Suddenly Arizona is being challenged in it efforts to be known as the stupidest and most vicious state in the nation. South Dakota, home to Mt. Rushmore, Wall Drug, and little else, has come up with a proposed piece of legislation that is so draconian and bizarre that it would turn Arizona's State Senator Russell Pearce green with envy - as green as the bologna that Shurf Joe Arpaio serves to his Maricopa County jailbirds. While Senator Pearce has been focused on all-out war with anyone in Arizona who happens to be browner than he is, State Representative Phil Jensen of South Dakota has taken abuse of the legislative process to a whole other level!
Representative Jensen, a Republican (of course), is sponsoring a redefinition of "justifiable homicide" to include killings that were intended to prevent harm to a fetus. And while he mumbles that his intent in making this change to the law is to prevent boyfriends from beating up their pregnant girlfriends - to cause an abortion and thus not have to pay child support - his real intent is as obvious as Jan Brewer's dye job. Rep. Jensen, a devout anti-abortionist, has proposed a change in the law that would give legal cover to someone who killed an abortion provider. It would be open season on doctors who were willing to perform abortions, and it would place staff members of family planning clinics in even greater peril than they currently experience.
Jensen's bill unfortunately passed out of committee today on a party-line vote of 9-to-3, and it is headed to the full House for consideration.
This bill, of course, is so egregious that it should be quickly struck down by the Courts. But just the fact that it was introduced and given serious attention in a legislative body is dangerous in its own right. Look at Arizona, for example. Not everyone of that state's proposed loopy laws will actually make it into the state statutes, but just the fact that they are being presented and talked about by elected officials gives an air of legitimacy to the racism that is intrinsic in all of the bills. These attempts to codify hate provides miscreants (like Jared Loughner and Shawna Forde) some perverse sense of right as they stroke their guns and envision smiling at the news cameras in front of piles of dead humans.
And now there are people fixating on the notion that killing certain doctors really is justified.
Phil Jensen needs to be held personally accountable for the injuries or deaths of any doctor or clinic worker who is helping a woman exercise her Constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy in South Dakota - just as Russell Pearce, Jan Brewer, and Joe Arpaio should own the results of Arizona's rabid racism - a condition that they continue to shamelessly stir and milk for votes.
Words have meaning, and actions have consequences. This would be a good summer to stay away from Mt. Rushmore and Wall Drug - and the Grand Canyon!