In South Dakota, Killing Abortion Doctors Is Fair Game?

Kim Conte

pro life signsThe people of South Dakota may claim to be "pro-life," but their recent actions suggest they are anything but.

South Dakota lawmakers are considering a bill that could legalize the murder of abortion providers. Specifically, it would alter the state's definition of "justifiable homicide" to include "resisting an attempt to harm" an unborn child related to the killer.

In other words, as Mother Jones writer points out:

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.

I can't wrap my head around the newest strategy of these alleged "pro-life" activists: Because to me anyone who would advocate for a law that would allow the killing of a human being negates their right to identify as "pro-life."

It should be said that the bill's chief sponsor, State Representative Phil Jensen, does not agree with above interpretation of the bill. In fact, he defended it to the Washington Post, arguing that the intention of the bill was merely to bring consistency to South Dakota's criminal code, and that it would not legalize the killing of abortion doctors:

It would if abortion was illegal ... This code only deals with illegal acts. Abortion is legal in this country. This has nothing to do with abortion. In other words, since abortion is not "homicide," the law could not apply.

But abortion rights supporters don't believe him for a second. That's simply because South Dakota already has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, rendering it nearly impossible for women to safely terminate a pregnancy in the state.

It's not a stretch to imagine this bill -- regardless of its true intentions -- as playing a role in encouraging some extremist activists to kill abortion doctors. That's exactly why abortion rights activists are so scared of it.

Moreover, right-wing groups with anti-abortion agendas -- including the Family Heritage Alliance, Concerned Women for America, the South Dakota branch of Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, and a political action committee called Family Matters in South Dakota -- have thrown their weight behind the proposed bill. Are you going to tell me they are solely interested in the provision that brings "consistency" to the criminal code? Because I, for one, am not buying it ...

Just like I'm not buying that the people behind this bill are truly dedicated to preserving "life" as they so desperately want us to believe.

What do you think of the latest "pro-life" strategy?


Image via AnyaLogic/Flickr

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