Why I’m Pro-Life and Pro-Choice, in Fifty Words

South Dakota Right to Life VP and fellow educator Spencer Cody contacted me last week with this request, which I assume he is sending to all of my fellow Legislative candidates:

Hello, August 15th is your deadline to email a statement to me to be included in the general election voter guide. This voter guide will be sent to over 6,000 pro-life households in every district in South Dakota and sent through our email contact list and posted online on our website, Facebook, and Twitter pages. Please send me a statement on your pro-life views or any points that you want to make concerning abortion, infanticide, and/or end-of-life issues that is not over 50 words total, please. We will try to print as much of your statement as is possible. If you choose not to participate, we will print whatever information we already have on your positions concerning life issues without your statement. We hope that you take advantage of this opportunity to participate. If you have any questions, please contact me. Thanks [Spencer Cody, Vice President, South Dakota Right to Life, Facebook message, 2016.08.04].

Fifty words, and maybe they’ll print it in its entirety. There’s the problem with the pro-life/pro-choice “debate”. Certain activists and voters are looking for ridiculously brief, over-simplified mottoes to excuse them from examining the full panoply of complicated practical and moral issues affecting the general welfare of South Dakota. Cling to one bromide, and let cleverer devils in Pierre pick our pockets. That’s bad politics.

But if I have to play, for the record, here’s my full fifty-word response:

I’m pro-life. I deeply value human life and dignity, as does every sane South Dakotan.

My respect for life and dignity also makes me pro-choice. It’s not my place as a man or a legislator to impose reproductive choices on any woman or on all women by force of law.

That handles 0.1% of the issues facing our state. Now back to the other 99.9%.


173 Responses to Why I’m Pro-Life and Pro-Choice, in Fifty Words

  1. Well said Cory.

  2. happy camper

    On abortion and the Zika virus Marco Rubio just said “I understand a lot of people disagree with my view – but I believe that all human life is worthy of protection of our laws. And when you present it in the context of Zika or any prenatal condition, it’s a difficult question and a hard one, but if I’m going to err, I’m going to err on the side of life.”
    “I’m strongly prolife. I believe all human life should be protected by our law, irrespective of the circumstances or condition of that life.”

    These arrogant men who think they should dictate when they’re not the ones to care and pay for a handicapped child and be there for every step of their suffering.

  3. Nicely done, sir. I’ve chosen to ignore his request.

  4. mike from iowa

    Here is my fifty word reply and you can quote me on this. Wingnuts SUCK!

  5. Darin Larson

    Cory, 50 whole words is more than enough space to pledge your fidelity to state laws interfering in the relationship between a woman and her doctor. It is a black and white issue to these folks. I’m surprised that there is not two boxes to choose from: 1) Babykiller 2) God fearing righteous pro-life angel

  6. I agree with Vickie. Well said.

  7. Darin Larson

    Tangentially, there are now 900 pregnant women with the Zika virus in Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, Congress choose not to appropriate more funds for the Zika fight. The National Institute of Health will run out of money for the Zika fight by the end of August. The CDC will run out of money by the end of September just as phase 2 trial for a vaccine should be taking place. Congress is in recess. Situation Normal All [messed] Up

    If these folks are so worried about babies, why have they not acted on the administration’s request for funding the Zika fight that was made in February? There is a reason that the approval rating for Congress is barely over 10%.

  8. Excellent, Cory. Excellent.

  9. When a child is conceived, reproduction has already occurred. Some of us still remember sitting in Jr High School biology and having our teacher explain that when the cell of a man and a cell of a woman combine, life begins.

    There is no more important issue than stopping the wholesale murder of innocent babies in the womb.

    It is the highest calling of a civilized nation to defend the innocents and protect their rights.

  10. mike from iowa

    How do pro-lifers explain being pro-death penalty? They appear to be more forced birthers because they don’t want responsibility of feeding,caring, educating all the little critters they want to be forced to be born. dog shrugged.

