South Dakota Moves To Legalize Killing Abortion Providers

From Mother Jones:

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.

14 Comments

  1. What if I have cause to believe this legislation will lead to the deaths of doctors? Does that mean I’d be justified in killing the South Dakota legislature?

    For the record: I am not planning to kill the South Dakota legislature.

  2. What if the mother plans to take the abortion pill (Mifepristone)? Can you kill her? Or do you have to wait until the baby’s born, then you can kill her? What does the bible say, that will provide the answer.

    1. Problem there is that the Chicoms would just want the land to grow grain for themselves and they’d run the goobers across the borders at gunpoint. So we’d be out the grain and still have the crazies.

  3. WTF!?! What is happening to America?

    As well, there has got to be federal law this state law is conflict with. What will happen if the state says they’re ok for killing an abortion doctor, but the federal government goes after them? What then?

  4. I could be totally mistaken here, but I think it’s not accurate to say this will legalize killing abortion doctors. The proposed language change is with respect to attacking a fetus in the course of an “illegal act,” but of course abortion is still legal so the law wouldn’t apply to that circumstance. Now if the US overturns Roe v. Wade at some point in the future, that’s another story.

    In a law class a few years ago we studied a Kentucky case that this would apply to. A guy and his girlfriend became pregnant, the guy didn’t want the baby, but the girlfriend refused to have an abortion. The guy then forcefully dragged her out to a barn, beat her up (sorry for how unsettling this next part is), reached inside her womb and ripped out the baby, killing it a few months shy of its birth. Because a fetus isn’t regarded as a full-fledged life, he could only be charged with the maximum sentence for assault, which was a few years (I forget exactly). He served it and was released. The South Dakota law is for cases like this, like if someone caught that guy in the act and shot him to keep him from tearing out an in utero baby.

    It is a moral grey area of course, and I’m not defending either side, just giving what I believe is the legal take on it. It does seem to me that forcibly removing a fetus from a woman should carry a stiffer penalty that just beating someone up severely (which is what they’re putting in the SD law), but that’s up for debate.

    there’s more here: http://crime.about.com/od/issues/a/fetalhomicide.htm

    1. sorry, just realized that last part’s wrong. They’re not including a stiffer penalty for crimes against a fetus, they’re saying it’s justifiable to stop such a crime by killing the perpetrator. Still an arguable point though, it seems to me.

  5. The article was updated with the following clarification from REp Jensen:

    “This simply is to bring consistency to South Dakota statute as it relates to justifiable homicide,” said Jensen in an interview, repeating an argument he made in the committee hearing on the bill last week. “If you look at the code, these codes are dealing with illegal acts. Now, abortion is a legal act. So this has got nothing to do with abortion.”

    Which makes sense.

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