South Dakota State Representative and red-hot thinker Isaac Latterell, a Tea Party Republican who’s been in office since 2013, hates abortion. But so do lots of folks in the Mount Rushmore state, and so it’s important for him to show he hates it even worse than other people, that he’s the most ride-or-die pro-fetus lawmaker in the land. Hence this doozy of a blog post on his website Tuesday: “Planned Parenthood worse than ISIS and lying about it.”
Latterell likes to do a little blogging when he’s not part-time lawmaking or working as technology analyst in Sioux Falls. His blog is a mix of the usual conservative talking points — restrain the federal government, the Common Core is a Communist plot — and some very nice things about his family. He’s also very, very anti-abortion, so much so that he tried to get a bill passed that last year that would have essentially banned the procedure after seven weeks. In a blog post stressing the importance of that bill, Latterell compared abortion to killing puppies:
Imagine discovering that it was actually a veterinarian who regularly ripped the heads off of puppies and crushed their skulls. It would be hard to decide whether to call the police or to deal with the veterinarian yourself.
Now suppose you discovered that doctors regularly ripped the heads off of babies and tore apart their limbs while they were still alive. What would you do? Now is the time to decide, because here is evidence of this happening.
Latterell seems to be referring to an intact dilation and extraction, which is rarely used in the United States — late term abortions, when D&Es are sometimes employed, make up only about 11 percent of abortion procedures in the U.S.
Fact-checking aside, the other problem with the puppy-killing rhetoric is that it’s hard to know how to top it. But Latterell managed it! He argues that ISIS might behead living human beings, but, you know, “Planned Parenthood abortionists in Sioux Falls are similarly beheading unborn children during dismemberment abortions.” Latterell claims that seven such procedures have been performed in the state since 2008. (He says he’s getting that number from the State’s Department of Health statistics; in fact, each yearly report on induced abortion statistics from 2008 to the present uses the same wording about D&Es: “Dilation and evacuation was used for less than 1 percent of the cases.” That doesn’t mean seven.)
Nonetheless, Latterell has introduced a bill into the House, HB 1230, that would prohibit “the beheading of certain living unborn children and to provide penalties therefor.” It passed the Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday.
“No state, no religion, and no organization should ever be allowed to use this unspeakably horrifying method, “Latterell writes. “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.”