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Posted at 11:40 AM ET, 02/15/2011

South Dakota legislator defends bill to make killing to defend fetuses a "justifiable homicide"

By Greg Sargent

An incendiary story by Mother Jones making the rounds on the Web reports that a law being considered in South Dakota would expand the definition of "justifiable homicide" to apply to killings intended to prevent harm to unborn children. Mother Jones writes that the measure "could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions."

I just had a spirited conversation with the bill's chief sponsor, State Representative Phil Jensen, and he defended the bill, arguing that it would not legalize the killing of abortion doctors.

"It would if abortion was illegal," he told me. "This code only deals with illegal acts. Abortion is legal in this country. This has nothing to do with abortion."

Jensen's defense of the bill, however, is unlikely to make abortion rights advocates any happier, since he seemed to dismiss as irrelevant the possibility that the measure could inflame anti-abortion fanatics to violence.

Jensen insisted that the bill's primary goal is to bring "consistency" to South Dakota criminal code, which already allows people who commit crimes that result in the death of fetuses to be charged with manslaughter. The new measure expands the state's definition of "justifiable homicide" by adding a clause applying it to someone who is "resisting any attempt" to murder of an unborn child or to harm an unborn child in a way likely to result in its death.

When I asked Jensen what the purpose of the law was, if its target isn't abortion providers, he provided the following example:

"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."

Pushed on whether the new measure could inflame the unhinged to kill abortion doctors, as some critics allege, Jensen scoffed. "You can fantasize all you want, but this is pretty clear cut," he said. "Never say never, but if some loony did what you're suggesting, then this law wouldn't apply to them. It wouldn't be justifiable homicide."

Asked whether he was conceding that the law could conceivably encourage such behavior, Jensen pushed back: "You could cross the street and get hit by a car. Could happen, couldn't it?"

UPDATE, 11:59 a.m.: Name corrected.

By Greg Sargent  | February 15, 2011; 11:40 AM ET
Categories:  abortion  
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Comments

The Taliban would be so proud.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 15, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Good for Rep. Griffin. California already prosecutes "murder" of a fetus (e.g. Scott Peterson) but explicitly exempts an abortionist (therefore disallowing "justifiable homicide" of said abortionist):

Penal Code Sec. 187. (a) Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought.
(b) This section shall not apply to any person who commits an act
that results in the death of a fetus if any of the following apply:
(1) The act complied with the Therapeutic Abortion Act, Article 2
(commencing with Section 123400) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division
106 of the Health and Safety Code.
(2) The act was committed by a holder of a physician's and surgeon'
s certificate, as defined in the Business and Professions Code, in a
case where, to a medical certainty, the result of childbirth would be
death of the mother of the fetus or where her death from childbirth,
although not medically certain, would be substantially certain or
more likely than not.
(3) The act was solicited, aided, abetted, or consented to by the
mother of the fetus.
(c) Subdivision (b) shall not be construed to prohibit the
prosecution of any person under any other provision of law.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Zip it, Jake.

A woman being punched in the abdomen is already entitled to garden variety self defense.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 15, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

For anyone who thinks that a woman being punched in the abdomen is already entitled to garden variety self defense, that is true but only to a reasonable and non-lethal level. If the same punch would result in the death of the fetus, that's where lethal defense of another comes into play. If anyone else needs that explained, let me know.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Seriously... Sharia Law is nothing compared to these Christofascists.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 15, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

What happens if you're trying to kill somebody to protect a fetus but you accidentally kill a fetus in the attempted protection of that or another fetus?

This actually sounds like license for women to kill their boyfriends and husbands. "Um, yeah. He--uh--thought I as pregnant, right? So, um, he tried to punch me, right, so I killed him. That, and he was sleeping with my best friend."

What if your boyfriend was pushing you to get an abortion? Would that be justifiable homicide? Or would that at least be something you could prosecute (the boyfriend's pushing the girl to get an abortion), like conspiracy to commit murder or attempted murder?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 15, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

OT but...

"The defector who convinced the White House that Iraq had a secret biological weapons programme has admitted for the first time that he lied about his story, then watched in shock as it was used to justify the war."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/15/defector-admits-wmd-lies-iraq-war

I can't believe a war was based off of a lie and the previous administration ran with it.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 15, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm fairly certain that a case with the facts as outlined by Rep. Jensen would NEVER end in a conviction for the woman. If she was being repeatedly punched in the abdomen by her ex, that is threat to her life as well. Under those circumstances she would be entirely justified in taking whatever actions she felt appropriate, up to and including killing her ex, while trying to protect herself.

To claim otherwise is sheer lunacy.

Posted by: raincntry | February 15, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@mikeFromArlington: ""I can't believe a war was based off of a lie and the previous administration ran with it.""

What if it had been true? Even if true, would it have been a reasonable justification for a costly and perhaps ultimately pointless pre-emptive war?

Pre-emptive wars are bad, kids. Mmmkay?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 15, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

O/T but scary. Obama is looking to compromise the New Deal

"President Obama said today that he alone cannot make decisions to reform the significant portions of the federal budget -- namely, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He and congressional leaders will have to work together for several months to make a real dent in the federal debt, the president said. "If you look at the history of how these deals get done, typically it's not because there's an 'Obama plan' out there," Mr. Obama said at a press conference today. "It's because Democrats and Republicans are both committed to tackling this issue in a serious way... We're going to be in discussions over the next several months. I mean, this is going to be a negotiation process." ... Mr. Obama said today that Social Security is not a huge contributor to the deficit, and he is confident the program can be stabilized with "some modest adjustments." On the other hand, "Medicare and Medicaid are huge problems," the president said. "I'm prepared to work with Democrats and Republicans to start dealing with that in a serious way.""

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20032007-503544.html

Gee, How about this: the GOP agrees to "repeal" the Bush Tax Cuts in exchange for gutting the Welfare State. That's almost as good as extending the Bush Tax Cuts in exchange for DADT.

The Obama White House: Pre-Compromised for your convenience.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 15, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"A woman being punched in the abdomen is already entitled to garden variety self defense."

Exactly. Common law already covers this. Mr. Jensen is being entirely disingenuous.

But Repubs seemed to be wrapped up in this alternative universe these days that's fed and nurtured by FoxNews and the John Birch society.

Posted by: Alex3 | February 15, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Today's GOP:

Defenders of life up until birth. After that, you're on your own.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 15, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "O/T but scary. Obama is looking to compromise the New Deal"

Medicare and Medicaid were not part of the New Deal. A technicality, yes, but given that's what Obama is most likely to compromise on, it's actually The Great Society that will be getting compromised (or The War on Poverty), not the New Deal.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 15, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

What would happen under this proposed law, if an abortion procedure was performed to save the life of the mother?

There was a case, in the news, not so long ago, where a young pregnant mother of four became ill, and the hospital ethics board ruled that if they did not perform an abortion, both the mother and fetus would die. It was a catholic hospital, and the Nun who managed the hospital gave the go ahead to save the life of they young mother of four.

Soon after; the Catholic Bishop of the diocese, excommunicated the Nun for not carrying out the death penalty on the young mother of four children. They sure can move fast on excommunication when they want to, but not when it involves pedophile priests. They get to remain in good standing within the church.

So, under this proposed law, would someone be allowed to murder the nun, the ethics board, and the doctors, in order to save the fetus?

Would a victim of rape or incest, not be allowed to receive an abortion?

Posted by: Liam-still | February 15, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "Defenders of life up until birth. After that, you're on your own."

I don't think they support infanticide, or murdering your children, at any point in the life cycle. Unless, I guess, one of your children is killing a fetus.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 15, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

"What if it had been true? Even if true, would it have been a reasonable justification for a costly and perhaps ultimately pointless pre-emptive war? Pre-emptive wars are bad, kids. Mmmkay?"

One of the worst things done by one of the worst presidents ever. Preemptive war is the warmongers clarion. The United States does not start wars. Period.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 15, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne "The United States does not start wars. Period."

Hard to square this with the 19th century.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 15, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Kevin:

You are correct. I tend to sloppily use New Deal as including the Great Society. What I am referring to is the Welfare State. But the question is the same: How much financial pain will be inflicted on the Poor and Middle Class to salve the Upper Class.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 15, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne, that's not true. Just yesterday, Greg pointed out that Republicans are donating to (a born) Michele Bachmann in order to fight Bill Clinton.

Kevin_Willis, the current South Dakota law of justifiable homicide allows for said defense even if the person being defended is nonetheless killed. That wouldn't change if "fetus" is added to the list.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still: "What would happen under this proposed law, if an abortion procedure was performed to save the life of the mother?"

The mother could be prosecuted as an accomplice to murder?

"So, under this proposed law, would someone be allowed to murder the nun, the ethics board, and the doctors, in order to save the fetus?"

No. In most cases, justifiable homicide has to have some sort of established immediate (gun to the head) sort of threat. Thus, why you can shoot someone crawling in through the window, but not chase someone who just raped your wife down the block and shoot him a hundred yards from your house and have it be ruled "justifiable homicide".

Let's say someone wanted you dead, and hired someone to kill you. They break into your house, are about to shoot you dead, but you are a secret ninja and kill him with your throwing stars. So far, so good: he was going to kill you, you saved yourself, it's justifiable. However, you find a piece of paper on the would-be assassin that says "Kill this guy - Love, Mr. Bad Person" and you go and find him at his posh downtown town house, and ninja him dead, too. That's not justifiable homicide. At least, it's manslaughter (vigilantism) but it would probably be prosecuted as murder.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 15, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe a war was based off of a lie and the previous administration ran with it.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 15, 2011 12:07 PM
.......................

His German Intelligence Handlers told the White House that they guy was unstable, and a liar. The warned The Americans that they guy was a fraud. The Bush Gang ignored them, because they wanted any trumped up excuse to invade Iraq.

Rumsfeld recently admitted that Bush asked him in September 2001 to draw up the Iraq Invasion plan.

"The Intel was sexed up, to fit Bush's expressed intention".

Posted by: Liam-still | February 15, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"Would a victim of rape or incest, not be allowed to receive an abortion?"

