South Dakota GOP Bill Would Have Legalized Killing Abortion Doctors
Legalized murder? Say what?!
-April Daniels Hussar
Unfortunately, this is not an article in The Onion. According to Mother Jones:
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.
That article is from a few days ago; Thursday morning The New York Times reported that the bill has been “shelved” for now. “Shelved”? As in, put on a shelf to await future consideration? I am almost – ALMOST – speechless. How is it possible that such a thing got beyond the mind of a raving lunatic (let alone an actual state Representative), and into a position where it could be voted on?
But possible it is indeed. If it passed, Mother Jones reports the bill, sponsored by state Rep. Phil Jensen, “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.”
What’s next? A bill that allows someone to kidnap and imprison a woman planning to end her pregnancy? A bill allowing “honor killings”?
What country do we live in?
And don’t think this is the last we’re hearing of this. The bill is off the table for now, but it’s terrifying that it was ever considered up for reasonable debate. In the words of Dave Leach, an Iowa anti-abortion activist who praised the bill, “There may be something I’m overlooking, but from all appearances, this bill would certainly justify an individual taking the life of an abortionist in order to save human lives.”
Can he hear himself?
Though I am pro-choice, I can see where lot of pro-lifers are coming from. I’m talking about the regular, non-raving-lunatic people who truly believe in their hearts that abortion is tantamount to murdering a newborn baby. I don’t agree with them, but it’s not impossible for me to fathom their sentiment. It’s not mind-boggling to me — like, say, they way I am completely astounded as to why anyone would be against gay marriage. It’s a difficult, painful, nuanced debate. I get it. I really do.
But I absolutely cannot imagine living in a world where my husband or father could legally murder a doctor from whom I sought an abortion.
April Daniels Hussar is BettyConfidential’s Executive Editor. Her views are her own.