Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Update on South Dakota's Bill to Legalize Domestic Terrorism

The language of HB 1171 has been changed. The new version (old version here):

1 FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to provide that the use of force by a pregnant woman for
2 the protection of her unborn child is an affirmative defense to prosecutions for certain
3 crimes.
4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:
5 Section 1. It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution for homicide as defined in § 22-16-1
6 or assault as defined in § 22-18-1 or 22-18-1.1 that the defendant is a pregnant woman who used
7 force or deadly force against another to protect her unborn child if:
8 (1) Under the circumstances as the pregnant woman reasonably believes them to be, she
9 would be justified under § 22-16-35 in using force or deadly force to protect herself
10 against the unlawful force or unlawful deadly force she reasonably believes to be
11 threatening her unborn child; and
12 (2) She reasonably believes that her intervention and use of force or deadly force are
13 immediately necessary to protect her unborn child.
14 Section 2. The affirmative defense provided in section 1 of this Act does not apply to:

1 (1) Acts committed by anyone other than the pregnant woman;
2 (2) Acts where the pregnant woman would be obligated to retreat, to surrender the
3 possession of a thing, or to comply with a demand before using force in self-defense.
4 However, the pregnant woman is not obligated to retreat before using force or deadly
5 force to protect her unborn child, unless she knows that she can thereby secure the
6 complete safety of her unborn child; or
7 (3) The defense of human embryos existing outside of a woman’s body.

The key difference in the updated version is that the affirmative defense only applies to killings committed by the pregnant woman.

Of course, the bill is still a lot of nonsense:

8 (1) Under the circumstances as the pregnant woman reasonably believes them to be, she
9 would be justified under § 22-16-35 in using force or deadly force to protect herself
10 against the unlawful force or unlawful deadly force she reasonably believes to be
11 threatening her unborn child;

South Dakota already has justifiable homicide laws for self defense which allow the pregnant woman to use deadly force to protect herself against unlawful force used against *her*.

It's not possible to use unlawful force or unlawful deadly force against a pregnant woman that would only threaten part of her uterine contents and nothing else.

Bottom line: Just because Rep. Phil Jensen and his cohorts were caught in the act of trying to legalize domestic terrorism and, when called on it, made some changes to the bill doesn't mean they are absolved of responsibility.


(via)

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