I never understood the distinction. It's either a life worthy of protection or it's not.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 15, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne "The United States does not start wars. Period."

Hard to square this with the 19th century.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 15, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Correctomundo. History does not judge us nearly as favorably as we judge ourselves. But our national policy -- part of our national identity -- has been that we don't start wars; we only respond to attacks. Bush, of course, obliterated that going after "Evildoers" -- as defined by us, naturally.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 15, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "One of the worst things done by one of the worst presidents ever."

Well, I disagree (in the sense that I regard that as hyperbole, on both counts). But, I think we can both concur that preemptive war is a bad idea.

"The United States does not start wars. Period."

I think that's probably the best strategy. I don't see where going to war in Iraq has really, fundamentally helped anybody in any serious way. We would have been better spending that cash nurturing Turkey, or subsidizing gasoline prices so that we could cut off Saudi Arabia until they instituted an audited democracy. Something like that.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 15, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

To the extent that someone could kill a fetus without using lethal force against the pregnant woman, claw would be right.

I'd be pretty content taking that case to trial and hearing the prosecutor argue to the jury that the woman being pummeled in the stomach hard enough to kill the fetus should be thrown in jail. I'd also love to run a political campaign against a prosecutor who convicted or even tried a woman under such circumstances.

Seems like Jensen is being disingenious for the real reason he is promoting this law, namely to make another incremental step towards ending a human incubator's....err...a woman's right to choose.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 15, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

"I don't think they support infanticide, or murdering your children, at any point in the life cycle. "

But they don't care if you die of malnutrition or neglect. Or, to put it more benignly, the GOP may "care" whether children die of malnutrition or neglect. But they don't care enough to do anything about it.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 15, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "But the question is the same: How much financial pain will be inflicted on the Poor and Middle Class to salve the Upper Class."

Good question. I don't know the answer to that, but I suspect the poor and middle class will be, on the whole, materially better off, even with less government largesse, than they were 50 years ago. Or throughout the rest of human history. Which is not a very ambitious yardstick to measure by, I know, but I prefer to view the glass as half full. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 15, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

raincntry, I'm fairly certain that there is no jurisdiction in the U.S. that would allow lethal force as a legal defense to just one blow to a woman's abdomen. You are simply mistaken (I won't go so far as saying "sheer lunacy") as to "justifiable homicide" .

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I still want to know if a young, underage girl, who was raped, or impregnated by her father or brother, would be required to carry the child to term, under this law.

About a year or so, an eight year old girl was impregnated in Brazil. Her mother put the welfare of her daughter first, and had an abortion procedure performed. Of course, you know what happened next. Bingo; The Catholic Church were on it like a flash, and excommunicated the girl's mother.

So, if an eight year old girl became Pregnant in South Dakota, would this proposed law force the very young victim, to also become a mother?

Posted by: Liam-still | February 15, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@Nova: "" "Would a victim of rape or incest, not be allowed to receive an abortion?"

I never understood the distinction. It's either a life worthy of protection or it's not.""

I think there could be rational arguments as to why one life might be sacrificed in favor of another--a unborn child, versus the life of the mother of several very young children? I can see that argument.

That being said, the argument is fundamentally brought up in an attempt to make the pro-life crowd appear to be pro-rape or pro-incest or pro matricide. It's a substantially emotional rhetorical tactic, not an actual argument.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 15, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

This is an insanely stupid thing to do.

Regardless of what one thinks about abortion, I think most of us can agree that killing one another is not the way to resolve the debate.

Given the unfortunate tendency of some people to go to extremes, especially on an issue like this one, a law such as this could easily be taken by some extremist as license to murder in the name of his or her beliefs. And even if one thinks abortion IS murder, only the worst hypocrites and most mindless fanatics could think that MORE murder is the answer.

I hope they reconsider before someone does use this as an excuse for violence.

Posted by: andrew23boyle | February 15, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

America's Taliban at work. Note: it's the 21st century, not the 17th. More garbage from the Daddy party.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 15, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: ""But they don't care if you die of malnutrition or neglect.""

Sure they do.

""Or, to put it more benignly, the GOP may "care" whether children die of malnutrition or neglect. But they don't care enough to do anything about it.""

When was the last time they cut school lunches (or breakfasts)? Or substantially cut WIC? Or changed laws that prosecute neglect?

I think that's pretty much hyperbole.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 15, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

ashotinthedark, do you think that California Penal Code Sec. 187 (quoted above) was an incremental step towards ending a woman's right to choose?

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"Would a victim of rape or incest, not be allowed to receive an abortion?"

I never understood the distinction. It's either a life worthy of protection or it's not.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 15, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Your comment highlights one of the problems with the GOP position: namely, that the pregnant woman is irrelevant under the GOP approach. But that is precisely the problem: a society cannot function by making women carry and bear children they don't want. It is barbaric. And the circumstances of rape or incest only demonstrate the error of the GOP view. Democratic society must be practical on social issues. When enough of the population acts in certain way -- women having abortions, people smoking pot -- the government must adjust or else hold itself to ridicule and thereby undermine the Rule of Law.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 15, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

What about killing Catholic priests to save the pre-molested?

Posted by: Garak | February 15, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"I think that's pretty much hyperbole."

Yes, Kevin, but you also think it "hyperbole" to call W one of the worst presidents ever. So your conception of hyperbole seems loose, to say the least.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 15, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The GOP position is very clear.

Only Secular Governments in Muslim Countries,

And

Only Christian Government For The USA.

The GOP is against non Christian Theocracies, and for Christian Theocracies.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 15, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

andrew23boyle, if you could go back in time to 1939 and could "murder" Adolf Hitler, you wouldn't do that either?

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse


One can take this further: Why didn't Daddy Bush use birth control? Think of how many hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians would be alive today.

Posted by: gkam | February 15, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"I suspect the poor and middle class will be, on the whole, materially better off, even with less government largesse, than they were 50 years ago."

What is your basis for that assertion?

Posted by: wbgonne | February 15, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

What would happen under this proposed law, if an abortion procedure was performed to save the life of the mother?

There was a case, in the news, not so long ago, where a young pregnant mother of four became ill, and the hospital ethics board ruled that if they did not perform an abortion, both the mother and fetus would die. It was a catholic hospital, and the Nun who managed the hospital gave the go ahead to save the life of they young mother of four.

Soon after; the Catholic Bishop of the diocese, excommunicated the Nun for not carrying out the death penalty on the young mother of four children. They sure can move fast on excommunication when they want to, but not when it involves pedophile priests. They get to remain in good standing within the church.
============================================
You know that Arizona law that says that no judge is allowed to take Sharia law into account? IMHO, Catholic law is MUCH more of a clear and present danger to moral & civil society in the US. Let's pass a law that says that Catholic law can never be taken into account.

Posted by: Dan4 | February 15, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

How would such a law prevent the daughters of the wealthy from going abroad, to some luxury spot in Europe, and having an abortion performed there?

All these attempts at outlawing abortion procedures are just another example of the GOP Christo Fascists waging war on poor women, who can not afford to go abroad.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 15, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I think that this article and many of the comments are too inflammatory. Jensen's bill seems unrealistic and will not pass or will not stand up to legal scrutiny. I am sure Sargent knows this. So why is he writing about Jensen?

What we really need is serious laws to stop the abortions "by choice" of well developed foetuses.

Should a young woman who is raped or is a minor be entitled to an abortion? I believe so, that she is, but I do not think such issues should be central to our concern.

What should be central to our concerns is that a certain small proportion of Americans, of both genders, believe that an abortion is always justified regardless of the age of the foetus, and even if there is no compelling reason.

In other words they carry the notions of autonomy and privacy to ridiculous extremes.

Such people need to be stopped. That should be our main concern.

As for the Catholic Church excommunicating someone who endorses an abortion, they are entirely within their rights. A Jewish American who refuses to watch a speech by Ahmedinejad is also within his rights. A woman is offended by Summers' remark that women have less scientific ability is also entirely within her rights.

While certain things may be legal, we all have the right to disapprove of certain things which WE think are wrong.

Posted by: rjpal | February 15, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

UPDATE, 11:59 a.m. Good for Rep. Jensen.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

This is the "Christian" taliban version of sharia law.
Pro-life except for the death penalty, or vigilante anti-abortion justice.
What a bunch of hateful, anti-Christian hypocrites!

Posted by: jeffc6578 | February 15, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne
"Kevin:

You are correct. I tend to sloppily use New Deal as including the Great Society. What I am referring to is the Welfare State. But the question is the same: How much financial pain will be inflicted on the Poor and Middle Class to salve the Upper Class."

Corrected:

But the question is the same: How much financial pain will be inflicted on the Poor and Middle Class to salve the creditors.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 15, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I think that this article and many of the comments are too inflammatory. Jensen's bill seems unrealistic and will not pass or will not stand up to legal scrutiny. I am sure Sargent knows this. So why is he writing about Jensen?

What we really need is serious laws to stop the abortions "by choice" of well developed foetuses.

Should a young woman who is raped or is a minor be entitled to an abortion? I believe so, that she is, but I do not think such issues should be central to our concern.

What should be central to our concerns is that a certain small proportion of Americans, of both genders, believe that an abortion is always justified regardless of the age of the foetus, and even if there is no compelling reason.

In other words they carry the notions of autonomy and privacy to ridiculous extremes.

Such people need to be stopped. That should be our main concern.

As for the Catholic Church excommunicating someone who endorses an abortion, they are entirely within their rights. A Jewish American who refuses to watch a speech by Ahmedinejad is also within his rights. A woman is offended by Summers' remark that women have less scientific ability is also entirely within her rights.

While certain things may be legal, we all have the right to disapprove of certain things which WE think are wrong.

Posted by: rjpal | February 15, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

@andrew23boyle: "Regardless of what one thinks about abortion, I think most of us can agree that killing one another is not the way to resolve the debate."

A rational voice. What are you doing here? ;)

"I hope they reconsider before someone does use this as an excuse for violence."