  11. Cory, if you want to send something longer, we will do our best to print it in its entirety. We will likely have room. We have had candidates literally submit 1,000+ word essays on the topic. Multiply this by the nearly 200 candidates that we have in our general election voter guide and the fact that it is actually printed and mailed to thousands of households unlike most voter guides, and you might be able to imagine the logistical problems. Ironically, pro-abortion candidates lose the most when they refuse to participate. We print exactly what you send and will notify you if changes need to be made, which is almost never the case. If you have a pro-abortion record or past rhetoric, you might want to drop us a statement to get your side in because we have plenty to print…ie Ellee Spawn…while we may not support your viewpoint, we welcome the diversity of opinions in our voter guide.

  12. owen reitzel

    ” I’m pro-life. I deeply value human life and dignity, as does every sane South Dakotan.

    My respect for life and dignity also makes me pro-choice. It’s not my place as a man or a legislator to impose reproductive choices on any woman or on all women by force of law.”

    Well said Cory. Exactly the right words and hopefully easy to understand.

  13. owen reitzel

    Spencer it’s Pro-Choice not pro-abortion. Cory explained the difference.

    Will a pro-choice ‘s words be printed out of context?

  14. happy camper

    It’s about degrees black/white thinking is the problem. For anyone who has had to pull the plug on a parent they needed to understand how important that deteriorated life was to them and if it should continue at any cost like breathing tube, forced nutrition when they can’t do for themselves. Similar issues to compare terminating the beginning of life with murder as prolifers want to do is too elementary and does not move those who see end of life issues with more complexity.

  15. happy camper

    My red pen would change sane to reasonable but it doesn’t matter cause these voters will only see the last sentence: It’s not my place as a man or a legislator to impose reproductive choices on any woman or on all women by force of law. It’s a good sentence if you agree with Cory.

  16. Roger Cornelius

    How did I know Stace would post another of his recycled comments.

    Cory doesn’t need to add a word to his comment, it is clear and concise and short enough for a reader to remember.

  17. mike from iowa

    Pro-life means shutting down Planned Parenthood so women and men can’t get needful, necessary advice, exams and tools to further a pregnancy in a healthy way or help prevent one from happening. Not mentions tests and screenings for several odious and fatal diseases.

  18. Spencer appears to be dull. He can’t understand how one can be both pro-life and against government control. Type very slowly for Spencer so he can process that concept.

  19. bearcreekbat

    I am pro-life because I believe we should enact laws to force unwilling people to give blood and make organ donations to save lives. I am pro-life because I believe we should enact laws to require unwilling women to become surrogate mothers for any woman who wants a baby but cannot conceive.

  20. Ironic or moronic that Lefitists deny God and claim man is nothing more than an evolved animal; however, most animals will fight to death to protect their progeny even as purported evolved men fight to kill the innocent unborn.

    Leftists always claim that their views are progress, and yet sacrificing babies was a pagan practice that civilized countries (Christianity) helped eradicate a millennia ago. Yet here we are, still combatting the evil barberous pagen practice of infant sacrifices.

    @Owen Wen you fight and argue for the ability to tear apart innocent babies in the womb, you are Proabortion.

  21. straightouttaridge

    If morning after pills were retro active, I would send a handful to each of the mothers of Donald, Ted, n Marco !!

  22. owen reitzel

    @Stace. I’m not arguing to tear a part babies. I’m saying guys like you and me have no right to tell a woman what to do with her own body.

    The only one being moronic here is you.

  23. Joe Nelson

    Cory,
    I appreciate that you are providing them with a response. This issue certainly is complicated, especially to par down to 50 words. However, do you think it is misleading to start your response with the sentence “I’m prolife.”?

    Whether you want to use Merriam Webster’s simple definition of prolife “opposed to abortion”, its medical definition “antiabortion” (the definition of which is “opposed to abortion and especially to the legalization of abortion”), or if you want to use the definition that is commonly understood by almost all parties in the discussion of abortion i.e. opposed to abortion, opposed to the legalization of abortion, opposed to govt funding of abortion, and that the life of the unborn should be protected (with perhaps exceptions for rape, incest, et cetera…life is messy and complicated.)

