Tuesday, February 15, 2011

South Dakota Bill 1171 makes murder of abortion provider "justifiable homicide"

By Lesley Ciarula Taylor, Toronto Star, February 15, 2011

Controversial South Dakota legislation would extend the definition of justifiable homicide to cover killing anyone trying to cause a fetus harm.
Abortion-rights activists charge that Bill 1171 would legalize the murder of abortion providers.
Eight people have died in the U.S. since 1993 in attacks on abortion clinics; hundreds more faced death threats, assault or attempted murder.
The South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families calls it “the bill to decriminalize shooting doctors, nurses, patients and volunteers at clinics.”
South Dakota Republican Rep. Phil Jensen, sponsor of the much-amended bill, told the Star he’s just trying to make the laws consistent.
In South Dakota, it could become feasible under the law, for those who kill abortion providers, to be able to cite "justifiable homicide" for their actions.
So now we know that the wheels have come off the train, at least in South Dakota. The murder of a doctor, nurse or volunteer at a clinic that provides therapeutic abortions could be called "justifiable homicide".
So, Roe v Wade would, in that case, have effectively become irrelevant. If other states take up this type of legislation, (and notice there have been no abortion providers in South Dakota since 1994), then Roe v Wade would have suffered an irreversible death, along with those who have died, or have received death threats numbers in the hundreds at least.
Who says the U.S. is not becoming a theocracy? Who says there are not radical religious fundamentalist zealots who are willing to justify, in law, the murder of abortion providers, who seem to be gaining the upper hand in some states, like South Dakota?
Let's hope the Mother Jones campaign to protest against this move is successful.

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