Well, it's unlikely everyone who sponsored the bill will vote for it in its current form (the language was added after a number of the co-sponsors had signed up). Whether the current controversy will be enough to defeat it remains to be seen.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 15, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

It's painfully obvious that all the good goose-stepping Republicans are nothing more that a bunch of scummy hypocrites. "All life is sacred" - right up to birth. Then let them starve if they have the misfortune of NOT being born into the upper 2%.

Posted by: Bushwhacked1 | February 15, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

andrew23boyle, if you could go back in time to 1939 and could "murder" Adolf Hitler, you wouldn't do that either?

-----
By 1939, I don't think it would be murder; he was already a horrible tyrant and about to drown the world in blood and grief. You probably mean would I kill him when he was a child.

It is, however, a pointless speculation. If someone invents a time-machine and makes me a serious offer, then I will consider the question. Until then, it's a waste of energy.

Posted by: andrew23boyle | February 15, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

IMHO, Catholic law is MUCH more of a clear and present danger to moral & civil society in the US. Let's pass a law that says that Catholic law can never be taken into account.

Posted by: Dan4 | February 15, 2011 12:46 PM |
......................

All five Right Wing Activists on The Supreme Court are Roman Catholic Men.

I recall when JFK had to persuade the nation that he would not take orders from The Vatican.

Now, any candidate who does not take orders from the Vatican, will be refused communion, and many so called Conservative Americans are delighted when that happens.

Of course the Catholic Church also claims that it is against the use of The Death Penalty, but strangely enough, they do not even threaten to withhold communion from all those Right Wing supporters of The Death Penalty.

They were also against The Iraq War, but no communions were withheld.

Pro-Lifers, My Arse!

Posted by: Liam-still | February 15, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what an explosion of ugliness.

First this:
===============
Zip it, Jake
================

Yo, cao, make him. I'll watch. Big talk on an anonymous comment thread doesn't impress me much. You are just another ugly liberal.

speaking of ugly, I maintain my contention that Mr Sargent selects stories designed to inflame the perverse passions of his camp followers. This story is an apt example.

Just a quick review of the comments from the lefties here shows the typical pavlovian drool that results when Mr Sargent rings his bell. I must admit that in the brief time that I have been reading this blog the lefties have grown. Now they can spew about topics other than Sarah Palin. But they still spew on cue. Hey, a rhyme. cool.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 15, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "But they don't care if you die of malnutrition or neglect."

@K_W: "Sure they do."

Kevin's right. They do care. They far prefer that we live long lives in ill health so they can profit off our unhealthy uniquely American lifestyle of over-consumption and low-grade, highly processed "food".

That is the "fatal flaw" in Alan Grayson's "Die Quickly" comment. He was wrong. They want you to live a long life in constant need of expensive care from cradle to grave.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 15, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Btw, wb and kev, it's Ethan2010 under a new handle. sup!

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 15, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

rjpal or Bushwacked1, have you even read the proposed bill?

http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2011/Bills/HB1171P.pdf

andrew23boyle, I would submit that anything you post on this blog is a waste of energy. See you around : )

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Kevin:

I have to run. But I am frankly stunned that you appear to suggest that the American Middle Class is better off than is was in 1960. By what measures do you so conclude?

And remember, the enormous transfer of wealth from the Middle Class to the Upper Class only happened a couple of years ago and the pain has not yet been fully inflicted. That's what Obama is doing now. After Obama and the GOP get done "compromising" all over the Poor and Middle Class, we'll see where things stand.

But I am truly interested i how you conclude the American Middle Class is better off than 50 years ago. I find that ludicrous even now, before the new pain has been inflicted.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 15, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@jeffc: "Pro-life except for the death penalty, or vigilante anti-abortion justice. What a bunch of hateful, anti-Christian hypocrites!"

Well, I can only imagine the number of hearts and minds you changed with that heartfelt soliloquy. Good job!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 15, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Republicans = Taliban

Posted by: angie12106 | February 15, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

clarence:

If you have some problem with what I wrote, why don't you tell me what it is. If you make a rational argument, you might even convince me.

All you've convinced me off thus far is that you're probably incapable of making a cogent point.

Please don't bother to respond to this unless you're going to say something useful about the actual subject at hand. Otherwise, please find a troll with whom to match 'wits'.

Good day.

Posted by: andrew23boyle | February 15, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

In his verison of the Bible, the Fifth Commandment must have an asterisk.

Posted by: djmolter | February 15, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Clarence 12 wrote:
Good for Rep. Griffin. California already prosecutes "murder" of a fetus

Clarence you loon...This is not about murdering a fetus. It's about allowing someone to murder a living post-born human if the shooter "thinks" the fetus is in danger...

I see a legal minefield here based on "intent".

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | February 15, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Dan4, this is not a "Catholic" law (it does not apply justifiable homicide to the defense of human embryos existing outside of a woman's body). Since when is allowing a PREGNANT woman the legal right to use lethal force to prevent the killing of a wanted child against the right to choose?!

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

claw- Yes.

I'm just having hard time coming up with any other reason for amending the law to address this obscure situation. I would be interested to know if a woman has ever been prosecuted and/or convicted for defending the life of their fetus. Since this seems likely an extremely unlikely scenario, it seems reasonable to attribute alterior motives to the Jensen.

I do agree that it is odd that the death of the fetus is prosecuted as manslaughter. Charging it as manslaughter must have been some sort of legislative compromise so politicians could say the unborn aren't being treated the same as those who are born.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 15, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I though my ex was pregnant with my baby and I thought her new boyfriend was gonna kill my baby with his vigorous amorous attention....

I had no choice but to kill him Rep. Griffin...

The Teapublicans are literally unhinged.

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | February 15, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Plenty of Orthodox and Reformed Jews oppose abortion, along with Hindus and Muslims. (Maybe some atheists too.)

There's no reason to use words like "Christofascist" to refer to anti-abortion folks.

It's offensive on many levels, and -- in most crowds -- makes you sound ignorant.

Posted by: paul65 | February 15, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

andrew23boyle, my "problem" is determining where (or if) you draw the line for lethal force / justifiable homicide. But that's my "problem" as you said posting here is just a waste of energy.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

What a misleading news item and waste of space.

Most states already recognize justifiable homicide as a defense during an assault.

If anyone beat on me - pregnant or not - the first thing I would is look for something nearby to "even up the sides" and beat the crap out of the attacker.

If the attacker died, well, my bruises and the police report will convince a jury any day.

Must be another slow day at the WaPo

Posted by: asmith1 | February 15, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"I'm just having hard time coming up with any other reason for amending the law to address this obscure situation."

This obscure state rep. in South Dakota is now generating national headlines. $$ is going to be pouring into his next election campaign for what I assume will be higher office. abortion + obscure situation = profit

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 15, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Question to libs: Would you waterboard bin Laden to prevent another 9/11?

Answer: NO!!!!

Question to libs: Is sucking the brains out of a living fetus a "right".

Answer: YES!!

LIBERALISM.........A PROVEN MENTAL DISORDER! Get help kooks!!!

Posted by: LibFreeWorld | February 15, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

@NoVa-
This obscure state rep. in South Dakota is now generating national headlines. $$ is going to be pouring into his next election campaign for what I assume will be higher office. abortion + obscure situation = profit
------------------------------------------

Good point, it could just be a way to increase campaign coffers.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 15, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

We need more religious zealots in government...

"TEHRAN - Iranian hard-liners called Tuesday for the arrest or execution of opposition leaders involved in Monday's street protests."

Posted by: shrink2 | February 15, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

willandjansdad1, I am not a "loon". Have you read the proposed law? I provided a link above. It is indeed about the use of lethal force "for the protection of her unborn child". Your ex-girlfriend scenario would not apply.

ashotinthedark, what is an "alterior" motive? Maybe what NoVAHockey just pointed out?

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

@ronnie: "Btw, wb and kev, it's Ethan2010 under a new handle. sup!"

Why the new handle? And what's the significance of Ronnie and Rush?

@wbgonne: ""I have to run. But I am frankly stunned that you appear to suggest that the American Middle Class is better off than is was in 1960. By what measures do you so conclude?""

Alas, I have to run, too, and I'm assuming your disagreement is sincere, so I can't get hugely deep into it, but, pretty much by every measurement •except• personal debt (mostly consumer debt, mostly (but, no, not always) a choice) and relative wealth compared to the top 1%, the middle class is profoundly better off than it was 50 years ago. For more, might I recomment Gregg Easterbrook's The Progress Paradox.

http://www.amazon.com/Progress-Paradox-Better-While-People/dp/0679463038

Easterbrook was interviews on Think Tank:

http://www.pbs.org/thinktank/transcript1105.html

But in terms of consumer choice, purchasing power, longevity, purchasing power (relative to consumer prices, overall), and, yes, even access to healthcare, the middle class is way, way better off than we were fifty years ago, by any practical measure, even if it doesn't feel that way. How much did it cost you, for example, to make a phone call from your car in 1960? Or get a EMT scan?

Oh, wait.

Access to information! Good lord, I remember being astonished by the printing of Snoopy in ASCII form from a teletype with an acoustic coupler back in the mid 70s. Now there's this little thing called the internet . . . Entertainment! Travel possibilities (world wide, resorts of theme parks are something like 30 times what they were in the 1960s--fact check that for better data, but there's a huge amount of travel destinations that did not exist for the casual travel, much more in the way of cruising and access to said travel to the middle class. Other things are practically the same--that $75 plane ticket in 1960 turns out to be $537.26 inflation adjusted in 2009.

And the list goes on. Treatment for common ailments, from chicken pox to diabetes. Flu vaccines! Measles! Hib meningitis, rubella (common in the 1960s). Mumps, hepatitis B, etc.

Which, admittedly, are benefits for everybody (not just the middle class), but it hardly seems cricket to argue that the marvelous things we all benefit from "don't count" because most poor people benefit from the eradication of measles and polio and so on as well.

While some things are arguably worse, such as the preponderance of consumer debt, these are unquestionably first world problems of the first order. "I bought an iPad even though I didn't have the cash to pay for it, and now I've paid $30 in interest and it's still not paid off!" is not the clarion call of a collapsed middle class.

