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Latterell Wants Control Over All the Ladies, Proposes Another Abortion Restriction

In another attempt to strip South Dakota women of their Constitutional right to control their bodies and seek abortions, Rep. Isaac Latterell (R-6/Tea) has recycled a bill from last year to conflate abortion doctors with ISIS. House Bill 1230 would make "beheading" (that's the term in the bill) a fetus a Class 1 felony. This bill scales back the scope and penalty of the horror-theater abortion legislation Rep. Latterell proposed last year, 2014's HB 1241, which made "dismemberment" a Class 2 felony and "decapitation" a Class B felony (Class B brings a life sentence; Class 1, 50 years; Class 2, 25 years). Rep. Latterell compared abortion to the animal cruelty felonized by the Legislature last year, called abortion "savage", then asked for House Health and Human Services to table his bill with the promise to bring a refined bill next Session.

And now he's back with another bill that will give him a chance to trot out his biased language and grandstand for the single-issue voters in his district. Expect him to tire House Health and Human Services today with his inflammatory and chilling language intended to mask the fact that Rep. Latterell is presuming to tell doctors how to practice.

I could advocate a ban on vaccines by talking about the horror of restraining a screaming, terrfied child while plunging a needle into her flesh and forcing into her blood a potentially deadly organism. I could advocate a ban on surgery by talking about masked men drugging women and then ripping and tearing their naked flesh. But I'd be showing off while ignoring responsible medical practice and basic human rights to autonomy.

Rep. Latterell, just back off. I'm really tired of having to defend my wife and my daughter from you. Isn't one woman enough? Must you keep inserting yourself into the private affairs of every woman in South Dakota?

Abortion is legal, and should be. Women have an unalienable right to control what takes place and what does not within their bodies. If a woman has another organism growing within her body, it is her call, not any legislator's, not any policeman's, not any judge's, as to whether she must continue to bear that organism.

Related Legislative Doctoring: Ken Santema mentions that the Senate prime sponsor of this bill, Sen. Brock Greenfield (R-2/Clark) is out of commission with a broken arm. Brock's mom Lana (R-2/Doland) said he's having surgery. Perhaps we should hoghouse HB 1230, declare an emergency, and pass a law telling the doctors what thread to use when they stitch Brock up tomorrow. Or maybe we should just ban them from interfering with what God clearly intended for Brock's arm.


  1. larry kurtz 2015.02.17

    Rich women have full reproductive freedom while women at middle and lower income levels experience chilling effects on their rights. South Dakota's repeated attempts to restrict access to medical care is not only mean-spirited, it's discriminatory anti-choice extremism.

  2. Roger Elgersma 2015.02.17

    One factual difference between vaccination and abortion. When a kid gets assaulted with a needle for vaccination, almost all of them live. When their little bodies are decapitated in the womb, almost all of them die.

  3. Danno 2015.02.17

    "Assulted with a needle for vaccination"? Is this one of those science-hating "Vaccine's give kids Autism" conspiracy theorists?

  4. Danno 2015.02.17

    Ok, upon closer review, I'm not being fair to Roger, (that's what I get for not properly reading the article all the way through first).

  5. bearcreekbat 2015.02.17

    If this becomes law then do we have to have autopsies on every aborted zygote/fetus to determine whether it had developed a head yet, and if so whether the head was still intact? Who will pay this cost and how much will such frequent autopsies cost our taxpayers? Would it be still a violation if the dismembered head were only half developed and was missing a mouth or nose or eyes? And is there an estimate of the cost of prosecuting and incarcerating doctors found to have violated the statute?

  6. mike from iowa 2015.02.17

    How does one lose constitutional protection for abortions just because wingnuts say so?

  7. Joan Brown 2015.02.17

    Roger at the stage the majority of abortions are performed there isn't any head to be decapitated. None of the abortion in SD are performed at that late term. At the stage most abortions are performed and all of the ones in SD it is a just a cluster of cells that is basically a parasite living off a woman.

  8. Jenny 2015.02.17

    This GOP legislature just gets more bizarre everyday. Doctors and their patients have a right to privacy and confidentiality, and loony Latterell should know this.
    SD abortion doctors really need to be aware of the nuts running SD today. It is really getting more disturbing everyday. Entertaining but yet disturbing.

  9. bearcreekbat 2015.02.17

    Justice Ginsburg made a salient point in her MSNBC interview Monday night. Any state enacting restrictions on abortions will only affect low income women who lack access to the financial means needed to travel to other states that allow doctors to provide safe health care in terminating a pregnancy. Even before Roe v. Wade four large states allowed abortions on demand, and it is relatively certain that if Roe is overturned today, several more progressive states will continue to provide safe care for women who seek abortions.

