On our last show, we talked about the South Dakota lawmaker that was planning on introducing legislation that would make the killing of a doctor that performs abortions a justifiable homicide. Now it seems he’s backpedaling from that position. From Plum Line:
South Dakota state representative Phil Jensen — who unexpectedly found himself in the center of a national firestorm yesterday over his proposal to expand the state’s definition of “justifiable homicide” to apply to killings in defense of the unborn — now appears ready to back down.
Jensen tells me he is eyeing changes to the language of his bill that would make it airtight that abortion providers could not be targeted in any “justifiable homicide” protecting fetuses from the procedure.
Jensen was aggressively defending the bill all day yesterday, arguing that its current language only applied to illegal acts and adamantly insisting that it couldn’t be applied to the killing of abortion providers. But now, his decision to consider changing the bill amounts to an admission that the proposal may be flawed and perhaps not as clear cut as he insisted.
“There’s no way in the world that I or any other representatives wish to see abortion doctors murdered,” Jensen told me. “So we’re looking at some language that will include that. We’re looking at some language that would protect abortion providers.”
UPDATE, 12:43 p.m.: Jensen tells me he is considering the following change to the language of the proposal (the new part is in bold):
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 that is unlawful and 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.
That would make it clear that “justifiable homicide” can only apply in response to an unlawful act, which would obviously not include abortion, which is legal.
Of course, it took a day of getting hammered for him to realize that he was essentially greenlighting the murder of doctors who perform abortions. As we talked about on the show, it doesn’t matter what your opinion is about abortion. Defining the killing of a doctor who is performing a legal medical procedure as a justifiable homicide is a license for unstable nutjobs to grab their guns and go hunting.