And, if one is nostalgic, I'm sure there is a solution. I don't know how hard it would be to give yourself rubella or hepatitis B. But it's easy to stay off the internet, lock your TV down to 4 channels and throw away your cell phone.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 15, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

claw- crap...I knew it was ulterior not alterior.

It's another incremental step towards making abortion illegal and granting a fetus additional "rights" of sorts. Why is the amendment needed? Was a woman recently prosecuted for murder in SD when she was defending her fetus?

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 15, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

How about a law that would make child rape a felony and also would make a felony hiding the rapists?

What's that?

We already have these laws but Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals are exempt from them?

Oh, never mind.

Posted by: areyousaying | February 15, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

What kind of monsters live there!!!! I thought Arizona was bad, but this....

Posted by: mihalick | February 15, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, but there's always a first time.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

its a totally ridiculous bill. Currently self defense criminal laws allow the defendant to use only that force reasonably necessary to defend yourself. If retreating is appropriate in self defense that is the appropriate action not attacking and killing your assailant. First the far right wanted to change statutory rape laws. Now apparently they would like to change criminal self defense statutes. Apparently there is no limit to their insanity.

Posted by: leichtman1 | February 15, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

The Catholic Church needs to loose its tax exemption for lobbying for this atrocious law and their other interference in South Dakota politics:


"The most disreputable 2010 child-sex-abuse SOL legislative "reform" law in the United States was enacted by the South Dakota legislature. For years, Catholic clergy inflicted horrendous abuse against Native American children in St. Joseph Indian School. A defense attorney for the school crafted SOL "reform" that actually retracted options the victims otherwise would have had, under prior law. Specifically, the new law prohibits any victim over the age of 40 from suing anyone other than the direct perpetrator. Thus, even if an institution knew an employee was abusing children and did nothing about it, the institution would still be immune under the new law. The new law has shut down many meritorious cases involving Native American victims, and it represents the first instance in which Catholic lobbyists have obtained SOL reform that targets a particular ethnic group."

http://christianchildabuse.blogspot.com/2010/12/statute-of-limitations_31.html

"Christ's Church" indeed.

Posted by: areyousaying | February 15, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"You could cross the street and get hit by a car. Could happen, couldn't it?"

What kind of response is that? Can we elect smart people to congress please?

Posted by: keiv | February 15, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Gee, I really have to wonder how many pregnant teenage girls are actually capable of killing a man who is beating them? Hello?

It's absurd. It's clearly obvious this proposed law is nothing but a very thinly veiled threat to intimidate abortion doctors from practicing.

Posted by: fiona5 | February 15, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

leichtman1, mihalick, or areyousaying, have you even read the proposed bill?

http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2011/Bills/HB1171P.pdf

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Insanity on the Great Plains...

Posted by: 5inchtaint | February 15, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Jensen's disingenuous arguments to the contrary, this bill may not provide the legal cover to a murderer who kills an abortion provider but it almost certainly will provide some extra motivation.

On a somewhat related note, why do conservatives (who purportedly believe in limited government) elevate the fetus to full human status while it's in the womb, but somehow can't find the same level of compassion for the children that are already here?

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | February 15, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I have offered Kevin's position several times. It is a function of dogma for the liberals now that America has ignored the middle class. It is a subchapter in their catechism. Just look up "class warfare" you'll see the entries.

In terms of how we live today the market has delivered an amazing life style to the vast majority of Americans, including the middle class. I, too, can hardly believe that I can call my daughter while driving my 4x4 pick up which is on cruise control. She, and my lovely wife, can not only give me the benefit of their advice they can text me a shopping list and stay intouch with thier face book friends. on a piece of technology that was given to me when I agree to use the phone system. Simply amazing.

How much did a TV cost in the sixties, and how good was it? How many TV channels were there then? How many now?

the list goes on and on.

The liberals will reply that wages have stagnated. That may be true, but purchasing power has grown and that's what matters.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 15, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

The republican party have just lost their minds and voters are going to pay the price. Wow, loons in suits are still loons. But hey its SD what do you expect and its coming from a nobody trying to gain some national attention. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Posted by: Realistic5 | February 15, 2011 1:52 PM | Report abuse

wait a sec -- I remember reading that the last abortion clinic (a planned parenthood) in SD closed a few years ago. so i don't think there are really any abortion docs in SD.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 15, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Then there is this:
================
It's absurd. It's clearly obvious this proposed law is nothing but a very thinly veiled threat to intimidate abortion doctors from practicing.
=====================
You say that like it is a bad thing. It takes a special kind of person to get into the abortion business. A person like Kermit Gossnell.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 15, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

don't know, but there's always a first time.
-------------------------------------

Well there's a good justification for the law.

Is there an affirmative defense for protecting other vulnerable people or are just the unborn allowed to be protected by someone else.

Far too many liberal posters here seem to be completely unaware of what the law actually says. The law really just codifies the conclusion any jury would come to if faced with such a scenario.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 15, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

OK, so without an OB/GYN on site, how does someone diagnose pregnancy, especially since the bills sponsors no doubt believe life begins at penetration. Does the woman need to pee in a cup before deadly force is used?

Posted by: BurfordHolly | February 15, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

fiona5, you never saw that "Juno" movie?

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

wait a sec -- I remember reading that the last abortion clinic (a planned parenthood) in SD closed a few years ago. so i don't think there are really any abortion docs in SD.

Posted by: NoVAHockey
----------------------------------
The mother jones article said an abortion doctor is flown into the lone SD planned parenthood once a month to perform abortions.

so skip, you think intimidating doctors peforming legal medical procedures is an appropriate government function? Yep, that seems to be consistent with your overall opinion on the role of government in our society.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 15, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Why aren't rightwingnuts joked (clawrence), cschotta (LibFreeWorld), and skippy over on the Right Turn board with the rest of the frothing mob of inbred droolers?

Posted by: Observer691 | February 15, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"but, pretty much by every measurement •except• personal debt (mostly consumer debt, mostly (but, no, not always) a choice) and relative wealth compared to the top 1%, the middle class is profoundly better off than it was 50 years ago"

Good lord, you are EXCLUDING the relevant measures! 1965 (give or take a few years) was probably the high-water mark for the American Middle Class. It has been all downhill since then coinciding, not coincidentally, with the decline of unions. Want to know where the American Middle Class went? Same place the unions did.

Relative wealth is the crux of financial class, which is what we are discussing. The rest of the stuff you mention is global and generalized and more-or-less inevitable. I mean, are we ever going to know LESS about science or technology or medicine? Of course not.

The world has generally improved in the last 50 years and so has the nation. Even by that absolute measure, however, the next 50 years will tell a different story. And the 50 after that are likely to be quite unpleasant for all but the SuperRich. If you want to know more I recommend: "Hot: Living Through The Next Fifty Years On Earth," by Mark Hertsgaard. If the American Middle Class doesn't defend its interests now, if the Poor are not protected now, what will happen as conditions become inevitably harsher?

Posted by: wbgonne | February 15, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

see and here I thougth ashot was ignoring me.

the problematic phrase is "legal medical procedures". Weasel words for "abortion" as I suspect you know.

If the people of SD don't want abortions in their state, what is your problem? I recall the pro abortion bumpersticker: don't like abortion? don't have one.

don't like the way the people in SD order their lives? don't go there.

and how am I any different from the gay activists? they routinely use the government to advance their agenda. I don't read any complaints from you about that, now do I? Of course not, to liberals there are two main statements;
(1) The end justifies any means.
(2) Do as we say, not as we do.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 15, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Barney Frank said it best:

Republicans believe that the right to life begins at conception and ends at birth.

Posted by: CalD | February 15, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

LIBERALISM.........A PROVEN MENTAL DISORDER! Get help kooks!!!

Posted by: LibFreeWorld
======================
LOL - Are you supposed to be an example of sanity? I'll take crazy, thanks anyway.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | February 15, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin_Willis "@wbgonne: ""I have to run. But I am frankly stunned that you appear to suggest that the American Middle Class is better off than is was in 1960. By what measures do you so conclude?""

Alas, I have to run, too, and I'm assuming your disagreement is sincere, so I can't get hugely deep into it, but, pretty much by every measurement •except• personal debt (mostly consumer debt, mostly (but, no, not always) a choice) and relative wealth compared to the top 1%, the middle class is profoundly better off than it was 50 years ago. For more, might I recommend Gregg Easterbrook's The Progress Paradox."

I believe the only metric wbgonne was concerned with was income distribution.

The size of the pie isn't what is important. What is important is how big your piece is compared to everyone else's.

"Quality of life is improving. This argument has been made by too many conservatives to count. Yes, it's true that an unemployed steelworker living in the 21st century is in many important ways better off than the royals and aristocrats of yesteryear. Living conditions improve over time. But people do not experience life as an interesting moment in the evolution of human societies. They experience it in the present and weigh their own experience against that of the living. Brooks cites (even though it contradicts his argument) a famous 1998 study by economists Sara Solnick (then at the University of Miami, now at the University of Vermont) and David Hemenway of the Harvard School of Public Health. Subjects were asked which they'd prefer: to earn $50,000 while knowing everyone else earned $25,000, or to earn $100,000 while knowing everyone else earned $200,000. Objectively speaking, $100,000 is twice as much as $50,000. Even so, 56 percent chose $50,000 if it meant that would put them on top rather than at the bottom. We are social creatures and establish our expectations relative to others."

http://www.slate.com/id/2266025/

Posted by: jnc4p | February 15, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

CalD, what could possibly be your objection to a pregnant woman legally using justifiable homicide to protect a lethal threat against her unborn child?!

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

too funny wbgone, our resident depressive, can't actually refute the fact that the lives of the American middle class today is vastly better than it was in the 60's.

Instead he makes dire predictions about the future.

