|Coming soon to an abortion clinic near you?|
Once again, the rule of thumb that there is no depth to which far-Right ideologues will not eventually sink seems to have been reaffirmed. Last week, it was revealed that a bill making its way through the South Dakotan legislature would amend the state’s justifiable homicide law to effectively legalize the murder of abortion providers from anyone even tangentially related to any woman having her pregnancy terminated. (That bill has mercifully been shelved for the time being after nationwide outrage.)
Well, apparently not to be left out in their inhumane fancies, Republican lawmakers in Nebraska are pushing a bill that somehow manages to be even more dangerous than South Dakota’s indefinitely postponed initiative, allowing not just those who personally know a woman undergoing an abortion to open fire on abortion doctors, but literally anyone at all to grab a gun and go abortionist-huntin’. Once again, Mother Jones reports:
The legislation, LB 232, was introduced by state Sen. Mark Christensen, a devout Christian and die-hard abortion foe who is opposed to the prodedure even in the case of rape. Unlike its South Dakota counterpart, which would have allowed only a pregnant woman, her husband, her parents, or her children to commit "justifiable homicide" in defense of her fetus, the Nebraska bill would apply to any third party.
"In short, this bill authorizes and protects vigilantes, and that's something that's unprecedented in our society," Melissa Grant of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland told the Nebraska legislature's judiciary committee on Wednesday. Specifically, she warned, it could be used to target Planned Parenthood's patients and personnel. Also testifying in oppostion to the bill was David Baker, the deputy chief executive officer of the Omaha police department, who said, "We share the same fears...that this could be used to incite violence against abortion providers."
Baker's concern is well-grounded: Abortion providers are frequent targets of violent attacks. Eight doctors have been murdered by anti-abortion extremists since 1993, and another 17 have been victims of murder attempts. Some of the perpetrators of those crimes, including Scott Roeder, the murderer of Wichita, Kansas, abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, have attempted to use the justifiable homicide defense at their trials. Several of the witnesses at Wednesday's hearing cited Tiller's murder as a case where a law like the one Christensen introduced could have come into play.
As with the South Dakotan bill, spearheaded by Rep. Phil Jensen (R), the promoter of this atrocity, Sen. Mark Christensen (R), is also trying to defend the bill by denying that it could lead to murders of abortion providers:
For his part, Christensen insisted that his measure is not intended to target abortion providers. Like Jensen, Christensen claimed that his bill is merely meant to allow pregnant women to defend their unborn children without fear of prosecution. "LB 232," he said, "is really nothing more than an attempt to make sure a pregnant woman is not unnecessarily charged with a crime for using force to protect her unborn child from someone who means to bring harm to her unborn children."
Yeah … except for the part where the bill clearly states that anyone can act in the woman’s “defense”, effectively throwing the door wide open for vigilantes to go on killing sprees whenever they see abortion doctors.
Just what the fuck is wrong with the American people? Just how rotten does the majority have to be to knowingly and willingly elect these sorts of ghouls? I thought it was bad enough when far-Rightists were doing everything they could to make seeking and obtaining abortions a miserable and oppressive procedure for women (and the doctors brave enough to help them) with that “consideration of fetal pain” bullshit and the likes. But now, we have two states, and possibly more around the bend, whose legislatures are actually considering enacting laws that would allow for any nutjob to shoot innocent people – life-saving heroes, even – and get away with it under the law. The loony Right is no longer merely a fringe; it’s starting to become accepted as mainstream, as it has for the past few years. (Which curiously coincides with President Obama taking office. Hmmm.)
At any rate, I’m now waiting for the next few states to start proposing (or, God forbid, enacting) other bills legalizing random murders of people far-Rightists don’t like. Or for someone to actually commit the act and then successfully get off in court. Or for an eventual overturn of Roe v. Wade to criminalize abortion once and for all. I don’t even fucking know anymore.