AUL: ‘Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act’ is not an abortion bill
Image has not been found. URL: http://images.americanindependent.com/stopabortion.jpgThis week Mother Jones released a story linking anti-abortion rights group Americans United for Life with the three similarly-worded “justifiable homicide” bills that have popped up in South Dakota (since shelved), Nebraska and Iowa.
AUL has spent the remainder of the week slamming Mother Jones and the Huffington Post, which pounced on the story, and the host of other media outlets accusing the organization of writing and promoting legislation that could legalize killing abortion providers.
On Wednesday, AUL released a primer on its model legislation, “Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act” (PDF), claiming the Mother Jones story contained factual errors, among them:
- The “Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act” will “protect vigilantes” and be used to excuse or justify their crimes.
- The “Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act” will “legalize” or “incite” violence against abortion providers.
- The “Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act” is an aberration and not supported by existing law.
- The “Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act” is part of a new “campaign” to target abortion providers.
- The “Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act” is the latest salvo in the “abortion wars.”
On Thursday, the organization released a media blast, further defending itself against the accusations.
“The ‘Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act’ is not an abortion bill and attempts by some abortion proponents to subsume the ‘Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act’ into the ‘abortion debate’ does a grave disservice to battered women,” said Denise Burke, AUL’s vice president of legal affairs, in the press release.
The organization has stated that any language in state bills that expand the definition of whom can be murdered legally using the justifiable homicide defense is the result of individual lawmakers’ decisions.
Indeed, AUL’s model legislation is specific:
“A pregnant woman is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect her unborn child if: (a) Under the circumstances as the pregnant woman reasonably believes them to be, she would be justified under Section(s) [Insert citation(s) to state criminal code section(s) on self defense and use of deadly force] in using force or deadly force to protect herself against the unlawful force or unlawful deadly force she reasonably believes to be threatening her unborn child; and (b) She reasonably believes that her intervention and use of force or deadly force are immediately necessary to protect her unborn child.”
Additionally, AUL insists this particular legislation is not part of a new campaign as it was not drafted this year but in 2008 “in direct response to the well-documented and growing threats of violence faced by pregnant women.”
As proof that the “Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act” has nothing to do with abortion, the organization has repeatedly insisted that the act “does not contain the word ‘abortion’ anywhere in the text of the model legislation.”
Well, it’s wrong about that. The model does contain the word “abortion” – on the last page:
More detailed information about the need and justification for the “Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act” and other legislation protecting unborn children can be found in AUL’s annual publication Defending Life 2010: A State by State Legal Guide to Abortion, Bioethics, and the End of Life.