Which is it? did the middle class get hammered already? Or is this hammering yet to occur? I don't have my liberal to english decoder ring handy so I'll ask the lefties here to get the story straight.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 15, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Addendum:

"The size of the pie isn't what is important. What is important is how big your piece is compared to everyone else's. "

This was meant as sarcasm. A note I put in braces wasn't printed, which cited the link to Slate as being to Timothy Noah's series on rising income inequality.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 15, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"If the people of SD don't want abortions in their state, what is your problem? I recall the pro abortion bumpersticker: don't like abortion? don't have one."
-----------------------------
You may not like it, but a person's rights don't stop at state borders. Maybe there will be a change some day and abortions will be ruled illegal - until then, the law is the law.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | February 15, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

The situation the sponsor describes (the boyfriend beating the pregnant women and she kills him) would be justifiable homicide under current law. The general rule is that deadly force may be used to repel an attack carrying a real risk of severe bodily injury. That is precisely the situation the sponsor offer. Beating in the abdomen until miscarriage clearly involves severe bodily injury - the woman's body. She can kill him.
So I assume that being a good Christian and honest sould he will now withdraw the bill.

Posted by: djah | February 15, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The GOP loves it some fetuses! Then they hate them with equal passion when they become poor, black, gay, hungry, sick, etc.

Posted by: MrChip1 | February 15, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne

"Good lord, you are EXCLUDING the relevant measures! 1965 (give or take a few years) was probably the high-water mark for the American Middle Class. It has been all downhill since then coinciding, not coincidentally, with the decline of unions. Want to know where the American Middle Class went? Same place the unions did."

Interesting that you disregard the enactment of the Great Society programs in the 1960's as a possible cause of the decline of the middle class, given that you cite 1965 as the high water mark.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 15, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

MidwaySailor76, you may not like it, but this proposed law does not change abortion rights whatsoever and, as State Representative Phil Jensen said, it would not legalize the killing of abortion doctors (we are only talking about WANTED babies here).

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Jensen has a lame explanation considering that the dude that murdered an abortion doctor in the sanctuary of a church tried to use the same exact reasoning to defend his choice to kill the doctor.
He said he killed the doctor to prevent the murder of unborn fetuses.
It sounds like a coded message that it's ok to kill abortion providers.

Posted by: glenmayne | February 15, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

note to midway sailor:

Ready about? helm's alee!

Nope, I don't buy it. Never have. This is a federal republic. It is long past time that states re asserted themselves.

if you think the people of SD are somehow violating Federal law, hire a savage attorney and go after them. Knock yourself out. I think that this is one of the best strategies, exhaust the opposition. fifty lawsuits in fifty states each of which costs millions can drain away the resources of the baby killers. Lord, hear my prayer.

Again, if you don't like the way people in SD order their lives don't go there.

don't like abortion? don't have one.

Sound familiar?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 15, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

the problematic phrase is "legal medical procedures". Weasel words for "abortion" as I suspect you know.

If the people of SD don't want abortions in their state, what is your problem?

and how am I any different from the gay activists? they routinely use the government to advance their agenda.

-------------------------------------------
It's not a weasel word, it's an accurate description of what an abortion is. The fact that you wish it to be illegal doesn't change anything.

What's my problem? My problem is that the woman's right to choose is a constitutional right. Perhaps you've heard of the cases. Surely you aren't suggesting that this bill is intended to deter abortions? State Rep Jensen should simply admit it if that is the case and trust that voters will agree with him.

I'm not sure how you are or are not different than gay activists, skip. If you list specific examples of gay activists using the government to advance their agenda, and why you object to that, I would be happy to opine on whether or not I agree with them using the government that way. I don't have a problem with people using the government to advance their agendas, I just have a problem when they lie about doing so.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 15, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "Good lord, you are EXCLUDING the relevant measures!"

Only if your entire conception of well-being is based on envy and/or resentment.

"1965 (give or take a few years) was probably the high-water mark for the American Middle Class."

You can have it. I was born in 1965, and except for some deep nostalgia for the mid-to-late 1980s, there is certainly no era that I'd rather be a struggling middle-class worker-bee than right now. Unless I was given 2050 or 2100 as an option.

"It has been all downhill since then coinciding"

Except in regards to purchasing power, consumer choice, longevity, square footage, access to healthcare, available medicines, consumer safety . . . Look, if you prefer 1965, that's your option.

"Want to know where the American Middle Class went? Same place the unions did."

I'm middle class. I never have been in a union, and am not now. If my job required it, I would be, and I see the value in many instances of collective bargaining. But I wouldn't trade a blanket negotiated pay package and a union for being relocated in time to 1960.

"Relative wealth is the crux of financial class, which is what we are discussing."

I'm poor, relative to the super rich, and always will be. At the same time, I have a car, several color TVs, a Blu-Ray player, access to more information than any human being in 1960 or 1980 for that matter. My children were immunized against chicken pox! If, to paraphrase Gregg Easterbrook, the cost of this is that I must endure a few insufferable billionaires, then so be it.

"The rest of the stuff you mention is global and generalized and more-or-less inevitable."

Well, then, by all means, ignore it and focus on how this huge wealth and amazing bounty of life that you and I enjoy is insignificant because rich people have 100,000 times our wealth. Your position on this literally makes no sense to me. We are better off in almost every way that involves how we live and experience our every day lives. We have to engage in mental effort to find ways in which things are worse. And yet some of us choose to do so! Again, a decidedly first world problem.

"I mean, are we ever going to know LESS about science or technology or medicine? Of course not."

Dark ages? Post-apocalypse? Always possible, but really not the point. Just because progress in the Western world is inevitable, doesn't mean it should be entirely discounted in favor of largely abstract ideas, mostly based around envy and resentment, that the changing of will have almost no effect on the quality of our every day lives. Making the rich poorer, as a goal, will not improve the lot of the middle class--or anybody, anywhere.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 15, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

no, ashot, there is not right to chose the death of a fetus in the constitution. While there are spirited arguments on both sides, many believe that roeVwade was a stretch at best. If that were'nt so then the left wouldn't be so focused on stare decisis when a republican president offers a supreme court nominee.

Why be specific about the methods of the gays ashot? The news is filled with examples of the activists using the government to obtain what they cannot get via the vote. Using whatever levers present themselves is not the exclusive right of liberals, as I'm sure you will agree.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 15, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse

note to midway sailor:

Ready about? helm's alee!

Nope, I don't buy it. Never have. This is a federal republic. It is long past time that states re asserted themselves.
=========================
Understood. Would you like the southern states to reassert their rights to Jim Crow laws? What if some states decide this whole universal suffrage thing just isn't working out and bars women and minorities from voting? Or, suppose some state really becomes enamored of drawing and quartering convicts in the public square?

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | February 15, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this interesting:

Birthers make a majority among those voters who say they're likely to participate in a Republican primary next year. 51% say they don't think Barack Obama was born in the United States to just 28% who firmly believe that he was and 21% who are unsure. The GOP birther majority is a new development. The last time PPP tested this question nationally, in August of 2009, only 44% of Republicans said they thought Obama was born outside the country while 36% said that he definitely was born in the United States. If anything birtherism is on the rise.

http://publicpolicypolling.blogspot.com/2011/02/romney-and-birthers.html

Posted by: pragmaticagain | February 15, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

@K_W: "Why the new handle? And what's the significance of Ronnie and Rush?"

I was unable to post for some reason (technical snafu, possibly related to troll hunter, not sure)... So I re-registered with a new name/email.

"Ronnie and Rush" is from one of Floyd Brown's Expose Obama emails in which he implied that they (Ronald Reagan and Rush Limbaugh) were the cornerstones of the conservative GOP. I believe him. He should know. He is one of their main propagandists. I think these two individuals perfectly sum up the schizophrenia of the Republican Party. One, a small govt conservative who grew the govt and multiplied the national debt. And the other, an unelected uninformed commenter who makes salacious character attacks on everyone to the left of Ayn Rand while he goes about popping oxycontins and making a mint off gullible idiot Republicans.

That's why.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 15, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

MidwaySailor76, you may not like it, but this proposed law does not change abortion rights whatsoever and, as State Representative Phil Jensen said, it would not legalize the killing of abortion doctors (we are only talking about WANTED babies here).

Posted by: clawrence12
========================
I never said the law would change abortion rights or legalize the killing of doctors.

What I said was meant to say - and I'll just assume it was garbled - was that the bill would provide some extra motivation to those unbalanced individuals who would do violence to abortion providers.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | February 15, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Remember when the Republicans were all up in arms about cutting off the feeding of a brain dead women following her husband's wish, but against her parents'. They were so upset, and several Republican Doctors claimed they could tell the women was thinking, it turned out that her brain was swiss cheese, but that could have been a mistake. Except that at the very same time, Texas was cutting off a women, over the objections of her family, because they did not want to pay for life support for the brain dead any longer. The Republicans were fine with the death panel's decision there, it was correct after all. If you need more a better example to show what Republicans really think of life, ask them for free prenatal care for the poor.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | February 15, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

and how am I any different from the gay activists? they routinely use the government to advance their agenda. I don't read any complaints from you about that, now do I? Of course not, to liberals there are two main statements;
(1) The end justifies any means.
(2) Do as we say, not as we do.
---------------------------------------

You appear to be saying that both of these groups are using the government to advance their agenda. So since you have repeatedly complainted about gay activists doing this, but apparently support this effort you seem to be no different than me or any other liberals.

Of course, this assumes you have somehow made a valid point that by supporting gay activist using the government I am somehow obligated to support all other activists who do so. I don't have a problem with state representatives attempting to pass legislation to advance their agenda, however I think I can criticize the legislation itself without being a hypocrit. Maybe that distinction is too subtle for you, but I think it's a valid distinction.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 15, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

pragmaticagain, even if it is "interesting" Greg has started a whole different thread for Palin haters. This one is for haters of the right to choose.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"Would a victim of rape or incest, not be allowed to receive an abortion?"

I never understood the distinction. It's either a life worthy of protection or it's not.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 15, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Your comment highlights one of the problems with the GOP position: namely, that the pregnant woman is irrelevant under the GOP approach. But that is precisely the problem: a society cannot function by making women carry and bear children they don't want. It is barbaric. And the circumstances of rape or incest only demonstrate the error of the GOP view. Democratic society must be practical on social issues. When enough of the population acts in certain way -- women having abortions, people smoking pot -- the government must adjust or else hold itself to ridicule and thereby undermine the Rule of Law.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 15, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne, your comment is well-written and well-reasoned, but really, it can be summed up even more succicntly: the only person who gets to decide if a fetus may be born is the woman bearing it. Period, full stop.

