Posts Tagged “abortion rights”
The vast armies of the Religious Right are on the march, and are working harder than ever before to turn the US into a Christofascist paradise. The 2010 elections have fired them up, and they’re taking no prisoners. The latest example of this trend comes from South Dakota, where a bill under consideration may make it legally permissible to kill abortion doctors. You read that right. Mother Jones reports on S.D. House Bill 1171 and its possible ramifications (WebCite cached article):
A law under consideration in South Dakota would expand the definition of “justifiable homicide” to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus—a move that could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions. The Republican-backed legislation, House Bill 1171 [cached], has passed out of committee on a nine-to-three party-line vote, and is expected to face a floor vote in the state’s GOP-dominated House of Representatives soon.
The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Phil Jensen, a committed foe of abortion rights [cached], alters the state’s legal definition of justifiable homicide by adding language stating that a homicide is permissible if committed by a person “while resisting an attempt to harm” that person’s unborn child or the unborn child of that person’s spouse, partner, parent, or child. If the bill passes, it could in theory allow a woman’s father, mother, son, daughter, or husband to kill anyone who tried to provide that woman an abortion—even if she wanted one.
In a follow-up story also offered by Mother Jones (cached), Jensen was defiant about it:
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Phil Jensen (R), spoke to Mother Jones on Tuesday morning, after the story was published. He disagreed with this interpretation of the bill, claiming that it is simply meant to “bring consistency to South Dakota statute as it relates to justifiable homicide.” This echoes the argument he made in the committee hearing on the bill last week. “If you look at the code, these codes are dealing with illegal acts. Now, abortion is a legal act. So this has got nothing to do with abortion.” Jensen also aggressively defended the bill [cached] in an interview with the Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent on Tuesday morning.
So, we have here a man who’s on the record as opposing abortion, and who sponsors a bill that has implications for abortion … yet somehow I’m supposed to believe him when he says it “has got nothing to do with abortion”? Really!? Sorry, Representative, I’m not stupid enough to buy that. Not for one moment.
Folks, the relentless onslaught of Christofascism is coming.
Hat tip: Mark at Skeptics & Heretics Forum on Delphi Forums, and Religion Dispatches.
Photo credit: Rockford Register Star.
, abortion doctors
, abortion rights
, hb 1171
, house bill 1171
, justifiable homicide
, phil jensen
, pierre SD
, religious right
, south dakota
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Two months ago I blogged on a strange religiofascist crew from out-of-state who decided to protest in front of a mosque in Bridgeport, Connecticut, screaming “Islam is a lie!” at it, among other things. At the time, I had never heard of their leader, Flip Benham, and assumed him to just be some run-of-the-mill hyperreligious nutjob with a lot of time on his hands. But authorities in North Carolina have known who he is; they prosecuted him for harassing doctors and he was recently convicted of this, as station WSOC TV-9 in Charlotte, NC explains (WebCite cached article):
A local pastor was found guilty Monday of stalking a doctor who performs abortions. He was sentenced to 24 months probation and plans to appeal.
Reverend “Flip” Benham posted wild west-style “Wanted” posters which gave the doctor’s name and home address. Benham said this was a free speech issue, that he has a constitutional right to speak his mind.
Now, I was surprised by a few things about this story. For example, the Connecticut Post had reported back in August that Benham was from Dallas, Texas (cached article). That turns out not to have been the case … he is, instead, from Concord, NC. I also had not realized he’s an ordained minister, of the Free Methodist Church, but he is. I also had not realized he was a founder of Operation Rescue … I’d thought that had Randall Terry had been its founder.
Quite aside from all of this, however, Benham is obviously off his rocker. And now, he’s a convict. His defense for what he did is rather thin:
Benham replied, “Nobody has gone and killed because [he or she] saw a poster. That is most absurd and logical fallacy that there possibly could be.”
First of all, as a ferocious religionist and fascist at heart, Benham wouldn’t know what a “fallacy” was, if one smashed him in the face and knocked him to the ground. Second, that Benham included the doctor’s face and address makes evident his intention to intimidate the doctor, at the very least. The Flipster may be free to practice his religion, but that freedom is not a license to harass or intimidate others, and intimidating or harassing speech is not protected by the First Amendment.
Hat tip: Lordrag at iReligion Forum on Delphi Forums.
Photo credit: marklyon.
, abortion doctor
, abortion rights
, charlotte NC
, christian right
, concord NC
, flip benham
, north carolina
, operation rescue
, operation rescue national
, operation save america
, religious right
, rev flip benham
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