South Dakota House of Representatives Looks to Justify the Murder of Abortion Providers
Or to put it another way, the nine G.O.P. legislators who voted for extreme anti-choice legislation in House Bill 1171 out of committee have sent Scott Roeder a belated candy-gram. Roeder, infamous for the point-blank gunning down of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, has been turned into a martyr of the Radical Right. Roeder’s actions now seem to be winning the endorsement of the South Dakota House of Representatives. New language in the bill, according to reporting from Kate Sheppard at Mother Jones, is attempting to alter “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’ [to] that person’s unborn child or the unborn child of that person’s spouse, partner, parent, or child.” This could include cases of incest, where the parent of the unborn child is also her father, (or any other family member) trying to force the woman to carry the pregnancy.
While the bill doesn’t directly look to help crazed gunmen like Roeder, it’s the legislative equivalent of Bill O’Reilly going on his television and radio programs and ratcheting up the anger and vitriol in his audience by calling the not-yet-assassinated Dr. Tiller “The Baby Killer.” In an email to Mother Jones, Sara Rosenbaum, a law professor at George Washington University, sums the situation up perfectly: “Constitutionally, a state cannot make it a crime to perform a constitutionally lawful act.” Which is not how the religious right sees a woman’s right to choose at all.