South Dakota State Representative Isaac Latterell (R) compared Planned Parenthood unfavorably to the terrorist group ISIL. In a bizarre post titled, “Planned Parenthood beheading children and lying about it”, the State Senator makes his outlandish claim that Planned Parenthood is worse than ISIS. The Senator, who ironically represents the town of Tea, South Dakota, concluded his scathing attack on Planned Parenthood, by stating:
While we rightly take the speck out of our neighbor’s eye by holding ISIS accountable, let us be sure to take the plank out of our own eye by holding Planned Parenthood accountable.
His statement was an obvious reference to a biblical passage found in the Book of Mark (7:3-5), which reads:
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Latterell apparently believes Planned Parenthood performing abortions in South Dakota is a greater atrocity than ISIS beheading people in the Middle East. Sadly, his fellow Republican Lawmakers in South Dakota seem to agree. Latterell’s proposed House Bill 1230, named the Preborn Infant Beheading Ban of 2015, passed through the House Health and Human Services Committee on an 11-2 vote. The vote fell on straight party lines, with all 11 Republicans on the Committee voting yes and both Democrats voting no.
Latterell’s bill would ban a type of abortion that is not performed in South Dakota. Planned Parenthood Sioux Falls, the only clinic in the state that provides abortion services, offers medical abortions up to the ninth week of pregnancy, and surgical abortions until week 13. There is no facility in the state that provides infant beheading services.
Latterell’s statements reveal how extreme the far right has become in their opposition to women making their own health care decisions. That he and his fellow lawmakers are willing to demonize Planned Parenthood by insinuating that the organization is worse than a bunch of terrorists, speaks poorly of their judgment as lawmakers. The voters of Tea, South Dakota should expect better from their State Representative.