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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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74 Responses

  1. Emily WK
    Emily WK February 15, 2011 at 11:38 am |

    I have seen this discussed but I hadn’t read the actual text before now.

    master, mistress, or servant

    What the hell does that mean? Are there any lawyers who can explain to me why we’re putting this kind of language in a bill in the US in 2011? (Aside from the “hey, it’s ok to murder people” provision, I mean.)

  2. gretel
    gretel February 15, 2011 at 11:38 am |

    “Master . . . servant . . .” Sorry, but what year is this?! Did I just wake up in the 19th century!?

    Also, wouldn’t federal law trump this? And since South Dakota has so many Reservations, wouldn’t tribal law trump this, too? (Of course this law is a total nightmare and should not pass!)

  3. LoriA
    LoriA February 15, 2011 at 11:41 am |

    I have a few words: this is completely fucking ridiculous from a legal standpoint. There is no way this shit would hold up in court.

    I don’t think we have anything to worry about… this time.

  4. ElleBeMe
    ElleBeMe February 15, 2011 at 11:46 am |

    This is also the state where they passed a law mandating every citizen MUST purchase a firearm to challenge the Healthcare Law. They knew it would be ridiculous – but it would generate PRESS and a foray into the SCOTUS.

    This is no different. Their thinking is that since abortion is LEGAL and also the killing of an unborn child (their thinking, not mine), it should also be legal to kill anyone who would perform an abortion. For they see no difference between a BORN person and a fecund gamete.

    This is also the same state where Leslie Unruh (MOAR BAYBEEZ!) resides and has influence over legislation. This is also the same state that tried to outlaw abortion in its entirety in teh state a few years back. Anyone remember the S Dakota abortion ban?

    This is their hope and chance again to get more press and possibly have another chance at SCOTUS.

  5. Doc Frankie
    Doc Frankie February 15, 2011 at 11:46 am |

    Unreal!

    What’s next on those jihadists agenda? Honor killing?

  6. ElleBeMe
    ElleBeMe February 15, 2011 at 11:49 am |

    Addendum to my earlier post – when I say a foray into SCOTUS I mean in regards as a challenge to the Healthcare Law and RvW.

  7. bayoumaharajah
    bayoumaharajah February 15, 2011 at 11:50 am |

    Of course due to their restrictive laws South Dakota doesn’t have any abortion providers so I think they’re safe in Montana irregardless of this law.

  8. gretel
    gretel February 15, 2011 at 11:57 am |

    ElleBeMe: You seem knowledgeable about SD, so am I remembering correctly/incorrectly that SD has only one abortion clinic? I remember a New Yorker profile about Cecilia Fire Thunder that talked about the lack of women’s health resources in the state.

  9. MP1985
    MP1985 February 15, 2011 at 12:13 pm |

    Is this a joke?

  10. ACG
    ACG February 15, 2011 at 12:21 pm |

    Emily WK: I have seen this discussed but I hadn’t read the actual text before now.master, mistress, or servantWhat the hell does that mean? Are there any lawyers who can explain to me why we’re putting this kind of language in a bill in the US in 2011? (Aside from the “hey, it’s ok to murder people” provision, I mean.)  

    Yeah, that one jumped out at me, too. Does that justify murder by the parents of the kid I tutor, or would I have to be a live-in for that rule to kick in?

  11. Nahida
    Nahida February 15, 2011 at 12:26 pm |

    Jesus Christ. Where do these bills come from?!

  12. Cate
    Cate February 15, 2011 at 12:27 pm |

    What. I don’t even see how people against abortion think this is a good idea. A murderer wants to get away with it? “They were going to commit Abortion!” “Well OK then!” Heck, there’s a reason we don’t allow vigilante justice.

    Just goes to show they’d even sacrifice public safety to keep women pregnant.

  13. Personal Failure
    Personal Failure February 15, 2011 at 12:30 pm |

    In their example concerning the boyfriend, it’s already illegal to beat a woman for any reason . . . right? I’m very concerned about what’s going on in SD right now.

  14. Becca Stareyes
    Becca Stareyes February 15, 2011 at 12:45 pm |

    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.

