‘JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE’ BILL PULLED IN S.D…. We learned Tuesday morning that Republicans in South Dakota were pushing a disturbing piece of anti-abortion legislation. Interpretations varied, but a “justifiable homicide” bill seemed to open the door to making it legal to kill medical professionals who perform abortions.

It didn’t take long for news to make the rounds. Late yesterday, the day after the news broke, the bill was shelved indefinitely.

A state bill to expand the definition of justifiable homicide in South Dakota to include killing someone in the defense of an unborn child was postponed indefinitely Wednesday after an uproar over whether the legislation would put abortion providers at greater risk.

The House speaker, Val Rausch, said that the legislation had been shelved, pending a decision on whether to allow a vote, amend the language or drop it entirely. A spokesman for Gov. Dennis Daugaard said, “Clearly the bill as it’s currently written is a very bad idea.”


Kate Sheppard deserves a lot of credit — she wrote the original report, and had it not been for her article, the legislation in South Dakota may have very well advanced.

It’s also worth noting that even for right-wing lawmakers working on reproductive rights, it’s heartening to know shame is still possible. The reversal in South Dakota comes two weeks after congressional Republicans, unable to think of a defense, dropped a provision to redefine rape in the odious “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.”

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.