    Unfortunately, there will probably not be space in the guide to elaborate on your views on whether you believe unborn fetuses deserve protection from abortion (or whether they deserve anything at all), if you consider human fetuses as human life, and thus value their life, or if elected, you will seek to make abortion easy to obtain by all.

    In an issue so caught up in language, I think it is important to make distinctions in the terms we use. Unfortunately in this case, I think the definition you are using for prolife will be misleading, as I do not think you fit any of the established definitions. But, I may be wrong, and maybe you are trying to change the definition of prolife.

  24. Joe Nelson

    Not to mention your stance on euthanasia, the death penalty, use of fetus stem cells, cloning,

    Sometimes prolife gets wrapped up in abortion, but it is more than that (euthanasia, the death penalty, use of fetus stem cells, cloning). Even my precious MW fails to encapsulate it!

    And of course, a person could be antiabortion, but not prolife (in the sense that they might be all for torture, death penalty, unjust wages…things that hurt what is essential for life.)

    I like the phrase ” I deeply value human life and dignity”, perhaps expound on that? How do you value human life and dignity, and what would that look like in the legislation you would support and legislation you would oppose?

  25. happy camper

    So you’re not Prolife if you want insurance for all and gun control laws? Because this is only about abortion, yet they alter the language with terms like the unborn anything to manipulate the argument. They are ProBirth which is very different from having respect for life.

  26. @Owen Explain to me the actual procedure of abortion. That procedure of tearing the limbs off a living humanbeing, and brutally killing it, is what you support and what you argue for. When you argue FOR something, you are “pro” it.

    A baby in the womb is no more a woman’s body than you are my body when you step foot in my house.

    Abortion in the USA is an evil barbourous practice that is steeped in racism and eugenics. No matter how many times a Leftist strains their gray matter to twist in Herculean mental contortions to argue otherwise.

  27. straightouttaridge

    Stace…why do Republicans want to ban abortions yet encourage death sentences?

    Remember slavery? When the slave master’s daughter or wife gave birth to a child fathered by one of his slaves, the child, and the accused slave were killed?

    Or when the slave owners side chick/slave gave birth to a child sired by the slave owner, the child was killed immediately!

    Is the bible read by the thumpers here in SD different from the one followed by the slave owners?

  28. mike from iowa

    When you argue FOR something, you are “pro” it.

    Gee,everyone, Stace wants to kill you with his little shooty gun because he is pro-guns and guns were designed to kill people.

  29. Roger Elgersma

    I am totally for a person having the choice of who they get pregnant with. Prosecute rape. I am totally prolife once that baby starts to develop. Those women who want to get out of that obligation to the baby never would be for stopping child support because the Dad wanted to opt out of responsibility after the baby starts to develop.

  30. mike from iowa

    Stace isn’t pro-life, he is anti-women’s rights and can’t abide seeing one assert her independence from a big strong, macho male with a shooty gun. Stace has guns because he is afraid to deal with women as equals. He desires to maintain control and will go to any length as a “conservative?” to achieve that end.

  31. Here goes Stace again…… encouraging gov’t to get in the way of a private, personal, and constitutionally protected right of a woman. Sounds pretty “big government” to me, Stace!

    Spewing out non-substantiated propaganda.

    Will not support having birth control easily accessible and affordable (yet, he will talk about the gazillion ways that birth control is that way, and when asked what those ways are, chooses not to answer)

    Cory’s answer is perfect. Stace is avoiding Cory’s answer, by regurgitating disproven talking points. I don’t shake my head anymore. Like Roger says, it comes to be expected.

    “Leftists” “deny God”, “steeped in racism and eugenics”, and the list goes on. Seriously Stace? That’s the only way to “prove” your point is to sling stuff like that?

    Since you are so concerned about life in the womb, you are actively contacting our D.C. representatives to see why they are balking at appropriate Zika funding, aren’t you?

  32. owen reitzel

    Explain to me Stace what gives you the right to tell a woman what to do with her own body?

    Funny. You want government out of everything EXCEPT the most personal of events.

