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Nebraska GOP introduces ‘justifiable homicide’ bill

Nebraska lawmakers, it seems, only need one bill to accomplish what would take two in Iowa: The legalized killing of abortion providers.

The Nebraska legislation was introduced by state Sen. Mark Christensen, who opposes abortion regardless of circumstance, according to a report from Mother Jones. The bill, which is similar to an earlier South Dakota proposal that has since been set aside, would allow any third party to escalate to violence for the protection of a fetus.

From Mother Jones:

… “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.”

Baker’s concern is well-grounded: Abortion providers are frequent targets of violent attacks. Eight doctors have been murdered by anti-abortion extremists since 1993, and another 17 have been victims of murder attempts. Some of the perpetrators of those crimes, including Scott Roeder, the murderer of Wichita, Kansas, abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, have attempted to use the justifiable homicide defense at their trials. Several of the witnesses at Wednesday’s hearing cited Tiller’s murder as a case where a law like the one Christensen introduced could have come into play.

For his part, Christensen insisted that his measure is not intended to target abortion providers. Like Jensen, Christensen claimed that his bill is merely meant to allow pregnant women to defend their unborn children without fear of prosecution. …

As The Iowa Independent previously reported, a combination of two bills that share 19 House Republican sponsors could have a similar ramifications in Iowa. Those two bills define a fertilized egg as a person worthy of state protection and could permit the use deadly force in defense of such persons.

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