    I’m not a lawyer, but I would think ‘he was assaulting me, trying to do me serious injury’ would be grounds to hit back under existing law, potentially ending in the death of the assaulter since most weapons don’t exactly have precision ‘stun’ and ‘kill’ settings.

  15. EAMD
    EAMD February 15, 2011 at 12:48 pm |

    Could this bill also permit the murder of women who seek abortions? While I think most readers of this blog will clearly understand that killing a pregnant woman results in the death of a fetus, it doesn’t say that you actually have to save the “unborn child”–you only have to be “resisting the attempt” to harm it, or acting in its defense. Thus, I wonder if this bill could create circumstances under which it would, in theory, be possible to punish a woman seeking an abortion with murder.

    Please tell me how I am wrong about this.

  16. auditorydamage
    auditorydamage February 15, 2011 at 12:52 pm |

    There’s some serious Lying for Jesus by that legislator. The proposed law is clear in that it does not discriminate between legal abortions and attacks intended to force a miscarriage or otherwise terminate the pregnancy by damaging the fetus. It merely refers to the “unborn child”.

    I need to look at the text again, but I wonder if this could also place women who attempt to terminate their own pregnancies, without seeking the assistance of a medical professional, in legal jeopardy, a distinct possibility in a state with few to no providers.

  17. gretel
    gretel February 15, 2011 at 12:53 pm |

    Personal Failure: In their example concerning the boyfriend, it’s already illegal to beat a woman for any reason . . . right? I’m very concerned about what’s going on in SD right now.  

    Yeah, and in this scenario, if the woman murdered her ex-boyfriend, couldn’t she already claim self-defense? Even if she wasn’t pregnant?

  18. Jessica
    Jessica February 15, 2011 at 12:54 pm |

    Also want to point out that another bill in SD will require women to have counseling *from a CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTER* before having an abortion?

    Yay, you must be lied to before you have a medical procedure!

  19. William
    William February 15, 2011 at 12:57 pm |

    “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.”

    Well…hmm…lemme just refer you on back to your own law there

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

    Seeing as beating the woman would already be grounds for justifiable homicide she’d be well within her rights to shoot her ex dead, pregnant or not. So it seems that our dear legislator is proposing a new law that would do the same thing as existing law. Either he’s grandstanding, ignorant, or his stated reason is bullshit and this is a gambit in a larger strategy. I suggest a telephone campaign: we all call Representative Jensen’s office and, given their reasoning for this bill, ask them to clarify if they are a) ignorant of the fact that a woman has a right to defend herself with violent force whether she is pregnant or not, b) wasting the taxpayer’s money by suggesting an amendment which is purely for the sake of publicity (how fiscally irresponsible!), or c) lying in order to further some other agenda. Its a simple question, Representative Jensen.

    Should anyone have any questions for Mr. Jensen and his staff, here is how to contact him officially. He’s an upstanding public official, surely he won’t mind answering some simple questions from the general public. After all, thats his job, innit?

    Pierre Office:
    Legislative Post Office,
    South Dakota 57501
    Phone: (605) 209-7404
    Fax: (605) 773-6806

    Rapid City Office:
    10215 Pioneer Ave
    Rapid City, South Dakota 57702
    Phone: (605) 343-1335

  20. Zoe
    Zoe February 15, 2011 at 12:57 pm |

    So what they consider justifiable homicide is if the girlfriend kills the ex for hitting on her fetus? How about the fact that he’s hitting on HER?

    I wake up in the morning, I start reading my blogs and I’m pissed before breakfast. What the hell, world.

  21. auditorydamage
    auditorydamage February 15, 2011 at 12:59 pm |

    Just read the text again… although killing the mother would probably also kill the fetus, thus negating the purpose of the hypothetical “justifiable homicide” attempt, the law does seem to allow for the killing of a woman seeking an abortion, as long as it is not intended as an attempt to harm the fetus. I’m not sure that logic would fly in court, and frankly I hope no court ever has to hear such an absurd, offensive argument, but I discount no possibilities at this mucked-up point in history.