  33. Roger Cornelius

    Has Stace Nelson said anything new since the last Dakota Free Press post on anything relative to abortions? NO!/

  34. Roger Cornelius

    Dang, Joe Nelson can write some long paragraphs.
    I knew a guy in college that would get high on marijuana and write like that./

  35. Spencer, no candidate is pro-abortion. Again, you misuse the language to oversimplify and misrepresent candidates’ stances on a complicated issue. I do not seek to use the law to force women to have abortions any more than I will use the law to force women not to have abortions.

  36. Vickie, Ror, Dana, Owen, Roger, thank you. I’ll admit that word limits do require one to boil one’s thinking down to bare essentials. A much broader discussion is required (as demonstrated by the immediate interest in this comment section), but those fifty words form a good starting point.

    Hap, I’m open to the edit, sane to reasonable. I don’t think one can be reasonable or sane and oppose life. If “pro-life” has any useful meaning, then so must its antonym. What does anti-life mean? Why do we not hear the term anti-life used with any regularity in public discourse?

  37. mike from iowa

    Just read this- Planned Parenthood plans to register voters at their clinics. How soon before wingnuts claim this is a violation of constitutional rights of low-information non voters?

  38. Roger Cornelius

    I just might agree with Stace’s abortion stance if he agrees to pass legislation demanding that the father of every aborted fetus receives a vasectomy.
    We need to stop this pagan practice of impregnating women and not having any responsibility for it.

  39. Mike, your concern about Planned Parenthood is warranted. I used the above explanation in one of my door-to-door campaign stops yesterday, and the nice woman at the door turned the discussion quickly that evil Planned Parenthood, which hates children and uses our tax dollars for nothing but abortion. I paraphrase, but I don’t misrepresent the absolutist sentiment offered. There’s no persuading some folks; there’s just outnumbering them at the polls.

  40. Joseph, I never seek to mislead. I do seek here to reclaim a word, or at least expose the fallacious way in which others use it. I am quite literally in favor of (pro-) life, and I explain as concisely as possible what I mean by my use of that word. If people do not listen to my freely offered and honest explanation and if they persist in misinterpreting that isolated word, they mislead themselves.

    We must not cede the use of “life” as the exclusive political property of groups seeking to ban abortion, because it gives those groups the unfair advantage of misleading voters into thinking that I hate life and want death.

    Analogies to abortion politics are all imperfect; no situation captures the full moral implications of regulating or banning abortion. But the language question here might be akin to Communists’ shouting “we’re pro-ice cream!” to demonize their opponents (what kind of deviant doesn’t like ice cream?) and justify taxing every citizen to pay for the nationalization of the ice cream industry, the placement of state-run ice-cream vendors on every street corner, and the requirement that every citizen eat an ice cream cone every day.

  41. Joe, I reject the political cover that SD Right to Life and other abortion banners seek in claiming their “pro-life” politics are about more than abortion. I will reconsider my judgment when I start seeing billboards with grannies on life support saying, “Don’t pull the plug!” and billboards with death row prisoners crying, “Don’t throw the switch!” in the same profusion as the billboards with babies (grown babies, born babies, living citizens who are never subjected to abortion) saying, “Choose life.”

    Values and priorities are shown by marketing budgets.

  42. Radical conservatives reduce the term “pro-life” down to ‘allowing no abortions ever,’ and “pro-choice” down to ‘abortions are liberals preferred choice for birth control.’

    Moderate conservatives don’t even belong in the conversation because the symantics force them to side with the uber passionate crazys – thereby removing themselves from the moderate category in that convsersation.

    Moderate conservatives feel immense pressure to embrace a radical position on abortion as they know that without lazy minded religious radicals, the Republicans will loose their most passionate and reliable voters… and likely cease to exist.

  43. happy camper

    FYI language does matter: The Associated Press encourages journalists to use the terms “abortion rights” and “anti-abortion”. In a 2009 Gallup Poll, a majority of U.S. adults (51%) called themselves “pro-life” on the issue of abortion—for the first time since Gallup began asking the question in 1995—while 42% identified themselves as “pro-choice” although pro-choice groups noted that acceptance of the “pro-life” label did not in all cases indicate opposition to legalized abortion, and that another recent poll had indicated that an equal number were pro-choice. In a February 2011 Rasmussen Reports poll of “Likely U.S. Voters”, fifty percent view themselves as “pro-choice” and forty percent “say they are pro-life”.

