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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

February-15-11

SD "Justifiable Homicide" Bill Could Endanger Abortion Providers

In South Dakota, an extreme anti-abortion bill (HR 1171) that would alter the definition of "justifiable homicide" to include killings aimed to prevent harm to an unborn child passed out of the state's House Judiciary Committee by a vote of nine to three. Vicki Saporta, the president of the National Abortion Federation, told Mother Jones, "The bill in South Dakota is an invitation to murder abortion providers."

Following the bill's passage in committee, the language was amended and now reads, "the use of force by a pregnant woman for the protection of her unborn child is an affirmative defense to prosecutions for certain crimes." Kristin Aschenbrenner, a lobbyist for the South Dakota Advocacy Network for Women, clarified, "They always intended this to be a fetal personhood bill, they just tried to cloak it as a self-defense bill. They're still trying to cloak it, but they amended it right away making their intent clear."

In the trial for the murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, Judge Wilbert denied Scott Roeder the right to use a "justifiable homicide" defense. The Feminist Majority Foundation conducts the National Clinic Access Project (NCAP) which is the oldest and largest national clinic defense project in the nation. NCAP's team of experts has been working diligently to stop anti-abortion attacks against abortion providers who works to save women's lives and health.

Media Resources: Mother Jones 2/15/11; People for the American Way 2/15/11; House Bill 1171 2/15/11


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