  22. Jim
    Jim February 15, 2011 at 1:06 pm |

    Ths law looks illegal on its face. It is a pretty clear violation of basic protection of law civil rights.

    South Dakota is imploding. The population is withering through emigration and the collapse of the farming economy and all this kind of panicky weirdness comes right out of that.

  23. Tony
    Tony February 15, 2011 at 1:12 pm |

    Now that’s what I call pro-life.

  24. Hot Tramp
    Hot Tramp February 15, 2011 at 1:19 pm |

    Sorry, Jill, you’re rather aggressively misreading the proposed law. It says that I may kill someone in order to protect MY unborn child, not that I may kill someone in order to protect ANY unborn child. It also says I may only kill someone who is attempting to kill my unborn child in a felonious manner. This law will not make abortion-doctor-murders legal.

  25. Natalia
    Natalia February 15, 2011 at 1:32 pm |

    So let’s say the same ex-boyfriend hears that the pregnant woman is planning a trip out of South Dakota to have an abortion.

    If he shoots her in the head – that’s cool, I guess…?

  26. auditorydamage
    auditorydamage February 15, 2011 at 1:36 pm |

    Curiously, the proposed law appears to limit the legally-protected parties to immediate relations and spouses. I have no clue what that “master, mistress, or servant” business means. Is that old language from the territorial period that somehow escaped the past 150 years of social progress? And if so, why keep it there?

  27. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe February 15, 2011 at 2:02 pm |

    The point isn’t to make it legal to kill abortion providers. The point is to keep anti-abortion nutjobs inflamed so that eventually one of them will maim or kill another abortion provider, thus intimidating others while allowing “mainstream” pro-lifers to keep their hands clean.

  28. Poeschl
    Poeschl February 15, 2011 at 2:07 pm |

    At Slate.com, David Weigel’s blog comments on Jensen’s proposed bill. Weigel links to Kate Sheppard’s report on the bill, in which Sheppard says Jensen’s bill has to be interpreted in the entire context of South Dakota’s current criminal code which defines homicide as killing “perpetrated without authority of law.”

    That’s why Jensen claims that, since abortion is currently practiced WITH authority of law, abortion providers would not be affected by his proposed bill as interpreted in the context of SD’s criminal code.

  29. broken
    broken February 15, 2011 at 2:17 pm |

    Being violently attacked and beaten regardless of the intent of that beating is usually justification for someone to defend themselves, possibly with lethal force, in most states is it not?

  30. ElleBeMe
    ElleBeMe February 15, 2011 at 2:27 pm |

    gretel: ElleBeMe: You seem knowledgeable about SD, so am I remembering correctly/incorrectly that SD has only one abortion clinic? I remember a New Yorker profile about Cecilia Fire Thunder that talked about the lack of women’s health resources in the state.  (Quote this comment?)

    I don’t live there, never have been there, but they have been in the press of late for more asshattery. I also remember the SD abortion ban they tried to pull of a few years back.

    As far as I know, yes they have only one clinic, and the MD who performs the abortions there flies in from Minnesota or Wisconsin. If I recall correctly she is in her late 60′s and wants to retire, but if she does the women she services – who drive for hundereds of miles from nowherestan – would be without ANY help.

    The last place in this country I would want to be UNWANTEDLY pregnant is a tie between MS and ND.

  31. Astrid
    Astrid February 15, 2011 at 2:59 pm |

    Jill:
    Natalia, I think that’s not allowed because it gets rid of the gestational unit for the fetus.  

    Gestational unit? Is that how SD would define a pregnant woman who wants an abortion if the GOP got its ultimate way? I guess that will be the next step, LOL.

