From HB 1171, submitted to the South Dakota House of Representatives on February 9, 2011 (underlined text would be added to existing law):

FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to expand the definition of justifiable homicide to provide for the protection of certain unborn children.


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

The bill was originally proposed to clarify an existing statute. Then it was “hoghoused” — a term used in the SD legislature for when a bill is substantially amended and meant to bring to mind the blood and stink of a slaughterhouse — by right wing extremists to enshrine murder as the law of the land. Apparently, if you cannot get the Supreme Court to change precedent, you can change state law and grab your shotgun.

Mother Jones has a more extensive article about South Dakota’s move to legalize the murder of women’s health providers.

Gregory Gadow

Gregory Gadow