Not "god", not government, not even the father. The woman whose body will go through hell to deliver it is the ONLY one who gets a say in the matter.

Posted by: Orsalia | February 15, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"Interesting that you disregard the enactment of the Great Society programs in the 1960's as a possible cause of the decline of the middle class, given that you cite 1965 as the high water mark."

1965 was the pinnacle for the U.S. Up to then, we had money for everything. But the Vietnam War initiated America's post-war decline. America became more and more corporatist. Concentrated wealth began an assault on unions and government regulation that continues today. The fundamentals of the economy began to rot. The oil crises in the early 70s were danger signals we blew right by. The economy kept deteriorating. When Jimmy Carter told us what was happening we tuned him out, elected Ronald Reagan, and began our 30 year orgy of greed and excess (uninterrupted by Democratic presidents). The economy deteriorated all the while but we used economic bubbles like drugs to pretend otherwise. And here we are.

Neither the New Deal nor the Great Society -- nor the Welfare State generally -- is the cause of America's decline. They reflect the measures the American people have taken to protect themselves and their fellow citizens from the harshness and fickleness of life in a capitalist society. They are programs to help the Middle Class and the Poor because the Rich don't need the the help.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 15, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

MidwaySailor76, movies starring Jodie Foster provide extra motivation to those unbalanced individuals who would do violence to Presidents. Should we stop her from making movies?

Muddy_Buddy_2000, have you read the proposed law?

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

NOt even a nice try midway sailor. Arugment via absurdity is falacious at best. We're not talking about jim crow, now are we? No of course not. We're talking about a specific law in a specific state.

You argument seems to be that this law must be wrong because other states may pass laws that you also believe to be wrong. Huh?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 15, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

no, ashot, there is not right to chose the death of a fetus in the constitution. While there are spirited arguments on both sides, many believe that roeVwade was a stretch at best.

Why be specific about the methods of the gays ashot?

-----------------------------------

I think most people here are familiar with the abortion debate, so I see no need for you and I to expand on it any further. It's legal and protected by the Constitution. As long as it remains so, states will be limited in what they can do to restrict that right, just like any other right recognized under the Constitution whether I agree with it or not.

Why be specific, skip? Because there may be some situations where I agree with methods and others where I do not. Do you think the only valid way to enact change and secure rights is via the ballot box? I don't and don't find anything in the Constitution or our political history that supports a position to the contrary.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 15, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

"the only person who gets to decide if a fetus may be born is the woman bearing it. Period, full stop."

Orsalia for the clear win.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 15, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

O fcourse I'm complaining about the gay activists. They want something that I believe will be bad for society. But that doesn't mean I can adopt their tools to advance my agenda.

I don't care which acitivists and goals you support. I'm not arguing with YOU. I am making a general statement about strategy and tactics.

There are two seperate concepts: the goal and the means of achieving it. I disagree with the goal of the gay movement. I recognize that the tools they have brought to bear has resulted in some measure of success.

I can therefore adopt the tools but still disagree with the goal. This is the same as my position on Saul Alinsky's magnum opus. there is no reason why radical righties can't use the techniques he outlines.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 15, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "Good lord, you are EXCLUDING the relevant measures!"

Only if your entire conception of well-being is based on envy and/or resentment.

Kevin: Income disparity is relative by definition. Economic class exists. When we discuss the Middle Class we are by definition defining an economic class relative to others in the society. Recognizing that fact is not "based on envy and/or resentment"; it is based on reality.

Like Global Warming.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 15, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

It's obvious that no one objecting to the proposed law herein has even bothered to read it, much less the article, to which they are purportedly commenting upon. One last time, here's a link to the proposed law and anyone who can quote the offending part can continue this "debate" with me:

http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2011/Bills/HB1171P.pdf

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

there is nothing new under the sun except the history that the left hasn't revised.

Here's an example:
================
But the Vietnam War initiated America's post-war decline.
====================

No proof of this assertion is offered. It is merely opinion. Well two can play that game.

isn't it also possible that by the mid sixties the industrialized world dug its way out of the destruction of WW2 and started producing again? Germany and Japan were two industrial super powers before they foolishly started a war with us. When the war was done our industries were performing at a record pace while their capacity lay in smoldering ruins.

Let's see, the war ends late forties, to late fifties is ten years, to late sixties is twenty. That makes sense. About twenty years to restore their culture and their capacity and return to being competitive again.

My theory also shows Americans in a better light. Rather than work to keep our defeated foes prostrate we taxed ourselves to feed them and opened our hearts, our country and our wallets to them.

when did the Japanese finally gain a toe hold on the US car market? If you said "during the arab oil embargo" you win the lightning round. By the mid seventies Americans were buying japanese and german products and the endless pressure on price began in earnest.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 15, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Is Jensen an avid skiier? Becuase that sure is one slippery slope he's creating there...

Posted by: ozpunk | February 15, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne ""Interesting that you disregard the enactment of the Great Society programs in the 1960's as a possible cause of the decline of the middle class, given that you cite 1965 as the high water mark."

1965 was the pinnacle for the U.S. Up to then, we had money for everything. But the Vietnam War initiated America's post-war decline. America became more and more corporatist. Concentrated wealth began an assault on unions and government regulation that continues today. The fundamentals of the economy began to rot. The oil crises in the early 70s were danger signals we blew right by. The economy kept deteriorating. When Jimmy Carter told us what was happening we tuned him out, elected Ronald Reagan, and began our 30 year orgy of greed and excess (uninterrupted by Democratic presidents). The economy deteriorated all the while but we used economic bubbles like drugs to pretend otherwise. And here we are.

Neither the New Deal nor the Great Society -- nor the Welfare State generally -- is the cause of America's decline. They reflect the measures the American people have taken to protect themselves and their fellow citizens from the harshness and fickleness of life in a capitalist society. They are programs to help the Middle Class and the Poor because the Rich don't need the the help."

Not surprisingly, my take is the opposite of yours. Medicare/Medicaid have grown to such a large share of the Federal budget that they are crowding out all other programs that "invest" in the future. On the state side, this is being caused by unsustainable pension benefits that resulted from giving state employees collective bargaining rights in the 1960's and 1970's. As the country has become more and more of a "insurance conglomerate protected by a large standing army", we are investing in the past, not the future. Centralized cost control for health care will fail to reduce health care cost increases, the same way that wage and price controls in the 1970's failed to restrain general inflation during that time.

The inflation of the 1970's was the other thing that caused a major hit to the middle class as they didn't have the ability to hedge against it the way the wealthy did.

And as I remember it, the 1980's and 1990's were better than the 1970's for the middle class for precisely that reason - inflation and interest rates were brought under control.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 15, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

skip- But that doesn't mean I can adopt their tools to advance my agenda.

-------------------------------------
Right, but your post made it seem like you were equating what is happening here to the tools used to advance the gay agenda. If not, why say this "and how am I any different from the gay activists? they routinely use the government to advance their agenda. I don't read any complaints from you about that, now do I?"

This seems to be an admission that you are using the same tools.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 15, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

It is important to read what liberals right with a fair degree of care. Here's an example:
=================
"the only person who gets to decide if a fetus may be born is the woman bearing it. Period, full stop."
==================

Notice the use of the word "fetus". This is part of the liberal doublespeak. It goes like this: if a woman wants the fetus its a baby. If the woman doesn't want the baby, its a fetus.

by chosing the word fetus, rather than baby, the author of the above seeks to convince the reader that the mother is merely exerting her alleged rights over an inconvenient mass of tissue.

had she used the word baby, she would have explicitly stated that the mother has the right to kill her unborn child.

My prediction is that my comment will trigger some reply about semantics. These are important discussions because they offer us the opportunity to understand the ghastly rationale that liberals employ to justify things done by the likes of Kermit Gosnell and planned parenthood.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 15, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

@Me: " I was born in 1965"

1969! Sorry. I don't want to be any older than I already am.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 15, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Why not make the law maker responsible for any murder of an abortion doctor? They want to be so stupid with their stupidly clever laws, make them (Jensen) responsible for their idiocy.

Posted by: LongRanger1 | February 15, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"Not surprisingly, my take is the opposite of yours."

Actually, I am surprised.

"Medicare/Medicaid have grown to such a large share of the Federal budget that they are crowding out all other programs that "invest" in the future."

National health care.

"On the state side, this is being caused by unsustainable pension benefits that resulted from giving state employees collective bargaining rights in the 1960's and 1970's."

Social Security.

"As the country has become more and more of a "insurance conglomerate protected by a large standing army", we are investing in the past, not the future."

I don't disagree.

"Centralized cost control for health care will fail to reduce health care cost increases, the same way that wage and price controls in the 1970's failed to restrain general inflation during that time."

Well, you're out on a pretty skinny limb there, My Friend. Sorry, but what you cite is scant support for what you assert. For one thing, health care is special b/c it is both a fundamental right and a necessity.

"The inflation of the 1970's was the other thing that caused a major hit to the middle class as they didn't have the ability to hedge against it the way the wealthy did."

Oil.

"And as I remember it, the 1980's and 1990's were better than the 1970's for the middle class for precisely that reason - inflation and interest rates were brought under control."

You always feel better when you're high. It's the hangover that kicks your ass.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 15, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I am using the same tools. So is this guy in SD. We're pulling whatever levers are available to us. Ending legalized abortion in America is important to many of us. Why do you think those brave kids did that filming of Planned Parenthood? It is because they see that organization as fundamentally evil.

to me the liberals want a scenario wherein they may do whatever they find expedient in advancement of their noble cause, but their opposition must adhere to some bizarre set of rules pronounced by the liberals themselves.

I can't count the number of times I've been told that I'm not being a good christian because I'm willing to use the liberal tool kit.

I often wonder how the person who killed Dr Tiller fared. Clearly we don't condone murder. but, but but. Perhaps that man was tortured by the though of Dr tiller's day to day activities beyond his capacity to withstand.

