Remember the Taliban before the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan?
They were embattled politicians made up of religious fundamentists using extreme interpretations of ancient religious texts to justify their oppression of women and the murder of people with whom they disagreed.
So…how is this any different?
Last week, South Dakota’s legislature shelved a bill, introduced by Republican state Rep. Phil Jensen, which would have allowed the use of the “justifiable homicide” defense for killings intended to prevent harm to a fetus. Now a nearly identical bill is being considered in neighboring Nebraska, where on Wednesday the state legislature held a hearing on the measure.
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.
Behold, the resurgence of the American Taliban.
Update: Matt Yglesias points out the more pernicious effect of the legislation from South Dakota and Nebraska:
…there’s actually no need whatsoever for such a bill to pass. You just need several state legislators to introduce the bill, hold hearings, popularize the idea, generate press coverage and discussion, etc. Soon enough we’ll have another assassination of an obstetrician and the perpetrator will use the justifiable homicide defense. Say 20 percent of Nebraskans decide that, yeah, abortion is murder to killing abortion providers is justifiable homicide. How’re you going to get a unanimous verdict from a jury?