  32. Court
    Court February 15, 2011 at 3:49 pm |

    If the section of law it amends specifically refers only to felony acts, it is possible that the amended law will NOT offer a defense for killing an abortion provider, since the act of abortion is still legal under federal law. In addition, it does say, the enumerated persons (meaning it is limited to: wife, son, daughter, whoever these SERVANTS AND MASTERS are, wth?)…so, I think this is more a domestic violence issue. Wife wants to get an abortion to protect herself/potential progeny from her violent abusive husband. Husband kills doctor. Or potentially, “accidentally”, his wife during argument.
    It gives him justifiable homicide as a defense, and legal say over her body in some sense.
    Last, it absolutely 100% sets the stage for states to continue stripping away the legality for a woman to choose to have an abortion and make medical decisions with her doctor, instead of having them made for her by the legislature. Once we started saying that it’s double homicide to kill not only a pregnant woman but also her unborn child, we got onto a slippery slope of giving rights to someone who is not a person yet.
    South Dakota–is it a smoke-free state? Or now can I kill people who are smoking near me if I’m pregnant? It could harm the baby.

  33. AK
    AK February 15, 2011 at 3:53 pm |

    Yeah, it’s pretty clear this is about abortion and reproductive rights since physically assaulting a woman is already illegal and she is within her rights to fight back, and witnesses can step in to help her. There is no reason for this law except to either take a step towards bullshit “foetal personhood” legislation or to make it easier to kill abortion providers. Scary.

  34. Yog-Sothoth
    Yog-Sothoth February 15, 2011 at 3:56 pm |

    SD seems to go in a very unpleasant direction…
    I have found a petition at aclu.org, it says “Stop the Assault on Family Planning and Planned Parenthood”. I mention this here because I think, it is worth being supported but one needs to be a US resident (as far as I could figure it out).

    @Jessica:
    “Also want to point out that another bill in SD will require women to have counseling *from a CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTER* before having an abortion?
    Yay, you must be lied to before you have a medical procedure!”

    As far as I know, this is already the case in Germany.

    German women who want to have an abortion, must get counseling beforehand or they will be denied abortion. However, one of the wellknown counseling centers (their name is “Pro Familia”) have a reputation of being very liberal about birth control and abortion.

  35. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. February 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm |

    Re: Master-Servant

    If its like most states, master-servant refers to apprenticeship relationships. Back in ye olden days, when kids were apprenticed they acted as surrogate parents and so their was a special status relationship between them. And you thought the bar exam was useless.

  36. Verity Khat
    Verity Khat February 15, 2011 at 4:34 pm |

    You know, it’s really a shame that teleportation technology doesn’t exist yet. Because if it did, I’d totally be beaming myself at regular into legislators’ offices to barf on their shoes after reading proposed bullshit like this.

  37. Jamie
    Jamie February 15, 2011 at 4:51 pm |

    Pretty sure the “abortion is legal, so that’s not what this is about” argument is wrong on the grounds of “to harm the unborn child of such person”, unless I’m misreading something (not good with legal documents and such).

  38. Adrianne
    Adrianne February 15, 2011 at 5:44 pm |

    Hi,

    I’m from South Dakota, and I can confirm that yes, there is only one abortion provider in this state who flies in once a week. Furthermore, that clinic is in Sioux Falls, which is on the waaaaaay eastern side of a state that is very large, in terms of area. From some locations in the state, it could be a drive that takes 5-10 hours (also, the weather and the roads here suck.) Tack on the 24-hour waiting period required before you can actually have the abortion, the expense of a motel/hotel room if there’s no one you can stay with, the gas taking time off work/school to be there on the proper day, etc. and it’s practically impossible to have an abortion anyway. If I were faced with an unwanted pregnancy, I’d rather take an even longer trip to Colorado. However, I have the resources and support to do so, and I’m sure a lot of women don’t.

    At this point, I wish South Dakota would just do what it’s obviously dying to do and officially declare women second-class citizens. In addition to this legislation and the previously mentioned mandatory gun ownership, the state legislature has also tried to ban surrogacy (it exploits women), pass tougher immigration laws (even though most of the brown people in SD are indigenous to the area), and ban Sharia law. Oh, and last year it declared climate change could be caused by astrology!

  39. Sidra Vitale
    Sidra Vitale February 15, 2011 at 7:54 pm |

    The legislator’s claim that this wouldn’t effect legal harm (legal abortion) to an unborn child appears to disagree with the plain language of the statutory provision, which states that homicide is justifiable when committed by the right person (person with the statutorily included relationship to the unborn child) “if there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony, or to do some great personal injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished.” A felony is not required.

