Culture war in South Dakota takes a radical turn

CULTURE WAR IN SOUTH DAKOTA TAKES A RADICAL TURN…. A month into the new legislative session in South Dakota, Republican efforts have gone from odd to frightening with disconcerting speed.

Two weeks ago, one Republican lawmaker in the state had a very silly proposal to force residents to purchase firearms. Last week, GOP officials in the legislature launched a plan to make surrogacy arrangements for couples who can’t have children a felony. (thanks to J.S. for the tip)

But Kate Sheppard reports today on just how far Republican culture warriors in South Dakota’s legislature are willing to go.

A law under consideration in South Dakota would expand the definition of “justifiable homicide” to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus — a move that could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions. The Republican-backed legislation, House Bill 1171, has passed out of committee on a nine-to-three party-line vote, and is expected to face a floor vote in the state’s GOP-dominated House of Representatives soon.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Phil Jensen, a committed foe of abortion rights, alters the state’s legal definition of justifiable homicide by adding language stating that a homicide is permissible if committed by a person “while resisting an attempt to harm” that person’s unborn child or the unborn child of that person’s spouse, partner, parent, or child. If the bill passes, it could in theory allow a woman’s father, mother, son, daughter, or husband to kill anyone who tried to provide that woman an abortion — even if she wanted one.

For all the ridiculous paranoia on the right about creeping “sharia law,” here we see a Republican plan at the state level to make it legal to assassinate medical professionals as part of a larger culture war.