Nebraska Latest State to Declare Open Season on Abortion Doctors

Just when you thought the anti-abortion extremism couldn’t get any more, well, extreme.

Earlier this month, Rep. Phil Jensen, a South Dakota Republican lawmaker, had proposed an amendment to a bill to expand the legal definition of justifiable homicide by adding language that said 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.”

Last week, the bill, which had made it would of committee and was about to be scheduled for a floor vote, was shelved after Mother Jones reported the story. Apparently reaction to the news fueled outrage across the country over what could essentially mean open season on abortion providers.

Now, Mother Jones is reporting on a nearly identical bill from a Nebraska lawmaker who wants to expand the justifiable homicide definition to include protecting a fetus. But apparently Republican Sen. Mark Christensen, a devout Christian who opposes abortion even in the case of rape, doesn’t just want to limit the aggrieved parties to a family member. No, that would be too restricting. Rather, this bill would apply justifiable homicide to any third party trying to defend a fetus from harm.

But Christensen, like Jensen, is shocked (shocked, I tell you!) that anyone could construe the bill to mean that it’s open season on abortion providers and insists that it’s only designed to protect a woman’s right to defend her unborn child from an attacker. As if there weren’t laws like that already in existence.

No, it’s pretty clear what’s going on here. I’m not going to go so far to say that these lawmakers are hoping that a bunch of crazies are going to grab their rifles and go shoot up abortion clinics. I really don’t think that’s the goal of this legislation. But what I do think they’re trying to do is strike fear into the hearts of legitimate doctors and their staff who are trying to provide a legal and private service to women in need. So much fear that they ultimately decide to no longer practice and shut down their offices. And that’s why, as I wrote in my previous post, these bills are nothing short of state-endorsed terrorism.

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Lauri Lebo is the author of The Devil in Dover: Dogma v. Darwin in Small-Town America, a book about the 2005 First Amendment trial of Kitzmiller v. Dover in which intelligent design was ruled creationism.