These are tough discussions. They get to the root of each others' core beliefs. Sometimes it seems to me that the left has no limits on its behavior yet we impose limits on our own. If the result is that we lose our society, what have done?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 15, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Every doctor in the state of South Dakota should pack up and leave before these rubes and rednecks kill them all.

Posted by: Lefty_ | February 15, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Fetus is simply the technically correct term. On another technical matter, here's the actual text:

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.

Lethal force is already justified, whether or not the victim is a pregnant woman. The amendment is frivolous.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 15, 2011 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I thought Republicans were going to focus on jobs this year. They vigorously campaigned on the idea. When you get people like this, it makes places like South Dakota no better than Iran or any other place occupied by the Taliban. My guess is if this does pass, the state will be hit by tornado after tornado just like Oklahoma. South Dakotans can then thank Rep. Jensen for bringing it up and then acting as much of a d-bag as Jared Loughner.

Posted by: cags777 | February 15, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Change "Kill the infidels!" to "justifiable homicide against those who kill fetuses?"

AND WHAT DO WE GET? A real wing-nut. . .

From whom does this loyal legislator take his marching orders -- Osama Bin Ladin?

Posted by: chamateddy | February 15, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne ""Centralized cost control for health care will fail to reduce health care cost increases, the same way that wage and price controls in the 1970's failed to restrain general inflation during that time."

Well, you're out on a pretty skinny limb there, My Friend. Sorry, but what you cite is scant support for what you assert. For one thing, health care is special b/c it is both a fundamental right and a necessity."

As the ACA is currently structured, do you honestly believe it will reduce health care costs?

Note that I am specifically referring to the law as it stands today, not a hypothetical single payer system such as Medicare for all.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 15, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

NOt even a nice try midway sailor. Arugment via absurdity is falacious at best. We're not talking about jim crow, now are we? No of course not. We're talking about a specific law in a specific state.

You argument seems to be that this law must be wrong because other states may pass laws that you also believe to be wrong. Huh?

Posted by: skipsailing28
===================
Hey, I'm just following the logical marker you laid down when you asserted that the states should make their own laws regarding abortion; and that states should "reassert" their sovereignty.

Although Jim Crow may seem absurd now - and I cited it to make a point - keep in mind that not so long ago state sovereignty was a favorite argument by southern segregationists.

It's not really that much of a stretch, at least not for someone who came of age during the civil rights era.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | February 15, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

"I am using the same tools. So is this guy in SD."
So then the following statement applies equally to you:
"Of course not, to liberals there are two main statements;
(1) The end justifies any means.
(2) Do as we say, not as we do."


Anyway, I have not criticized the state representative for using the government to advance his agenda. To use your terminology, I'm not opposing the tool, I'm opposing what I perceive to be the agenda.
I've criticized him for being dishonest about the true intent of the bill and questioned why such a measure is needed. What wrong is he attempting to right here? Has a single woman been imprisoned for protecting her unborn child?

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 15, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

"As the ACA is currently structured, do you honestly believe it will reduce health care costs?"

Nope.

"Note that I am specifically referring to the law as it stands today, not a hypothetical single payer system such as Medicare for all."

Got it. Once the real public option (a/k/a/a Medicare-extension) was out the legislation was essentially a political accomplishment. I'll shed no tears if ACA falls. I think we might even be better off. Just like I now think we would have been better off if McCain had won instead of Obama.

But's another discussion. Thanks for the chat.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 15, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

ashotinthedark, maybe if these women had known about justifiable homicide, things would have turned out better:

http://www.valuesvoternews.com/2010/05/women-who-refuse-abortion-often-face.html

I still think it's a reasonable law given what we do know, but if I find any murder prosecution in South Dakota where the woman was not allowed this defense already, I will be sure to let you know.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Here's a study of battered women (albeit from 1989) in other states who were not allowed a "justifiable homicide" defense:

http://www.alibris.com/booksearch.detail?invid=10337564978&browse=1&qwork=3488017&qsort=&page=1

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Where are we finding the knuckle-dragging, bottom-feeding, taliban-talking buffoons? These types of neanderthals are making my once solid belief in evolution a little shaky. Maybe in Darwinian theory it can be found that a certain amount of the electorate bypasses evolution. Things just get curiouser and curiouser.

Posted by: Foolkiller | February 15, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

andrew23boyle, my "problem" is determining where (or if) you draw the line for lethal force / justifiable homicide. But that's my "problem" as you said posting here is just a waste of energy.

--------
I owe you an apology. I totally misread your post.

I thought you were making a snide comment about anything the I, personally, wrote being a waste of energy whereas you apparently meant that it's pretty useless to post comments in general. I disagree but one could certainly make that argument.

Once again, I'm sorry that I misinterpreted you. It was entirely my fault and reflects poorly on me because I should give people the benefit of the doubt rather than take offense where there's none to be had.

Now that I understand why you asked me about killing Hitler, I think tyrannicide is great but I don't think the idea of justifiable applies to the killing of abortionists.

The reason that this issue is so divisive is that it comes down to a subjective ethical question as to when life begins. One can make the argument that since our genes are in place at the moment of conception and we are very much a product of our gene, that abortion does destroy a unique human being. On the other hand, it is hard to argue that an inviable blob of unconcious cells is a human being in the same sense that I am.

What we need to understand is that different people answer that question differently and since it is a subjective question, decent people can feel very strongly on both sides of the issue. I know a lot of pro-lifers and a lot of pro-choicers but I do not know a single pro-lifer who is motivated by some sort of urge to enslave women nor do I know any pro-choicers who actually believe that they are murdering babies.

Even if one thinks abortion is murder, therefore, one cannot consider an abortionist a murderer in the same way that Hitler was because there's no malice of forethought and, again, one can make a reasonably convincing argument (at least for alot of people) that a fetus is not yet a human being in any sort of legal or even ethical sense.

So to answer your question, I don't know where, exactly, I would personally draw the line between murder and justified homicide (huge gray area) but I do know that a bloody tyrant stands well over the line while a doctor who is, at worst, misguided, does not deserve to be killed.

Have a great night and I mean it this time!

Posted by: andrew23boyle | February 15, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

claw- Thanks. I hate to be the show me poster but I think it is important in the context of what is motivating this bill.

Your link poses interesting hypotheticals though doesn't it? Would a woman be justified in killing man who attempts to force her to take say the morning after pill or in a less borderline case another pill that would cause a miscarriage after pregnancy is already confirmed? Under those circumstances I am happy to admit that the bill would add some additional protection to a woman.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 15, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

In Michigan, at least one trial court has specifically disallowed the defense of another jury instruction as to a pregnant mother. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded, but she was still convicted on manslaughter:

http://www.nrlc.org/Unborn_victims/Michigan%20fetal%20defense%20ruling.pdf

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

“Abortion foes never want

To admit the fact they won’t confront:

Those unviable tissues that they treasure

Are not babies by any measure.”


-- Victoria Woodhull

Posted by: clitteigh | February 15, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Other than there's no evidence for this hypothetical, it's still a bizarre scenario. Moreover, physically shoving drugs down someone's throat involves felonious assault. Therefore, the presence of a fetus is irrelevant to the justification to use deadly force.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 15, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I am so glad that Arizona isn't the only state with idiotic right-wing religious fanatic legislators who supposedly defend the Constitution, but willingly tread all over it in order to achieve their own misguided ideas and views. Kind of reminds me of idiotic right-wing fanatic Muslims. Wait, is there a connection there?

Posted by: apacheye | February 15, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

andrew23boyle, no need to apologize. If you continue posting here, you will eventually agree with me that it is a complete waste of time. I'm sitting in a boring deposition right now, so I should know. As for your most recent post, I don't think the idea of "justifiable homicide" applies to the killing of abortionists either (unless, as Rep. Jensen pointed out, it was an illegal abortion, e.g. UN-consented to). Have a good night.

ashotinthedark, I'm still looking (I know that Michigan is not the Show-Me Stare either).

apacheye or clitteigh, have you even read the proposed law (see link I provided above)?

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Since the law should already protect anyone who must use deadly force for protection against bodily harm, the bill doesn't seem to make much sense.

As conservatives are usually quick to point out in other arguments -- about gun control or hate crimes, for example -- no new laws should be necessary: just enforce the current laws.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | February 15, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

As far as I know, Alabama has the most far-reaching laws in this regard, Statute 13A-6-1 includes "an unborn child in utero at any stage of development, regardless of viability" as a "person" and "human being" for purposes of the state laws dealing with murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and even assault.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

MidwaySailor76, movies starring Jodie Foster provide extra motivation to those unbalanced individuals who would do violence to Presidents. Should we stop her from making movies too?

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

claw -- aren't all these cases in response to incidents a few years ago where women lost their pregnancies after an assault and the DAs threw up their hands and said there couldn't charge the assailant with something more severe? there was a bit of a outcry that someone could be charged with only a misdemeanor when someone caused the death of the fetus. IIRC, the pro-choice crowd was concerned then. i suppose this is the next step.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 15, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

SO IS THAT WHAT HAPPEN TO ANY SENATOR/ REPRESENTATIVE US/STATE THAT BELIEVE IN A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE, LETS NOT REPEAT ARIZONA OK,

GOOGLE: RELIGION CAUSES MENTAL ILLNESS

Posted by: shaiarra | February 15, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Anyone under physical assault is already entitled, under the laws of every jurisdiction I know of, to use whatever force is reasonably necessary...including lethal force...to defend themselves.

Only the absolute nuttiest of prosecutors would even bring such a charge... and no jury in the country will ever convict a pregnant woman for shooting a man who was physically attacking her in this way.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | February 15, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

NoVAHockey, I remember the federal law signed by Bush43, but I haven't been following the State laws closely. This proposed law makes sense to me. It would not provide "justifiable homicide" defense to anyone killing an abortionist in order to prevent a legal abortion (again, if the abortionist was performing an ILLEGAL abortion, then the mother could use this defense).

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

So right-to-lifers, killing a human being is OK sometimes and not others. How inconsistent of you. Hypocrites!