    Now,
    1. Aborting a fetus does do “great personal injury” to it. (Or does it?)
    2. The use of the term “or” separates this great-personal-injury clause from the previous clause of “to commit a felony,” such that the plain language of the statute appears to distinguish between any felony being committed on the fetus and great personal injury being committed against it. Both being viable reasons for justifiable homicide.
    3. The felony or injury must be immediate. I.e., the woman has arrived at the clinic for her appointment for her abortion. Which brings us to…
    4. The person who may commit justified homicide, according to these provisions, is “any person in the lawful defense of such person,” so, you can defend yourself, “or of his or her husband, wife,” – you can defend your spouse, “parent, child,” – you can defend your parent or child, “master, mistress, or servant,” you can defend your employer or employee, “or the unborn child of any such enumerated person.”

    Which means, “you” can commit justified homicide of an abortion provider where there is imminent danger of their design to cause great personal injury to the fetus (“unborn child”) being accomplished if you are

    the fetus,
    married to the fetus,
    married to the fetus’s mother
    married to the fetus’s father, maybe (see next line)
    maybe the fetus’s parent (but one could argue that the legislature intended to distinguish between child and unborn child in the statutory language, in which case, you don’t get necessarily get that result unless mommy and daddy are married to each other)
    child of the fetus
    the parent of the fetus’s mother
    the child of the fetus’s mother
    the master, mistress, or servant of the fetus
    the master, mistress, or servant of the fetus’s mother (maybe father, see above)

    (I think that’s the complete list.)

    Or, to put it another way “you” can commit justified homicide to stop an abortion of

    your own fetus that you are mother of
    your own fetus, maybe, that you are father of
    your spouse’s fetus
    your parent or child’s fetus
    your boss’s fetus
    your employee’s fetus

    (This is all from analyzing 22-16-35. 22-16-34 is considerably less complex – you can defend yourself, or your “unborn child,” with lethal force.)

    The language of the bill (the quote in the post is missing the final word):

    FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to expand the definition of justifiable homicide to provide for the protection of certain unborn children.
    BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:
    Section 1. That § 22-16-34 be amended to read as follows:
    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.
    Section 2. That § 22-16-35 be amended to read as follows:
    22-16-35. Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person in the lawful defense of such person, or of his or her husband, wife, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant, or the unborn child of any such enumerated person, if there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony, or to do some great personal injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished.

    The inconsistencies in the proposed language (particularly whether the father and the mother of the unborn child have an identical right, or whether they must be married) render a couple of aspects a bit weirder than I expected. Of such little inconsistencies are appellate court cases made.

    (NB: I am an attorney but not licensed in South Dakota.)

  40. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig February 15, 2011 at 8:44 pm |

    Dear South Dakota, get outta my region.. I wouldn’t take it so personally if they weren’t infecting my state with their wingnut cooties.

  41. GardenGoblin
    GardenGoblin February 15, 2011 at 10:52 pm |

    They are trying to put still more road blocks, hoping that women will eventually just give up. I think the one of the intents of this law is to convince abortion providers to make women get permission from their family members, in writing, to allow them to get the abortion. Otherwise, the abortion provider would be risking death at the hands on one of these family members who was just ‘defending the child’.

  42. The good ol’ days | Within this mind
    The good ol’ days | Within this mind February 15, 2011 at 11:16 pm |

    [...] when women could make decisions for [...]

  43. Nyx
    Nyx February 15, 2011 at 11:31 pm |

    I… what? WHAT? There are no words for this. I’m disgusted.

  44. “Would A South Dakota Bill Legalize The Murder Of Abortion Clinic Workers?” and related posts | topsaladrecipes.com

    [...] South Dakota bill would allow the killing of abortion providers - Feministe [...]

  45. Chris J
    Chris J February 16, 2011 at 3:09 am |

    “Um”

    That’s a pretty pathetic acknowledgement in place of “gee I guess I have no retort for this, which has rendered my entire article pointless and misguided”.

