BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:
Section 1. That § 22-16-34 be amended to read as follows:
22-16-34. Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person while resisting any attempt to murder such person, or to harm the unborn child of such person in a manner and to a degree likely to result in the death of the unborn child, or to commit any felony upon him or her, or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person is.
Section 2. That § 22-16-35 be amended to read as follows:
22-16-35. Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person in the lawful defense of such person, or of his or her husband, wife, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant, or the unborn child of any such enumerated person, if there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony, or to do some great personal injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished.
This amendment is about one thing: allowing the family members of pregnant women to kill abortion providers.
Look at the law as it stands now, without the underlined sections. That language still allows people to protect others from assault and battery, as well as any other felony or personal injury. By definition, an unwanted medical procedure constitutes battery, so if someone attempts to force a woman to unwillingly abort a pregnancy, deadly force can already be used. What this amendment does is change the rules so that the risk of "some great personal injury" to the fetus, independent of the woman's consent, can justify using deadly force.
So assume a husband finds out that his wife is seeking an abortion. He watches her walk into
This is a terrible law, and the state representative proposing it should have to answer some tough questions about how he can possibly think this is a good idea (assuming, of course, he isn't a cavalier endorser of murdering abortion providers, which he might well be). Cue the surprise, then:
Jensen did not return calls to his home or his office requesting comment on the bill...
UPDATE: Jensen has commented at last, saying that the restriction to "lawful defense" means that an attempt to use murder to prevent an abortion would be excluded from the law's protection. I'm not sure he's correct, though, if he is, what exactly does he intend his amendment to accomplish? A threat to an unborn child that can be stopped via deadly force is almost certainly going to also pose a threat to the pregnant woman carrying it, and, as I noted above, such threats are already covered by the justifiable homicide statute. So what does he think he's changing here? He offered this example to Greg Sargent:
"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."Is Jensen arguing that "beat[ing] on his ex-girlfriend's abdomen in trying to abort her baby" doesn't fall under the category of "felony" or "great personal injury"? His story doesn't add up.