Thursday, February 17, 2011

Followup: South Dakota

According to the New York Times, HB 1171 has been shelved indefinitely. The article's authors state that the decision was the result of public outcry about the vagueness of the bill's language. For the most part, it sounds as though objections were raised by people in both pro- and anti-abortion camps, which (I think) is a good thing. As one person quoted in the article put it, "It’s a very clear shift in the conversation. We have never had a public conversation about whether it’s right to kill a doctor."

At the same time, however, we still have a few fringe groups who thought that the measure was a good deterrent against abortion:
Dave Leach, an Iowa anti-abortion activist, praised the bill, saying it could end abortions in South Dakota by scaring away doctors or by establishing grounds for someone to kill those who stay.

“There may be something I’m overlooking, but from all appearances, this bill would certainly justify an individual taking the life of an abortionist in order to save human lives,” he said.
Maybe it's because I don't agree with the idea of taking lives to save them, but I have a hard time understanding how Mr. Leach's notion of "taking [a] save human lives" makes any sense.

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