Bill Doesn’t OK Shooting Abortion Practitioners, Despite Fear

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 15, 2011   |   2:58PM   |   Pierre, SD

Abortion activists are up in arms today over legislation in South Dakota that they claim would allow state residents to shoot abortion practitioners in an effort to save unborn children and face no criminal punishment.

The left-wing magazine Mother Jones published a story today that is making its way around the Internet saying it would allow a form of “justifiable homicide” in certain circumstances — most notably when it comes to abortion.

“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 publication claims. “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, 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,” the liberal, pro-abortion publication continues.

But Guy Benson of TownHall followed up on the claims and says they are baseless. He talked with Republican State Representative Phil Jensen, the sponsor of the legislation.

“This has nothing to do with abortion because abortion is a legal act,” Jensen told the TownHall reporter. “This only deals with protecting against illegal acts.  We’re trying to bring some continuity to South Dakota code.  Making unborn children a protected class under the law is consistent with the rest of our state code.”

Instead, the bill could allow those who stop violence against pregnant women to have a defense.

“If someone walks up to a pregnant woman and starts punching her abdomen to abort her pregnancy, that woman, or her husband, could use justifiable force to save that child’s life,” the legislator said

Benson has more on how Mother Jones is admitting somewhat that it’s concerns are overblown and that it is employing scare tactics designed to stir up pro-abortion activists. Read his full report here.