    Also worth noting anti-abortion folks are almost all white (is that believable?): More recently, sociologist Ziad Munson studied the characteristics of both activists and non-activists who considered themselves pro-life. The pro-life activists of Munson’s sample were 93% white, 57% female, 66% Catholic, and 71% had a college degree. Of non-activists who considered themselves pro-life, Munson found that 83% were white, 52% were female, 45% were Catholic, and 76% had a college degree.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_pro-life_movement

  44. Joe asks me to expound on my pro-life statement. He asks me how I value human life and dignity. He asks how I would translate that value into legislative positions.

    I’m going to end up writing a thousand words, aren’t I? I won’t shoot for literature here, just a few thoughts strung together for Joe and others to work with.

    Let’s stick with the personal first. That has to come first: we have to understand my value before we talk about how I apply my value in legislation.

    I love life. I choose life over the alternative every day. I want to live for as many days as possible. I want the same for my family, my friends, everyone in this comment section, everyone I can think of… even Donald Trump. Life is the basic good from which all opportunities arise.

    I was talking to a former cop turned P.I. yesterday. He said no job is worth his life or anyone else’s. He said if he’s in a confrontation, he’s not going to let it escalate into a shooting match. Rather than looking for an excuse to draw his gun and play tough guy, he’s going to look for a way out of the confrontation that doesn’t involve anyone dying. I like that.

    Life and dignity go hand in hand. Every person in this conversation, and every person I see around town should have the same opportunity to work, study, vote, buy groceries, philosophize, worship, loaf, love, sleep securely, etc. as everyone else. Even if I don’t like you, even if you’re a jerk like Trump, you get the basic human dignity of equal protection of the laws (the 14th Amendment principle that makes Khizr Khan lose his composure every time he reads it).

    So now let’s apply my values to laws.

    I fight for pluralistic democracy because that political system best respects life and dignity, giving as many people as possible as much opportunity as possible to live as they see fit under laws they make themselves. I challenge readers to formulate a better definition of liberty. From that principle flows my support for initiative and referendum and universal suffrage.

    I support public education because that system guarantees every citizen access to the knowledge and training that make possible the exercise of liberty and the realization of human dignity within social life.

    I support efforts to alleviate the harms of poverty and help unfortunate neighbors get out of poverty, because it’s awfully hard to participate in democracy and live in dignity when you have no food or shelter or when you are sick or injured and can’t get treatment.

    The logical question—the question posed by the anti-abortion absolutist at whose door I stopped yesterday—is, “Why then don’t you respect the life and dignity of the unborn fetus?”

    A fetus exists in a unique situation. Its continued function, its growth into a full human being, depends entirely on the submission of one human being to its service. That service is uniquely invasive: the woman’s organs are connected to the fetus inside her body. We can glorify pregnancy, but ask Mom-to-be when she’s puking each morning or having trouble with her bladder or groaning in the stirrups, and she may be inclined to agree that there is a certain indignity in this bodily servitude, in one’s own body not being one’s own.

    I don’t know the circumstances under which each woman becomes pregnant. I don’t know if she voluntarily submitted to impregnation. I don’t know, even if she freely chose to be impregnated, if she will survive her pregnancy. As a legislator and as a man, those circumstances are none of my business. Making those intimate circumstances my business violates the dignity of every woman in South Dakota. I thus will not legislate to every woman that she must submit to the indignity of bodily servitude to another organism.

    Abortion is between a woman, her doctor, and whomever else she chooses to involve in her decision-making process. The decision is the woman’s alone… because her life and her dignity matter that much to me.

    I will expound on the application of my pro-life and pro-choice values to other policy issues upon request.

