Rep. Phil Jensen said Wednesday that he is considering amending or withdrawing a controversial bill that incited a national uproar when opponents said it would legalize the killing of abortion providers.

House Bill 1171 has the stated purpose of making use of lethal force in defense of a fetus justifiable homicide. Supporters disputed that it would allow the killing of abortion providers and deferred the bill from its scheduled Tuesday hearing to consider amendments.

After meeting on Wednesday morning with South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley, Jensen, R-Rapid City, said he is considering two options.

One is to amend the bill to make it clear that abortion providers don’t fall under HB1171’s purview. Where HB1171 says homicide is justifiable while resisting an attempt to harm a fetus “to a degree likely to result in the death of the unborn child,” Jensen could insert four words: “to a degree ‘that is unlawful and’ likely to result…”

Abortion is legal under South Dakota law and so would not qualify as an “unlawful” act.

Another option is to drop the bill entirely. South Dakota law, Jensen said, includes “unborn child” in the category of “person” – which is already included in the state’s justifiable homicide law. This could “rule out the necessity for having” HB1171, Jensen said.

The bill has been put off until Tuesday. Jensen said he expects to decide by Saturday which route he will take.

Contact David Montgomery at 394-8329 or


(6) comments



No wonder we're last in everything.

Except maybe for insane, poorly educated, recklessly driving Republican nutcases.


If Dems would just roll over on the abortion issue and send the acts to the back alleys, the Repubs would have next to nothing to run on. Then the Repubs would get run out of office since the rest of their policies lack any real attachment interest as they benefit corp America over citizens.


I was reading an online article awhile back and they were trying to change the Abortion Law in thier State. They came up with a pretty brilliant idea... It was the "Happy Heartbeat Ammendment". Had to do with not being able to perform an Abortion on a fetus w/Heartbeat.


This story is all over the national news. We are once again the laughing stock. For all the millions of dollars that the State spends on tourism and advertising, you can have one legislator introduce a crazy bill and ruin it all. The negative press ignited by one zealot is worth millions of dollars to the state.


Sharia law allows for "honor killings". Now Jensen wants to allow "honorable murder". Is it too late to bring that sharia bill back up?


As for Rep. Jensen trying to decide which route he will take, let me make a suggestion as for the route to take.

As he has decided not to do the peoples business but rather just waste everyone's time with wedge issues that are going to do nothing for the problems ordinary South Dakotans face there seems to be only one honest route for him to take.

He should resign from his position as a Representative of the people and return to private life in order that another person who can better do the people's business can replace him.

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