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Published February 15, 2011, 01:52 PM

SD House considers fetus defense bill

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota House is considering a bill that would expand the defense of justifiable homicide to include killing to prevent harm to an unborn child.

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota House is considering a bill that would expand the defense of justifiable homicide to include killing to prevent harm to an unborn child.

The bill says homicide is justifiable if committed in the lawful defense of an unborn child or to prevent harm likely to result in the death of an unborn child.

The measure originally sought to allow the use of force only by a pregnant woman to protect her unborn child, but a House committee broadened it to include defensive acts by other relatives.

Critics have said the revised bill might allow a woman's father, mother, son, daughter or husband to kill anyone who sought to provide her with an abortion.

The House is scheduled to debate the bill Tuesday afternoon.

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