  45. @Owen Let me explain this one more time to you… When the Packers play in the Viking’s stadium? The Packers are not part of the Viking franchise. When a child is in the womb, and it has different DNA, different heart, different brain? It is not part of the woman’s body. It is an innocent baby, a distinctly different human being.

    Abortion is an evil, barbarous, practice that must be stopped.

  46. owen reitzel

    Read Cory’s explanation just above your post Stace. Better yet let me put it here. He explains it perfectly.

    ” A fetus exists in a unique situation. Its continued function, its growth into a full human being, depends entirely on the submission of one human being to its service. That service is uniquely invasive: the woman’s organs are connected to the fetus inside her body. We can glorify pregnancy, but ask Mom-to-be when she’s puking each morning or having trouble with her bladder or groaning in the stirrups, and she may be inclined to agree that there is a certain indignity in this bodily servitude, in one’s own body not being one’s own.

    I don’t know the circumstances under which each woman becomes pregnant. I don’t know if she voluntarily submitted to impregnation. I don’t know, even if she freely chose to be impregnated, if she will survive her pregnancy. As a legislator and as a man, those circumstances are none of my business. Making those intimate circumstances my business violates the dignity of every woman in South Dakota. I thus will not legislate to every woman that she must submit to the indignity of bodily servitude to another organism.

    Abortion is between a woman, her doctor, and whomever else she chooses to involve in her decision-making process. The decision is the woman’s alone… because her life and her dignity matter that much to me. ”

    What he said.

  47. mike from iowa

    Drumpf Nelson- just completely ignores scientific facts and spouts the same non-sense over and over again.

    A fetus CANNOT survive outside the mother’s womb until it reaches the age of viability(approx 24 weeks). Until then it is totally dependent on it’s mother’s womb for everything.

    After birth the new baby depends on mom and dad for everything for several years. It is this stage of the fetus cum baby that wingnuts like Nelson decide the baby doesn’t need any help from politicians or politics.

  48. The practice of forcing 12 years girls who were raped by their uncle, who’s life is threatened by the resulting pregnancy, to put their life on the line to have that baby is absolutely barbaric and needs to be stopped. To heck with absolutely everyone in the world who disagrees.

  49. bearcreekbat

    No more sarcasm. I don’t support laws that force everyone of us to protect innocent lives by giving blood, donating organs, or forcing women to become surrogates. Each person should have the right to decide who can use his or her body and when they can use it. A woman’s right to decide whether any other being, born or unborn, may use her body should be her choice alone.

    I will say this about most folks that share Stace’s views (although not all). I believe they have the best of motives and I congratulate them for wanting to protect the unborn. I reject the argument that they must hate women or that they object to women engaging in sexual activity for pleasure or that they even want to control women.

    Instead, it appears that such folks concern for the fetus has undermined their ability to empathize with what an individual woman might be going through in her particular pregnancy. Anti-choice women who have experienced only positive and wanted pregnancies likely assume or believe that other women will have similar experiences. Men are relatively clueless.

    Such folks see only one thing – a healthy happy baby in the womb with a bright future needing protection based on an idyllic view of the nature of motherhood and their own limited personal experiences.

    Perhaps if these folks ever actually met and spent time with a pregnant woman who felt she had to terminate the pregnancy they might develop some empathy. They would need to listen and learn, and to understand her reasons and her circumstances to begin to empathize with her.

    If they could experience the pain of a daughter or a sister desperately wanting a child when the ultrasound shows that the fetus brain is not going to develop and that it will suffer horribly for a time and then die a painful death if brought to term, maybe just maybe they would develop some empathy. If they could look in the eyes of a young impregnated rape victim and see the tears that flow every night they might realize that not everyone has the same experience with pregnancy. Perhaps they could find empathy if they could see and understand the dreams and fears experienced by someone finding themselves with an unwanted pregnancy, or if they actually saw a woman die in childbirth.

    The bottom line is that anti-abortion folks are decent, caring people for the most part who simply refuse to consider the woman’s needs and circumstances due to their sense of needing to protect the fetus overpowering their natural ability to empathize with others.

