NE Follows SD's Lead, Proposes Bill That Would Make the Murder of an Abortion Provider a "Justifiable Homicide"

The anti-choice legislation being proposed at both the national and state levels since the 112th Congress kicked off in January is truly reaching movie-villain levels of evil. And the proposed bills just keep coming -- they're being announced with such regularity that it's been hard to catch one's breath. One of the freakiest pieces of potential legislation was proposed in South Dakota earlier this month and would have made killing an abortion provider in the state a "justifiable homicide."

Let that sink in for a moment: It would have legalized murder.

The pro-choice community breathed a sigh of relief when that bill was shelved later in the month, but now the fight is back on. Nebraska has picked up where South Dakota left off, introducing its own piece of "justifiable homicide" legislation.

Is your head spinning yet? Just wait, it gets worse: the Nebraska bill actually goes even further than the bill from South Dakota. Here are the details, via Nick Baumann and Daniel Schulman at Mother Jones:

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."

This is truly horrifying stuff. Abortion providers and their families are already regular targets of violence by anti-choice extremists. Dr. George Tiller was famously gunned down in Kansas in 2009, but he was only one of eight abortion providers murdered since the early '90s (there have been an additional 17 murder attempts against abortion providers).

This week, Rachel Maddow has been in Kansas interviewing abortion providers about what it's like trying to provide critical services to women in the face of threats. Here's one of those interviews, which aired on her show last night:

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AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at February 24, 2011, 5:53am

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