South Dakota Moves To Legalize Killing Abortion Providers?
That’s the headline. It’s all over the place. According to whoever wrote this, it could “in theory”, legalize killing abortion doctors. Pretty harsh huh? The part they cite that provides that logic is:
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.
Absolute legal rubbish. Anyone knows state laws can not over-ride federal laws. Murder is still murder. This bill is obviously intended to allow a mother to protect herself. Duh. Apparently Kate Sheppard doesn’t know murder is a felony. Never one to miss a good opportunity, Vicki Saporta of National Abortion Federation jumped in as well:
“The bill in South Dakota is an invitation to murder abortion providers… 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,”
Vicki missed the recent case where an abortion doctor was killed and the murderer used that very defense. It didn’t work.
The bill has been tabled, meaning it won’t even be debated or voted on. So, the headline, which was grossly wrong in the first place, is more wrong now. South Dakota is not “moving”. The bill is dead. And, they never moved to “legalize killing abortion providers”. Implicit or not. Fun headline, but wrong on every level. Anyone think there will be a headline somewhere about reporters writing misleading stories? Polls are still fun tho. I think most people are on to Kate.
One update, the bill has been re-written to clarify that this not open season on abortion doctors. It still is DOA and most likely never will be considered IMO. Not so much because of the controversy, but because it’s a very poorly written piece of legislation.