Posted by: eddiemoe67 | February 15, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

As Sarah Silverman said:

"My boyfreind and I wanted to get an abortion, but I couldn't get pregnant."

Posted by: BurfordHolly | February 15, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade, you are mistaken in that lethal force CANNOT be used as justification for a non-lethal attack.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Iconoblaster, I guess they have "nutty" prosecutors and juries in Michigan (see link that I provided above). If I find a similar case from South Dakota, I will let you and ashotinthedark know as I guess it doesn't matter that it has indeed happened elsewhere.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

You mean "Plum[b]" as in Stupid?

Posted by: tmorgan2008 | February 15, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I came of age in the civil rights era as well but I still believe that Midway Sailor's argument is using absurdity instead of logic. The fact that the states misused their rights in the civil rights era does not mean that they surrendered them. The left would like us to believe that and they knee jerk respond to every assertion of states rights as you did.

Ashot: What happens in a culture is that the norms shift. So the means employed by group A to achieve their desired goal becomes the norm for any group that follows after.

If beligerent protests on the front porch of a banker is what the unions find necessary to advance their agenda today. It it what others will do in their turn.

This is why the behavior of the left toward Mr Bush was so ghastly. It destroyed civility and it worked. That is the new norm. clearly Obama doesn't like it. The Oprah went so far as to demand that we respect Obama. Not gonna happen in this day and age.

I don't believe I'm advocating do as I say not as I do either. I'm saying that if the left's behavior in the bush years was acceptable, then similar behavior by Obama's opponents is acceptable now. It is, IMHO the left that wants civility NOW after showing American their bodunkas for the past ten years.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 15, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Sounds more like something that would come out of our nutcase legislature out here in Arizonastan.

Posted by: deadchief | February 15, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Sounds more like something that would come out of our nutcase legislature out here in Arizonastan.

Posted by: deadchief | February 15, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

again...another stupid law by a stupid man who does not have a uterus or ever will, will not get pregnant, and will never, EVER be a woman...and who is flirting around the same edges of a moral dictate to monitor every pregnancy in the united states which is the highest form of gender tyrany

Posted by: vaennis | February 15, 2011 5:54 PM | Report abuse

vaennis, why do you think it is "stupid" to grant a pregnant woman who wants to defend her unborn child the right to "justifiable homicide"? Not that it should matter, but this law has female Representatives as co-sponsors.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Specifically, Reps. Jenna Haggar, Lora Hubbel, Melissa Magstadt, Patty Miller, Stacey Nelson, Betty Olson, Jacqueline Sly, and Patricia Stricherz. I will have to check the gender of the State Senators co-sponsoring this bill (right after I find a murder prosecution of a South Dakotan pregnant woman).

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abuse

"Would a victim of rape or incest, not be allowed to receive an abortion?"

I never understood the distinction. It's either a life worthy of protection or it's not.

Posted by: NoVAHockey
__________________________________________
Anti-choicers just don't get it. It's not about the fetus it's about the right of a woman to control her OWN body. That's why anti-choice legislation typically greatly restricts access to abortion services while at the same time including this language to try to pass constitutional muster.

It's surprising to me how so called "small government" conservatives (and I don't that you are one) scream at perceived government intrusions yet support this intrusion into the most personal decision a woman, and perhaps her partner, can make.

Posted by: Observer001 | February 15, 2011 6:31 PM | Report abuse

claw- Abortion related issues keep coming up at my job. This has been an interesting day.

Anyway, that Michigan case is pretty interesting. I was surprised that Texas didn't (at least in 2002) recognize the defense of others defense in the case of a fetus nor, if I read the case right, was the defense of others codified.

Fairlington's point is that shoving pills down a woman's throat is a felony and the bill allows self-defense where a felony is being committed against the person.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 15, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

ashotinthedark, not every felony assault allows for justifiable homicide. You should remember that from first year. If the pills would only kill the fetus, that is exactly the type of case where this law would be needed. While I don't have access to Westlaw right now, I did find a South Dakota case (State vs. Sundance Medicinehorn Keeble) where pregnant girlfriend was stabbed in the abdomen, killing the fetus, but the girlfriend survived the attack. Too bad she couldn't use lethal force under this proposed law.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 7:05 PM | Report abuse

You can read just a sampling of the horrors of Forced Abortions here:

http://www.clinicquotes.com/site/story.php?id=76

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 15, 2011 7:20 PM | Report abuse

claw- remember crim law from first year, seriously? I thought the SD law just said a felony, which I did think was odd.

There is obviously a strong argument that being stabbed in the abdomen would warrant using lethal force in self-defense fetus or no fetus. And as the Michigan case shows even if the SD law doesn't specifically state defending the fetus is justifiable homicide, there are other arguments available that may protect a woman. Not to mention the defense bar favorite, jury nullification.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 15, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Jensen has the cold-blooded intimidation tactics of a Mafia Don, "An abortion doctor, or god forbid, his lovely wife and kids could accidentally get in the way of a bullet ...I'm just sayin'".

Posted by: brettt502 | February 15, 2011 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Is shooting a South Dakota legislator justifiable homicide?

Posted by: thrh | February 15, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

This MUST be some kind of joke, right? Seriously, a South Dakota Legislator would make it "justifiable Homicide" to murder pro-abortion people or providers of abortions? He must be totally insane and/or so morally bankrupt and blinded with fanaticism over the sanctity of a fetus over the rights of a living, breathing Mother. WHO are these people who would supercede the very serious and personally private decision only a Physician can make in consulting with the Principals involved? How DARE they presume to make medical decisions without a shred of knowledge as to why a termination might be needed? What's next? Will they start to legislate who, where and when people can access Health Care of ANY kind? Don't confuse them with facts, just across the board decisions made by "legislators" over what kind of treatment a person can get according to the particular prejudice of WHICH legislator? Yes, THAT'S crazy and so is the Boob in South Dakota who would legislate "justifiable Homicide" for Physicians upholding their Hippocratic Oath! Come on home, Dorothy, you're NOT in Kansas any more!

Posted by: billnbillieskid | February 15, 2011 11:18 PM | Report abuse

From the text of the law:

Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person while resisting any attempt… to commit any felony upon him or her, or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person is.

Given that a kid was gunned down a few years ago for scaring a home owner, claw's sophistry blows away.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 15, 2011 11:18 PM | Report abuse

If Mike Pence had sex with his wife when she was pregnant wouldn't that make him a child (fetus) molester?

Posted by: SaySo1 | February 16, 2011 12:37 AM | Report abuse

If Phil Jensen had sex with his wife when she was pregnant wouldn't that make him a child (fetus) molester?

Posted by: SaySo1 | February 16, 2011 12:49 AM | Report abuse

If Mike Pence had sex with his wife when she was pregnant wouldn't that make him a child (fetus) molester?

Posted by: SaySo1 | February 16, 2011 12:52 AM | Report abuse

If Phil Jensen had sex with his wife when she was pregnant wouldn't that make him a child (fetus) molester?

Posted by: SaySo1 | February 16, 2011 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Sayso, no.

FairlingtonBlade, you haven blown anything away because you left out the word "reasonable" which is required in every jurisdiction. In the United States, at least, the defense of self-defense allows a person to use "reasonable" force in his or her own defense. What you are referring to is called an imperfect self-defense. While imperfect self-defense is sometimes allowed to mitigate the sentence, the unreasonable act is still illegal. As ashotinthedark pointed out, the criminal defense attorney can also hope for another miracle like jury nullification.

While the definitions vary from state to state, the general rule makes an important distinction between the use of non-lethal and lethal force. A person may use non-lethal force to prevent imminent injury, however a person may not use lethal force unless that person is in "reasonable" fear of death him or herself. Some states include an additional duty to retreat (exceptions include Louisiana and Florida: see castle doctrine), when deadly force may only be used if the person is unable to safely retreat.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 16, 2011 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Ah yes, your new TeaBirther theocracy. Making it legal to gun down people in the street.

Posted by: WDRussell | February 16, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

WDRussell, that is not "new TeaBirther theocracy." It is already legal to gun down someone in the street as long as you are being threatened with death by said someone. This proposed law would simply extend that same concept to a woman defending her unborn child who is being threatened with death by said someone.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 16, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

raincntry, I'm fairly certain that there is no jurisdiction in the U.S. that would allow lethal force as a legal defense to just one blow to a woman's abdomen. You are simply mistaken (I won't go so far as saying "sheer lunacy") as to "justifiable homicide" .

Posted by: clawrence12
_________________________
you are mistaken. no one would prosecute a mother for using lethal force necessary to protect her child, but not, hypothetically, necessary to protect herself.

the idea that this bill is necessary to ensure that no prosecutor splits the difference is absurd. it's a play to the pro-life crowd and nothing more. end of discussion.

Posted by: JoeT1 | February 16, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Sayso, no.

FairlingtonBlade, you haven blown anything away because you left out the word "reasonable" which is required in every jurisdiction. In the United States, at least, the defense of self-defense allows a person to use "reasonable" force in his or her own defense. What you are referring to is called an imperfect self-defense. While imperfect self-defense is sometimes allowed to mitigate the sentence, the unreasonable act is still illegal. As ashotinthedark pointed out, the criminal defense attorney can also hope for another miracle like jury nullification.

While the definitions vary from state to state, the general rule makes an important distinction between the use of non-lethal and lethal force. A person may use non-lethal force to prevent imminent injury, however a person may not use lethal force unless that person is in "reasonable" fear of death him or herself. Some states include an additional duty to retreat (exceptions include Louisiana and Florida: see castle doctrine), when deadly force may only be used if the person is unable to safely retreat.

Posted by: clawrence12
____________________
not exactly. you are not required to submit to a non-lethal beating until the attacker is exhausted just because you aren't at risk of death. If you can't overcome the attacker with non-lethal force (you would be obliged to if possible - that's clear), lethal force would be just fine.

Posted by: JoeT1 | February 16, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

JoeT1, did you read the Michigan case I linked to above? Therein a woman was prosecuted (and convicted) for using lethal force necessary to protect her child but not necessary to protect her life. After you read the entire thread, not just two of my posts, let me know if you still have questions.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 16, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

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