Recently, South Dakota passed some fairly innocuous legislation amending the definition of “self defense” within their criminal code to make it clear that pregnant mothers and their spouses were legally justified to act in self defense if an assailant threatened the mother’s unborn child. Specifically the proposed language declared:
Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person in the lawful defense of such person, or of his or her husband, wife, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant, or the unborn child of any such enumerated person, if there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony, or to do some great personal injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished.
Now, of course, any person capable of reading the English language at a high school level would understand that for the above portion to apply, the person committing the homicide must be acting:
- During the course of defending an ongoing assault on an unborn child, or
- If such assault is in imminent danger of being completed in the immediate future, but
- Only when such defense is “lawful.”