Frank Szabo is running for sheriff of Hillsborough County, New Hampshire and among his platform planks is a promise to do whatever it takes to stop doctors from performing abortions. And that includes deadly force.
According to Szabo, sheriffs have special powers granted to them under the Constitution that empowers them to arrest or even use deadly force against doctors for providing legal abortions for women. Szabo insists that if prosecutors declined to charge any doctor he arrested he would take matters into his own hands.
“If they choose not to do their duty and uphold the Constitution,” Szabo said, “they can be brought up on charges before what’s called a citizen’s grand jury, which is something that’s not that common in the United States. But again, it is something based in common law that’s within the purview of the county sheriff” Szabo said Wednesday in an interview with local television station WMUR.
Lest we think Szabo is totally in the fringe, he did clarify that such a decision would not apply to cases in which the mother’s life was in danger. “That’s a medical decision. That’s out of the area I’m talking about,” he said.
But all other abortions are fair game for Szabo. “I would hope that it wouldn’t come to that, as with any situation where someone was in danger,” Szabo said. “But again, specifically talking about elective abortions and late term abortions, that is an act that needs to be stopped.”
It’s bad enough the judiciary is stacked with conservative justices hostile to the idea that women are human beings entitled to the full panoply of rights under the Constitution as men, but the idea of a sheriff self-empowered with the authority to start raiding medical clinics and arresting doctors for performing a legal and necessary medical procedure in no way can be reconciled with any democratic principles this country has left.
Photo from cliff1066 via flickr.
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