    “It doesn’t take a creative reading to understand that this bill would classify murdering abortion providers as “justifiable homicide,””

    Well yeah, actually it does. That, a prejudice and predisposition for conspiracy theory.

    You’re stating that the bill is clearly intended to carve out a defense for the murder/assassination/terrorist attack on medical professionals rather than being a completely logical acknowledgment that there exists a greater motivation/justification for me shooting someone beating a pregnant woman as opposed to them beating anyone else.

    That the application of justifiable homicide for defense of life being extended to include pregnancy — a concept so ridiculously straight forward and comprehensible by every sentient human I need not explain it — can’t possibly be the motivation here, it must be to allow doctors to be murdered.

    If you don’t retract this on the grounds that you have no basis for a wild interpretation and no reason to doubt the rebuttal offerred, I really can’t imagine what you get to write on in future with any credibility.

    Really, if this is the measure of your intellect, logic and honesty, WTF could you ever express an opinion on in future that would be worth reading? I may as well look to Pamela Geller for my foreign policy analysis if this is the kind of prejudiced batsheet insanity I find worthy of my time.

  46. Chris J
    Chris J February 16, 2011 at 3:24 am |

    Jill: Yeah, Jamie, my read of it is that the argument re: the definition of murder isn’t exactly on point, since the bill only uses the term “murder” with regard to an individual defending themselves from an attempted murder. The language of the bill with regard to the “unborn child” specifically uses the word “harm.”  

    Seriously, is abortion murder/manslaughter? If not, why not? Does your objection in any way involve the fact it’s not a breathing person? Congratulations, you now have your answer for why “harming” an unborn child might be used instead of calling it the “murder” of an unborn child. I mean really.

    Again, without your bias, I can’t even find anything newsworthy about this.

    Did you notice the language of the bill specifically includes the word “servant”?
    Okay, now imagine the discussion where the child a woman is carrying doesn’t qualify for protection on the same grounds that the guy who trims your lawns on Thursdays does.

  47. Kelsey
    Kelsey February 16, 2011 at 9:23 am |

    It’s important to note that the mandatory gun law has not been passed and the surrogacy ban died in the first committee it saw. People introducing crazy bills does not equal a crazy bill becoming a law or having the support of the people. Many of the original sponsors of this bill are pretty upset with the amendment and have demanded it be taken off the consent calendar: http://dakotawomen.com/2011/02/15/breaking-shoot-the-doc-bill-put-in-queue-by-house-republicans/

  48. SnowdropExplodes
    SnowdropExplodes February 16, 2011 at 9:43 am |

    One amusing thought (in amongst several horrible and disgusting ones) occurred to me while looking at this:

    “…if committed by any person in the lawful defense … of his or her husband, …, or the unborn child of any such enumerated person”

    If this protects the unborn child of X’s husband, then that means it implicitly says that there are or may be husbands who are capable of bearing a child (i.e. who have wombs, and therefore are women). Given that the partner of a husband is a wife (also female), this law recognises that there may be legally married two women (one of whom might justifiably kill a person attempting to harm the other’s unborn child). Ergo, this law makes same-sex marriage legal.

    No, it doesn’t make any sense, but it makes about as much sense as the arguments presented by Rep. Phil Jensen so maybe it would persuade him not to do it for fear of teh gayz?

  49. groggette
    groggette February 16, 2011 at 10:27 am |

    SnowdropExplodes: i.e. who have wombs, and therefore are women

    No.

  50. matlun
    matlun February 16, 2011 at 10:44 am |

    @Kelsey: Depressingly enough, this legislation has passed out of committee. So it is not just a single nut.

    While the odds look fairly good that this will not become law, it is a sad illustration of the current political situation in SD.

  51. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig February 16, 2011 at 10:58 am |

    Kelsey: Considering the way that the abortion ban was narrowly voted down, I don’t think we can assume anything about South Dakota. I think at the rate the population is going down, what’s left is mostly Republicans. Any sensible person with the money to do so would be long gone by now.

