Time's Sullivan Corrects Colleague But Echoes Fear of Violence Against Abortionists in South Dakota

February 16th, 2011 10:38 AM

Yesterday I rebuked Time's Jay Newton-Small for falsely characterizing a bill before South Dakota's state legislature that would make it legal to use lethal force against a person attempting to kill an unborn child in the commission of a crime.

"South Dakota is apparently considering legalizing the murder of doctors who perform abortions," Newton-Small complained.

Later yesterday afternoon, Time magazine staffer Amy Sullivan corrected her colleague about the purpose and scope of the legislation, but feared that extremist violence might be encouraged by the state's relatively restrictive abortion laws:

Of course, that's an awfully thin semantic line preventing a pro-life extremist from legally going after one of South Dakota's two abortion providers. Especially given the increasing array of restrictions that surround abortion in the state. South Dakota has a parental notification law. Does that mean if a doctor performs an abortion on a teenager who has not obtained her parent's consent, that abortion is illegal and the doc is fair game? It's unclear. And that's a problem--even if the bill isn't quite as inflammatory as it first appeared.