 105 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
MichaelJ
Live now - 2014 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach - ASP World Tour
More: 2014 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach - ASP Iconic Bells Beach in Victoria, Australia once again hosts the world's best surfers for the 41st running of the Bells Beach Contest. New feature in this broadcast: drone cam!

2 days, 7 hours ago
Views: 219 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 3 • Rating: 0
Skip Intro
Why the Temperature of the Yellow Sea Is a Big Deal, and Other Questions About the South Korean Ferry Disaster
The boat ran into trouble several dozen miles from Jindo, an island that sticks out of South Korea's southwestern corner like a little toe. Jindo is surrounded by a group of even smaller islands that are slightly farther afield from the mainland. The ferry was curving around those small islands at the time it issued a distress call. What caused the disaster? We ...

2 days, 12 hours ago
Views: 390 • Comments: 3
Tweets: 25 • Rating: 1
Idle Drifter
Calgary stabbings: How knife crime in Canada can cause ‘moral panic’
What Calgary police chief Rick Hanson called the "worst mass murder" in the city's history didn't end at the barrel of a gun. Instead, the 22-year-old suspect identified on Tuesday as Matthew de Grood is accused of entering the kitchen at a house party, taking "a large knife" and using it to fatally stab four men and one woman, all of whom were students ...

3 days, 23 hours ago
Views: 281 • Comments: 6
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
aagcobb
New York Electoral College: State Joins National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
Ben Mathis-Lilley, Slate: New York Electoral College: State Joins National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Instead of pushing for a Constitutional amendment, which would have to be ratified in 38 states, advocates ask individual state legislatures to pass an agreement: that they'll pledge all their presidential electors to the winner of the national popular vote as soon as enough other states pass the law to ...

4 days, 5 hours ago
Views: 282 • Comments: 7
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
Political Atheist
The Insane History of Rockets at Jet Propulsion Laboratories
The Rocket Boys In the late 1930s, a group of Caltech graduate students were booted off campus after blowing up (part of!) their building during a rocket test gone awry. Unwilling to give up on the joy of semi-controlled explosions, the students and a few of their friends headed into the San Gabriel Mountains. They picked a deserted gully -- Arroyo Seco -- ...

5 days, 2 hours ago
Views: 301 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 3
iossarian
Drug Companies Want Your Money
Two thematically-related stories on the BBC at the moment: UK drug company Glaxo 'paid bribes to Polish doctors' UK drug company GlaxoSmithKline is facing a criminal investigation in Poland for allegedly bribing doctors, BBC Panorama has discovered. Tamiflu: Millions wasted on flu drug, claims major report Hundreds of millions of pounds may have been wasted on a drug for flu that works no better ...

5 days, 8 hours ago
Views: 299 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 8 • Rating: 0
 Frank says:

Drop out of school, before your mind rots from exposure to our mediocre educational system. Go to the library and educate yourself if you've got any guts... -- Quoted from an article on FZ in the June 1995 issue of "SLUG" magazine. Article titled "Zappa behind the Sneer. I think the magazine may be a local (Salt Lake City) publication.