South Dakota ‘justifiable homicide’ bill protecting unborn shelved

The bill's sponsor said the bill was meant simply to help protect unborn victims of domestic violence.
By Kathleen Gilbert

By Kathleen Gilbert

PIERRE, South Dakota, February 17, 2011 ( - After pro-abortion forces raised a clamor against a bill for allowing “justifiable homicide” to protect the life of certain individuals, including unborn children, the measure has been shelved for the time being.

The bill’s sponsor, state Republican Rep. Phil Jensen, had said that the language allowing an exception in the law to those who kill “in the lawful defense of ...  his or her husband, wife, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant, or the unborn child of any such enumerated person,” was meant to help protect unborn victims of domestic violence. However, pro-abortion forces had said that the bill would allow for the murder of abortionists who legally kill unborn children.

Although Jensen responded to the uproar by offering new language restricting the law’s scope to “unlawful” harm against unborn babies, consideration of the bill was postponed indefinitely on Wednesday.

Operation Rescue leader Troy Newman, who led peaceful protests of Kansas’s George Tiller before the late-term abortionist was shot to death in May 2009, told the New York Times that violence against abortionists would be antithetical to the pro-life movement.

“The pro-life movement, by definition, is in favor of protecting human life from the moment of conception to natural death, and we reject all forms of violence,” he said. A local Planned Parenthood leader, however, continued to accuse the measure’s backers of introducing the bill as a means of attacking abortionists, according to the Times.

Edited 6:48pm EST

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