South Dakota Bill Would Make It Legal to Murder Abortion Doctors [Updated: Or Would It?]


Solidifying its dominance of the crazy-abortion-legislation beat, Mother Jones reports today that a bill in South Dakota “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.” Clearly, this law would further endanger the already precarious safety of all the abortion doctors in South Dakota the four out-of-state abortion doctors who each spend one day a month staffing South Dakota’s lone abortion clinic because the state has had no abortion providers since 1994. [MoJo]

Update: The bill’s sponsor, State Representative Phil Jensen, tells the Plum Line that the legislation would not allow someone to kill an abortion doctor. The bill states that direct family members can kill in defense of a fetus, but Jensen says this only applies to “illegal acts” that threaten the fetus, and abortion is still legal (barely) in South Dakota. So in what situation would this apply? Jensen provides an example:

Say an ex-boyfriend who happens to be father of a baby doesn’t want to pay child support for the next 18 years, and he beats on his ex-girfriend’s abdomen in trying to abort her baby. If she did kill him, it would be justified. She is resisting an effort to murder her unborn child.”