  52. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable February 16, 2011 at 11:05 am |

    When people do ignorant things, it doesn’t make them crazy. For the umpteenth time.

  53. Newswatch |
    Newswatch | February 16, 2011 at 11:54 am |

    [...] Republicans’ “War on women” is widening in scope. This entry was posted in Health, Media, Politics and tagged abortion, military, sexual assault, [...]

  54. Jennie
    Jennie February 16, 2011 at 11:59 am |

    One could even go farther than abortion doctors. What about people who serve drinks to pregnant women in bars? Or that sell cigarettes to them in gas stations?

    The whole excuse of “Oh, that’s not what we meant” is just so ridiculously and obviously bullshit. If I were pregnant and a man was attacking me and my husband murdered him that is STILL justifiable homicide because my husband was defending me. If someone is trying to harm my fetus against my will, I or someone else would have every right to defend me–because they can’t harm the fetus without harming me. So why would we need a law that allowed justifiable homicide that is already justifiable?

  55. Jillian
    Jillian February 16, 2011 at 12:29 pm |

    There are state laws (new York for one) that have degrees of abortion that address the fact that in order for a presumed wanted fetus to be ‘killed’, severe and intential harm must first be done to the woman. While this law supposedly makes exceptions for the self-defense of a woman and her fetus, it does nothing to address the number one cause of death in pregnant women – murder.

  56. Jadey
    Jadey February 16, 2011 at 12:58 pm |

    Jillian: it does nothing to address the number one cause of death in pregnant women – murder

    I’m pretty sure that’s not the number one cause of death in pregnant women, given its low base rate (specifically for pregnant people and overall – murder just isn’t a common way to die for almost any demographic group). Googling and GoogleScholaring “maternal mortality” confirms my suspicions – various health complications are “number one”.

    Which is not to say that the murdering of pregnant people isn’t alarming or problematic regardless of its relative frequency – it’s just silly to make a false claim. There are other causes of maternal mortality which are also shitty, and are linked to important issues as well, like inadequate health care services and poverty (which probably aren’t unrelated to murder rates as well).

  57. jjuliaava
    jjuliaava February 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm |

    Yog-Sothoth: SD seems to go in a very unpleasant direction…
    I have found a petition at aclu.org, it says “Stop the Assault on Family Planning and Planned Parenthood”. I mention this here because I think, it is worth being supported but one needs to be a US resident (as far as I could figure it out).
    @Jessica:
    “Also want to point out that another bill in SD will require women to have counseling *from a CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTER* before having an abortion?
    Yay, you must be lied to before you have a medical procedure!”As far as I know, this is already the case in Germany.German women who want to have an abortion, must get counseling beforehand or they will be denied abortion. However, one of the wellknown counseling centers (their name is “Pro Familia”) have a reputation of being very liberal about birth control and abortion.  

    Germany. But also in Missouri:
    Check this sharia law:
    http://www.senate.mo.gov/10info/pdf-bill/comm/SB793.pdf

    The physician who is to perform or induce the abortion OR A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL has presented the woman, in person, printed materials provided by the department or an informational video provided by the department, which describes the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the unborn child at two-week gestational increments from conception to full term, including color photographs or images of the developing unborn child at two-week gestational increments. Such descriptions shall include information about brain and heart functions, the presence of external members and internal organs during the applicable stages of development andinformation on when the unborn child is viable. The printed materials or informational video shall prominently display the following statement: “The life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being”
    …No abortion shall be performed or induced unless and until the woman upon whom the abortion is to be performed or induced certifies in writing on a CHECKLIST FORM provided by the department that she has been presented all the information required in subsection 1 of this section, that she has been provided the OPPORTUNITY to view an active ultrasound image of the unborn child and hear the heartbeat of the unborn child if it is audible…

  58. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. February 16, 2011 at 1:20 pm |

    Jadey: I’m pretty sure that’s not the number one cause of death in pregnant women, given its low base rate (specifically for pregnant people and overall – murder just isn’t a common way to die for almost any demographic group). Googling and GoogleScholaring “maternal mortality” confirms my suspicions – various health complications are “number one”.

