South Dakota Politicians Defend Controversial Fetus BillBy Liz Goodwin
The bill, which made it out of committee with the support of Republicans in a party-line vote, is intended to make it legal for a woman or her relative to kill someone who is attempting to illegally harm her unborn child, South Dakota state Rep. Phil Jenson told Montgomery. Since abortion is legal, anyone killing an abortion doctor would not qualify for the law's stipulation of justifiable homicide in cases where pregnant women kill people threatening the life of their unborn child.
"It's being spun in an amazing way, that those who support this bill are hoping to see abortion doctors murdered or something. I can't think of anything further from the truth," Rep. Steve Hickey, a co-sponsor of the bill, told Montgomery. "I know that's not the intention of the sponsor. That's not even an unintended consequence." It is already justifiable homicide in the state to kill someone who is attempting to harm your spouse or child.
But abortion rights defenders say that those who have committed or attempted violence against abortion providers have tried to use the justifiable homicide defense before. Any mention of justifiable homicide and fetuses in the same law is a signal to extremists, they say.
"The bill in South Dakota is an invitation to murder abortion providers," Vicki Saporta, the president of the National Abortion Federation told Mother Jones' Kate Sheppard, who first brought the bill to national attention. She notes that anti-abortion extremists have killed eight doctors and tried to kill another 17 since 1993. The pro-abortion rights South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families said they worried a "misguided extremist [could invoke] this 'self-defense' statute to justify the murder of a doctor, nurse or volunteer."
Abortion has been a battleground in the state in recent years. In 2006, South Dakota's governor signed a bill that banned abortion in an attempt to get the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade. Voters repealed the law in a referendum shortly after. Women seeking abortions are told in the state that they are ending a "unique" life and must wait 24 hours for the procedure. There is only one abortion clinic, according to The New York Times. According to the Guttmacher Institute, South Dakota is the sole state that defies federal law and does not allow women who have been raped or are the victims of incest to access Medicaid to pay for abortions.
The bill's supporters told Montgomery they are open to changes to the bill. Jensen says he's meeting with state Attorney General Marty Jackley to adjust the bill.
This law makes no sense, cause it basically saying, that if someone, is killing or attempting to cause serious harm to an unborn child, illegally; that in the eyes of the state it would be justified for the woman or her relative to kill that someone.
When was the last time anyone heard of someone attempting to cause harm or killing a unborn child without first harming the mother? And if someone misreads or omits the “attempting” part of law the statue of limitation comes in play (can a person kill said person after the fact or is it only okay when it’s self-defense or defense of others, in the heat of the moment). Plus, I can see how this can easily get switch around where some extremism takes it too far and gets pregnant or is pregnant and sets out to find some illegal abortionist just to kill them or pretends that they didn’t know the doctor was practicing legally and kills them.
In all honesty, this low is not necessary, when you consider that illegal abortions are against the law and causing harm or attempting to kill anyone is already justifiable, which also covers pregnant woman.
So, seriously, give me a real life example were this law is needed and that no current law covers, any part of the example. Only way this law works if you go soap opera style and have a woman in a situation where she is being forced to have an illegal abortion (which in by being force to have one, already makes it illegal, just saying) and she has to kill the person or people trying to give her one or relative comes to save her and the baby. But you can still take that apart, she’s being caused harm so the killing would be covered under the current law. It might work if someone is trying to kill an unborn child only and not the mother by doing something that causes no harm to the mother, like poisoning of some kind and the woman realizes and kills them. And if it’s about illegal abortions then it would have to justified killing of not just the doctor but of all people involved, I’ve never heard of someone randomly going around killing unborn babies or doing abortions, for no reason and without hurting the mother or having her consent. And if you are so in rage or feel protective then you have to kill the woman too cause she wouldn't be there if she didn't want it.
Even, people that steal babies for a mother’s womb are covered by laws already on the books, so I see not point to this law. I do see, someone trying to justify a killing by twisting this law around, though. I’m not saying abortion is right, I would never do it, I also would never tell someone else what to do with their body and I can see why woman do it in cases of rape and medical reasons. But I don’t see why extremism think it’s their right or it’s justified to kill someone (no matter what they did or do) when they are supposedly fighting to save lives, pro-life means you are for all life, no expectations.