ACLU Decries Proposed South Dakota Law That Places Abortion Providers In Danger

February 16, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

PIERRE, S.D. – A law being considered by the South Dakota House of Representatives today would provide legal protection for committing murder in order to prevent conduct “likely to result in the death of” an embryo or fetus. The law raises serious concerns about the safety of abortion providers. The language of the bill is such that if a woman chooses to end a pregnancy, the new law would provide protection to her husband or boyfriend for killing the medical personnel involved. The law would classify such an act as “justifiable homicide.”

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of South Dakota warned that such a law could lead to violence against medical staff who provide abortion care. 

The following can be attributed to Robert Doody, ACLU of South Dakota Chapter Director:

“This bill could allow those bent on killing abortion providers to do so with impunity. The women of South Dakota are already badly in need of health services. This law would place those that wish to provide badly needed medical care to South Dakota women in grave danger. It would be irresponsible and dangerous to pass this law.”

The following can be attributed to Talcott Camp, Deputy Director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project:

“This law is a stark example of the degree to which women’s health is under assault nationwide. It is outrageous to suggest that it is justifiable to murder a doctor for providing legal medical care. It is particularly shocking to introduce such a bill in light of the real threats of murder abortion providers already face across the country – threats that have been carried out all too often. To pass a bill that could provide legal protections for harming abortion providers recklessly endangers the lives of doctors, their staff and the women they serve.” 

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