Main | Thursday, February 24, 2011

Iowa GOP Intro's Bill Granting Immunity To Murderers Of Abortion Providers

A coalition of 29 Tea Party-backed GOP members of the Iowa House have introduced a bill that would grant criminal and civil immunity to any person who uses deadly force to prevent an abortion. The bill further stipulates that if the police do make an arrest in such a case, the arrested party has the right to sue them.
House File 7, which has been sponsored by 29 GOP House members, seeks to expand state law regarding use of reasonable force, including deadly force. Current state laws provide that citizens are not required to retreat from their dwelling or place of business if they or a third party are threatened. The proposal would significantly expand this to state that citizens are not required to retreat from “any place at which the person has a right to be present,” and that in such instances, the citizen has the right to use reasonable force, including deadly force, to protect himself or a third party from serious injury or death or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

Also included in the proposal is a new section to the Iowa Code that would provide automatic criminal and civil immunity to a person who uses deadly force, unless a police investigation proves that the person was not acting “reasonably.” Also key to the immunity clause is the fact that law enforcement would likely be barred from arresting a person at the scene of an incident “unless the law enforcement agency determines there is probable cause that the force was unlawful under this chapter.” If law enforcement does make an arrest, and if that person is later found to have used reasonable force by a court of law, taxpayers could be on the hook for the reimbursement of the person’s attorney fees, court costs, compensation from loss of income and other expenses.
A companion bill filed by the above group defines human life as beginning "the moment the female ovum joins with the male sperm to create a fertilized egg."

UPDATE: A similar bill has just been re-introduced in Nebraska.

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