TwitterFacebook

S. Dakota Republicans Want to Legalize Killing Abortion Providers

The right wing war against women’s rights gets uglier
Politics • Views: 32,128

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.

Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.

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

LGF User's Guide
Recent Pages
FemNaziBitch
6 Innovative Ways We’re Reinventing Birth Control
Birth control pills and traditional latex condoms have been among the most popular and effective methods of contraception for decades. But innovators think it's time for an upgrade -- not only to increase protection, but also to establish safe ...

2 hours, 55 minutes ago
Views: 61 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Lumberhead
Angry Letters to the One Member of Congress Who Voted Against the War on Terror - the Atlantic
My first attempt at a page - so here we go: The article is a little long but well worth while. I found it to be nicely balanced with interesting excerpts from supporters as well as detractors. Barbara Lee was ...

6 hours, 39 minutes ago
Views: 153 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 3
Randall Gross
NYC Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual Reissued as a Limited-Edition Book
I came of age in Fairbanks, Alaska, where signage, infographics, and semiotics where minimal so please forgive my fascination for things like subway sign standards books and reflective raised pavement markers. The manual will be printed using high-quality scans of ...

12 hours, 10 minutes ago
Views: 116 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 0
The War TARDIS
Doctor Who “Listen” Open Thread
I'm back. Last week, I couldn't do this thread, as something more important was going on. One of my best friends, a sweet, and very devout Christian, is going to the UK to help a Christian Group in Oxford, and ...

2 days, 5 hours ago
Views: 220 • Comments: 41
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
Rightwingconspirator
Are Higher Frame Rates Really a Better Moving Image in Cinema?
As a guy who scratches the surface of this medium with humble indy efforts and some industrial video experience I have to watch carefully. If I commit to the wrong camera or format, it can hurt financially. Once I had ...

3 days, 7 hours ago
Views: 410 • Comments: 6
Tweets: 25 • Rating: 6
Slap
For guitar fans…
I suppose one needs to be a guitar freak of a certain age to recognize both of these guys. Gabrels' work might be familiar to fans of Bowie/Tin Machine. Nelson's work? I believe him to be one of the most ...

3 days, 10 hours ago
Views: 253 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
GlutenFreeJesus
Check your gmail accounts!
Here's the link to the tool. One of mine was on that list, so I changed the password. Good luck! isleaked.com

5 days, 2 hours ago
Views: 470 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 7
I Stand With Big Sodomy!
French speaking tourists wanted for luring, kicking squirrel into Grand Canyon
Needless to say the little guy didn't make it. The tourists are described as two French-speaking men, wearing only cowboy hats and boxer shorts. Story

5 days, 7 hours ago
Views: 586 • Comments: 6
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 6
CriticalDragon1177
Ars Technica - Tasmanian depths may have been hiding unknown animal phylum
As John Timmer at Ars Technica points out, we may have found not only a new species, but a brand new type of animal! This is big news for the science of biology, and zoology in particular! Over the past ...

6 days, 5 hours ago
Views: 415 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 3 • Rating: 0
danarchy
Mysterious Phony Cell Towers Could Be Intercepting Your Calls
Weird stuff. Interceptors vary widely in expense and sophistication - but in a nutshell, they are radio-equipped computers with software that can use arcane cellular network protocols and defeat the onboard encryption. Whether your phone uses Android or iOS, it ...

6 days, 6 hours ago
Views: 324 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 3
 Frank says:

A drug is not bad. A drug is a chemical compound. The problem comes in when people who take drugs treat them as a license to behave like an asshole.