Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Meanwhile, in South Dakota

The concept of justifiable homicide gets a proposed expansion:
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 in South Dakota is an invitation to murder abortion providers."

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. 
Mr. Jensen argues that this is a totally stupid interpretation of what he wants to achieve with this bill. Because abortions are still legal, the above couldn't possibly have anything to do with abortions!

But if it doesn't have anything to do with abortions, what is its point? Remember that a fetus is inside a woman (the aquarium), so any illegal attempt to harm the fetus is already an attempt to harm the woman, and existing laws cover that. But perhaps Mr. Jensen thinks protecting mere aquaria is not sufficient?

Read the linked article. South Dakota is the place you want to move to if you love forced births. A woman considering abortion in South Dakota cannot find one single doctor in that state who performs them. Doctors must be flown in from other states. And:
Before performing an abortion, a South Dakota doctor must offer the woman the opportunity to view a sonogram. And under a law passed in 2005, doctors are required to read a script meant to discourage women from proceeding with the abortion: "The abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being." Until recently, doctors also had to tell a woman seeking an abortion that she had "an existing relationship with that unborn human being" that was protected under the Constitution and state law and that abortion poses a "known medical risk" and "increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide." In August 2009, a US District Court Judge threw out those portions of the script, finding them "untruthful and misleading." The state has appealed the decision.
Never mind that giving birth poses "a known medical risk" and greater psychological health risks, too, on the basis of a recent study. The point of all this lying is to serve a higher goal: forced births for all!

I would be lying myself if I didn't point out that stuff like this appears to be just fine-and-dandy in the opinion of most South Dakotans. Or at least a sufficient number of them have elected a very anti-abortion state legislature.