    Its actually a claim based on statistical studies conducted in Maryland about a decade ago. http://www.now.org/issues/violence/043003pregnant.html

  59. Jadey
    Jadey February 16, 2011 at 8:05 pm |

    Interesting. That article doesn’t do a very good job reporting the stats, but I’ll poke around for the original study once I’m back at work (thank god this article actually reports the relevant details so that I can look it up – science journalism, it’s so very very crappy). I’m curious about the generalizability from the sample, given that some of the other stats presented in that article actually don’t suggest that homicide is *the* number one factor and might even suggest otherwise. It’s good to know where Jillian was coming from though.

  60. RD
    RD February 16, 2011 at 8:53 pm |

    Jadey:
    (specifically for pregnant people and overall – murder just isn’t a common way to die for almost any demographic group).   

    Transgender people have an (estimated) 1 in 12 lifetime chance of being murdered. Higher for trans women, higher still for trans women of color and/or trans female sex workers. Transgender women have an estimated yearly murder rate 16 times the national average. The estimated rate for female cisgender prostitutes is higher than that (204 per 100000 each year, 37 times higher than the yearly murder rate for the average person in the US, although I think that figure on cisgender female prostitutes is from the UK). I would expect a higher rate for trans female prostitutes, people of color, etc. I could not find stats but people with disabilities (especially physical/developmental I think) have an extremely high murder rate also (perps mostly caretakers). So do homeless people. So actually there are a lot of populations with high murder rates in the US. Not to mention populations outside the US (Iraq? Areas with genocides?).

  61. RD
    RD February 16, 2011 at 8:54 pm |

    I guess Afghanistan is a better example than Iraq now.

  62. Jadey
    Jadey February 16, 2011 at 10:10 pm |

    @ RD

    I was careful to say “almost” because I knew it wouldn’t account for everyone, but I kind of shot myself in the foot by saying “demographic group” very broadly – it occurred to me after that at ages where accidents and health complications are unlikely (i.e., not too young, but not old yet) there are lower death rates over all and deliberate murder probably counts for more (although in that one article above, in at least a few young age groups, accidents were still highest).

    But absolutely there are groups who experience extremely high rates of homicide, and I exaggerated somewhat in the other direction because I was thinking more along the lines of the cognitive bias that people tend to think of sensational risks (e.g., getting struck by lighting) as more likely than commonplace ones (e.g., getting hit by a car). Still hard to say that it would be *the* biggest cause of death, because accidents and medical issues are still pretty potent as well (especially among marginalized people, who are also more likely to be murdered – it’s a form of institutional violence, but it’s not exactly homicide) – it probably varies from sample to sample. At least, this is what my haphazard Googling suggests to me.

  63. RD
    RD February 16, 2011 at 11:19 pm |

    You did say “almost” but that implies that for *most* people the murder rate is not that high. I named a bunch of demographic groups and I’m sure there are more. I bet if you added all those people up it would not be an insignificant minority of people in the world.

  64. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. February 17, 2011 at 1:09 am |

    I think subsequent studies have indicated its about 20%, but that is from a very faulty memory. The number one cause thing was reported heavily in the US years ago and still gets some play now and then. I think it likely has a lot to do with how complications are categorized and how cause of death is listed on the cert all of which makes the research a little shaky.

  65. ElleBeMe
    ElleBeMe February 17, 2011 at 9:00 am |

    Jill: I’m sorry, I missed the part where anyone forced you to read this blog.  (Quote this comment?)

    TROLL NOMINATION! LOL…..

  66. Pro-Aborts in a Froth over S.D. Fetal Homicide Bill « Pro-Life Hotline

    [...] was quickly picked up by the radical outpost The Daily Kos and liberal Huffington Post, and began making its way around the pro-abortion [...]

  67. Links of Great Interest: 2/18/2011 — The Hathor Legacy

    [...] Jones takes it on here, Feministe here, and Shakesville [...]

  68. SFskater
    SFskater February 18, 2011 at 4:05 pm |

    Jensen is reading his Exodus a little too closely, this post argues.

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