A Republican South Dakota lawmaker on Monday compared Planned Parenthood to the Islamic State in a blog post about his bill banning a surgical abortion procedure.
In a blog post titled “Planned Parenthood worse than ISIS and lying about it,” state Rep. Isaac Latterell (R) wrote about the beheadings of prisoners by ISIL, likening the executions to abortion.
“Planned Parenthood abortionists in Sioux Falls are similarly beheading unborn children during dismemberment abortions,” Latterell wrote. “Most people are unaware that this is happening, because Planned Parenthood of Sioux Falls denies that they behead or otherwise dismember unborn children.”
Latterell’s bill would “prohibit the beheading of certain living unborn children and to provide penalties therefor.” It refers to any abortion procedure that would “separate the skull from the spine.”
Planned Parenthood said it does not perform this abortion procedure and only performs first trimester abortions in South Dakota. Planned Parenthood spokesperson Jennifer Aulwes told TPM that the type of abortion described by Latterell is only performed after the first trimester, and any such abortions would have been performed by a doctor outside of a Planned Parenthood clinic.
In the interview with TPM, Aulwes said the bill was “inflammatory” and did not use “actual medical terminology.”
At the end of his blog post, Latterell compared Planned Parenthood to ISIL again when calling on Americans to hold Planned Parenthood accountable.
“No state, no religion, and no organization should ever be allowed to use this unspeakably horrifying method. 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,” he wrote.
Aulwes said that Latterell’s comparison was “inappropriate.”
“I think the majority of South Dakotans would agree that comparing Planned Parenthood to a terrorist organization is just going too far. No matter what you feel about abortion or about Planned Parenthood, it’s an inflammatory and really inappropriate comparison.”
Update: As of Thursday afternoon, Latterall had changed the title of his blog post from “Planned Parenthood worse than ISIS and lying about it” to “Planned Parenthood is beheading children and lying about it.”