    Women with the financial security to travel to such states will always be able to obtain abortions regardless of what restrictions states like South Dakota enact. If Ginsberg is correct, then the anti-choice folks are really working only to see that poor women in South Dakota are denied safe health care here. These low-income women will then have to either do dangerous back alley abortions or give birth to children they can not afford.

    When seen in that light, the argument that the anti-choice position is "pro-life" seems rather hollow. This conclusion is even stronger given South Dakota's unwillingness to enact provisions to help poor women cover the cost of providing sufficient income and a decent and safe shelter in which to raise kids.

  10. Jana 2015.02.17

    BCB brings up a great point, what are the unintended consequences!

    Between lazy legislators not exploring these bills deeper and a lack of experienced media in Pierre covering the bills, crap like this bill are entertained with the threat of becoming a law.

  11. mike from iowa 2015.02.17

    The Notorious RBG-what a dynamo.

  12. grudznick 2015.02.17

    Ms. Jana, what experienced media need to be sent to Pierre to cover the bills more than Mr. Mercer and the Argus. The Argus covers the bills too.

  13. larry kurtz 2015.02.17

    yeah, jana: screw transparency.

  14. larry kurtz 2015.02.17

    because we all know mercer is an unimpeachable source pure as the driven snow....

  15. leslie 2015.02.17

    christ-rbg had colon cancer in 99, pancreatic cancer
    (caught VERY early=VERY good medical insurance) and had whipple surgery 2009, and then dissenting in the voting rights (i think) debacle decision all night long, gave herself a heart attack a few months ago. she got an immediate stent (again, VERY good medical insurance).

    the notorious ruth bader ginsberg sadly will not be with us much longer at this rate. i hope that i am wrong, but her demeanor during the state of the nation was scary. Obama needs to replace her as soon as possible with another female jurist who will give us many more years than Justice Souter, who left the bench at 69.

  16. Jana 2015.02.17

    Oh please. 2 reporters to cover everything?

    Quick question for anyone who might know. Is there anyway to get transcripts of the hearings and committee meetings?

    If not, why would they not want those testimonies to be available for themselves and the public?

  17. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.02.17

    Laterall is contemptible and repugnant.

  18. Roger Elgersma 2015.02.17

    When my sister worked in a hospital lab they had to take the results of the abortions and check if all the parts were there so that they could be sure that there was not some left in there yet. She said that no matter how much some had been for abortion after a while no one wanted that job anymore.

  19. Bob Newland 2015.02.18

    I once was (and still am, to the extent such a history allows friendship) a friend to a woman whom had been impregnated in an incident of what she described as date rape. She asked me to be with her during the couple of days she had to hang around the clinic. She and I both talked to Ben Munson, who said, "I decided a long time ago that women deserved the best care possible when they have decided to end their pregnancies."

    Munson underwent unimagineable personal stresses, including a bogus "murder" charge brought by Bill Janklow to establish his god-loving creds.

    Munson recognized the desperation faced by women who realize their current pregnancy is a disaster. People like Latterell see only the death of a potential "life," ordained for existence by God.

    It's an unbridgeable gap, destined for generations of "who gets to do what to whom."

  20. mike from iowa 2015.02.19

    Latterell doesn't look like he is old enough to know how babies are made let alone anything else. Planned Parenthood,unlike wingnuts and ISIS,does not stand around and praise some imaginary deity
    while tending to women's health.

    Just like ISIS,wingnuts get their jollies while people are dying all around because of Latterell's religious beliefs.

  21. Tim 2015.02.19

    Nice to see SD is in the news again for all the wrong reasons, won't be long we will have the nuttiest republicans instead of those nutty Iowan republicans. ;-)

  22. Rhiana Hyat 2015.02.19

    Ah-ha, behold the word parasite and its cousins gangrene, leech, and rancid. In order for us to make an ugly action more palatable, we often use words that are void of morality.

    So it far easier to kill "a cluster of cells that is basically a parasite living off a woman."

    God knows I've done my share of telling it slant, and of letting anesthetic words protect me for a time until the dull pain of my choice throbs back to life, a wound that never heals.

    Because in the end, it was a life that was growing within me. It was not a parasite. I did it to release myself from a web of circumstances that I did not want to face. I own the choice --one that I will question in perpetuity.

    “Objection, evasion, joyous distrust, and love of irony are signs of health; everything absolute belongs to pathology.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

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