TwitterFacebook

S. Dakota Republicans Want to Legalize Killing Abortion Providers

The right wing war against women’s rights gets uglier
Politics • Views: 32,240

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!
Take advantage of our yearly subscription, and save 50% off the normal subscription price! One-year ad-free subscriptions are just $59.95. Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing now and save!
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: 2015-02-13 1:58 pm PST

LGF User's Guide
Recent Pages
Thanos
Upside-Down Winter Weather Could Be Due to a Wavering Arctic Jetstream
The modern day wizards of weather know exactly why the climate conspired to unleash February rain and floods on Alaska, once mocked across the nation as "Seward's Icebox" only to be newly proclaimed by the New York Times as ...

25 minutes ago
Views: 48 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 2 • Rating: 1
ಠ_ಠ
Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras doing a Reddit AMA
Earlier today interested Redditors posed questions to Poitras and Greenwald in Los Angeles, while Snowden posted from Moscow. A rare opportunity for average people to directly communicate with the (in)famous leaker.See the entire discussion HERE Redditor masondog13 asks: What's the ...

2 days, 20 hours ago
Views: 387 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
Rocky-in-Connecticut
Muslims Join Hands At Oslo’s Largest Synagogue
Wait a minute... watching Fox News and the Republican talking heads I learned that all Muslims are bad bad bad and in no way can Islam be interpreted as any sort of peaceful religion. news.yahoo.com OSLO (Reuters) - More than ...

5 days, 1 hour ago
Views: 649 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 6 • Rating: 5
BadExampleMan
Help Tel Aviv Roller Derby move forward!
For the last three years it's been my privilege to help coach a dedicated group of young women who have founded the first Women's Flat-Track Roller Derby league in Israel. They've learned, trained, fought, and worked unbelievably hard to bring ...

6 days, 3 hours ago
Views: 521 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
FemNaziBitch
link-#Domestic Violence, Mass Shootings, and Violent Crime
A recent study found that more than half of the 110 mass shootings in the United States between January 2009 and July 2014 included the murder of a current or former spouse, an intimate partner or a family member. ...

1 week ago
Views: 645 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 3
Great White Snark
Federal Judge Rules Ban on Interstate Handgun Sales Unconstitutional
Added bold is all mine. this was an awkward way to go about gun control anyway. It clearly impacts the law abiding far more than felons, and is by that definition inefficient and intrusive at best. Gonna have to do ...

2 weeks, 1 day ago
Views: 1,237 • Comments: 3
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 3
Lumberhead
No Escape From History
It has been enlightening to watch this entire spectacle play out over the past week. It has indeed. Remarkably, comments that acknowledge verifiable history are treated as controversial. Meanwhile the complete denial of this history, both recent and long ...

2 weeks, 1 day ago
Views: 1,131 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 5
Jayleia
Double Standards in Action
On January 29, 2015, the guy on the LEFT checked into a hotel with a corporate check in hand and is told they don't accept checks. After telling him in order to not be charged for the stay they ...

2 weeks, 6 days ago
Views: 1,388 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 3
 Frank says:

Children are naive -- they trust everyone. School is bad enough, but, if you put a child anywhere in the vicinity of a church, you're asking for trouble.