28 March 2005

Pro-choice: Locked & Loaded?

While every self-respecting anti-abortion extremist is either in Washington, Tallahassee, or Pinellas Park attempting to use the tragedy of Terri Schiavo for their own purpose, an interesting piece of legislation has been fast tracked for passage in the Florida Legislature. Under the bill entitled, Protection of Persons/Use of Force, a person may use deadly force against another if he or she reasonably believes that a threat of harm exists. If this becomes law, anti-abortion activists may find themselves facing the barrel of a gun next time they aggressively protest at a clinic.

Under Senate Bill 436, "[a] person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony." This legislation has been applauded by most on the right and some on the left, and the National Rifle Association has expressed great pride that they were able to push this bill through the legislature. What the sponsors of the bill, Senator Durell Peaden (R-Crestview) and Representative Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala), may have failed to consider is that this bill will provide Planned Parenthood with the ammunition, no pun intended, they need to fend off those protestors who act aggressively.

Anti-abortion activists have a rich history of violence and terrorism. Extremists like Randall Terry, who has recently served as spokesman for the parents of Terri Schiavo and founded the violent organization Operation Rescue, has spawned such killers as James Kopp and the infamous Paul Hill, who was recently executed in Florida. Because of the violence that exists in the anti-abortion movement, women who seek these procedures may "reasonably believe" that protestors who act billigerently may try to kill or cause great bodily harm to them. The legislation creates a subjective standard of perception for those who are victims of an aggressor. This means that women entering abortion clinics, or their escorts, will have legal protection to start blasting if the protestors get too close and too outrageous.

This bill appears to be a victory for the Florida GOP, but the right-wingers in Tallahassee shouldn't be too quick to pat themselves on the back. The next time they see Planned Parenthood loading supporters on a bus, they may not be transporting them to a rally, but rather a gun show. And the next time their conduct gets out-of-hand in front of a medical clinic, anti-abortion activists may find that they need this law like they need a hole in the head.


Anonymous gator78 said...

Wow! Are we returning to the wild west? These Repuglicans are nuts. Let's see if this blows up in their face.

9:39:00 PM  
Blogger james H said...

"Blows up in their face?" Good to see that I'm not the only one who likes using puns.

11:07:00 AM  
Blogger American On Line said...

These statutes always come back to tragedy; when the pendulum is finally and hopefully caused to swing back to sanity, it's going to knock a lot of deserving people on their stupid and idiotic heads. Wait till some dumb ass civilian shoots a plain clothed cop and uses that statute as a defense.

3:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and we thought Marion Hammer didn't deserve to be in the women's hall of fame in Florida. Just look at how she has enabled women to protect themselves -- go big girl!!!

8:12:00 PM  
Anonymous tdog said...

These right wingers don't think. Their knee-jerk reactions in the legislature is going to come back to bite them in the ass. It's going to be bad for Florida too.

9:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's about time we're allowed to defend ourselves. Thank You Marion Hammer.

2:18:00 PM  

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