It’s okay to kill abortion doctors

Or at least that’s the idea some Republicans in South Dakota want to pass into law.

The bill, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, was introduced in late January by Phil Jensen, a Republican legislator from Rapid City.

If passed, it would provide protection to a family member who kills “in the lawful defense of … his or her husband, wife, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant, or the unborn child of any such enumerated person” by defining the killing as a justifiable homicide.

Emphasis mine.

I hope this bill is destined to be aborted itself, but South Dakota is pretty fanatical about the whole issue. Fortunately, the wording makes it a moot issue since federal law trumps state in these matters and, well, it isn’t exactly legal to allow murder.

Of course, the whole purpose of this part of the bill is being spun a different way.

Jensen insisted the bill “has nothing to do with abortion” and would merely bar prosecutors from pressing charges against a family member who kills an assailant attacking a pregnant relative.

“Let’s say an ex-boyfriend finds out his ex-girlfriend is pregnant with his baby and decides to beat on her abdomen to kill the unborn child,” Jensen said. “This is an illegal act and the purpose of this bill is to bring continuity to South Dakota code as it relates to the unborn child.”

Too bad that isn’t what the bill actually says, huh?

The way Jensen is trying to frame the bill wouldn’t make it unique. Other states have given or sought to give protections to the fetuses of pregnant women. And to an extent I agree with them. We give police, federal agents, and elected politicians more protection under the law in many cases. The reason is because they hold a special place in society. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say expectant mothers hold a special place as well. Of course, the motivation for those bills is always to protect the “unborn child”, not the actual human being, but the result is a good one, I think; I accept it on pragmatic grounds.

It’s just unfortunate that the results of Jensen’s crappy bill would be the legalization of murder in South Dakota. That isn’t very pragmatic.

7 Responses

  1. This is just another attempt of malicious behavior by the jackboot Fascists known as Republicans. They love to propose crap like this and then lie about their intentions. Same old same old.

  2. Since it starts with “in the lawful defense of,” than no, this is not about killing abortion doctors.

    You should give Lawrence O’Donnell Jr. a listen more, he made the point that it shows a lot of restriant when you compare large number of people who believe abortion is equivilant to first-degree murder and the single-digit number of abortion doctors murdered. The anti-abortion community is united against killing abortion doctors, it’s not different than saying all atheists approve of killing members of the clergy.

    Should we even be saying “abortion doctor?” Do you think they prefer to be called “choice enablers”

  3. I doubt they care what you call them, as long as business stays good for them.

  4. “Lawful defense” is being defined as in the defense of the ‘life’ of a fetus. Since abortion doctors are destroying fetuses, the killing of abortion doctors would be justified under this bill.

    http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2011/Bill.aspx?File=HB1171HJU.htm

  5. If that’s true, I’d like to see a link supporting that. The Yahoo link has someone from a pro-choice group concerned that someone may misread the law and think it’s legal to kill abortion doctors.

    This is simply extending the right to kill attackers who would harm an unborn child. The case you’re making – that this is a covert law to legalize something no one supports – is tough to swallow, and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, so please provide some legal experts who will back that up.

  6. From the link in my previous post,

    Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person in the lawful defense of such person, or of his or her husband, wife, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant, or the unborn child of any such enumerated person, if there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony, or to do some great personal injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished.

    Homicide, then, is justified if it is done in order to protect the ‘life’ of an unborn fetus. I’m not seeing any other way to read this.

    That said, I don’t think it’s the intent of the bill to make it okay to kill doctors. That’s just what it says.

  7. “if there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony”

    I think this is the key portion. Is abortion a felony? I don’t think so.

    This is rather similar to other laws that allow an unborn child to be counted as a full person in cases of murder. Such as punching a woman in the stomach to try and produce a miscarriage.

    Specifically this law allows for the use of deadly force “in the defense of” one of those listed people or one of their unborn children.

    Killing a doctor in the process of performing a legal procedure on a willing person, even one listed, does not count as defense of that person, as a reasonable individual would view it.

    At least that’s how I see it. And all I did was read it.

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