  50. Stace: “It is the highest calling of a civilized nation to defend the innocents and protect their rights.”

    Is there a statute of limitations on that protection: does said protection expire once the innocent clears the birth canal, or does it go on to guarantee proper health care, nutrition and opportunity even after the birth?

    Too often “pro-life” is used only in the context of “anti-abortion.” Simply being anti-abortion is short of a pro-life stance in my mind.

  51. I don’t want the Packers to take over the Vikings stadium for 9 months, but if the Vikings are ok with it, I’m ok with it. It’s their stadium. However, if the Vikings decide to eject the Packers I will support their right to do that. It’s their stadium.

  52. Now, if the Packers try to take over the Vikings stadium for 9 months and Stace tries to pass a law allowing them to do that, I will oppose that law.

  53. We already have a generation of children being raised without fathers and many of them come away scarred b/c of it.
    All these men that are so worried about unborn fetuses should be more concerned about the millions of children without daddies.
    How about you guys start a father’s support group and teach classes on how to be a father in their children’s lives? This would be more beneficial than worrying about pregnant women.

  54. mike from iowa

    Bear-you are one of the most thoughtful and respected posters here at DFP. I usually don’t quibble with your comments, but, I must say your last paragraph makes me curious. You have lived a more worldly life than I. I have chosen to stay within 20 miles of my birthplace my entire life. What I know I gather mostly from the internet and news sources. I don’t see the kinder, gentler anti-abortion folks you speak of. I see hate and fear and ugliness manifested by rw talking points and the same drivel repeated verbatim from various and sundry wingnut web sites and blogs. Yikes!

  55. Folks, everyone…this is obviously a complicated, emotional and sensitive issue which will not be easily resolved.
    Cory posted what he and other candidates received from Spencer Cody of SDRTL, answering as best he could within “50 words or less”. I applaud Cory and all of you for your input, revealing your passionate insights.
    Here’s the problem: Is this a South Dakota Legislative or personal choice issue?
    Women’s rights have already been decided as U.S. law.
    Just because I have personal convictions, those should not interfere with our laws being created / modified / changed or eliminated which are for all the people of our State.
    How about getting input from more S.D. women on this topic?
    What about better education for teens re: birth control / counseling / access to support?
    Maybe think about what if YOU are the woman?
    In other words…”Are we treating others as we would want to be treated”?

  56. Nelson, please, please, take the time to read Dr. Newquist’s link. Sit and read it and think about it. Think about how other people’s lives might be different from yours. Think about how the people you forced, as a soldier and a policeman, at the point of a gun, to comply to your orders and submit to your will simply because you are larger and better armed than them, may have not been wrong but simply not in agreement with your interpretation of the law, as you are not in agreement with Roe V. Wade. Can you do that? Can you see that right and wrong are not always subject to your personal interpretation, that circumstances you may never have encountered in your privileged life might change the way things are viewed by others? Or are you so locked into the idea that your life experiences define the reality of the entire human existence that anyone who disagrees with you is not only wrong but “must be stopped”? You often assume the mantle of authority on this blog with your bluster of “Let me explain this to you one more time…” but when you are asked to back up your absurd statements that there are “too many examples of easy and cheap birth control methods to list here” you can’t produce a single one beyond “Well if you don’t have sex you won’t get pregnant”. Yes and if you don’t eat until you can’t push yourself away from the table you won’t become morbidly obese and drive my insurance premiums up to cover your bypass surgery. So stop doing that or I’ll see that laws are passed to do it for you. I am the government and I know what is morally right and I will see to it that you do.

  57. Tim’s link is saying “black slavery is to abortion like plantation owners are to pregnant woman.”

    !!! LOL !!!

  58. mike from iowa

    Slavery is illegal. Abortions are not. People who try to prevent women from exercising their rights to control their bodies deserve jail time and if that doesn’t re-habilitate them, then we use our 2nd amendment remedies.

  59. Cory,

    Just to get my head around your position, are you saying the state has no interest whatsoever in protecting a fetus until it has been born? Is birth your bright line?

  60. Stace, I get it that you don’t like abortion. But besides rolling out disproven propaganda, what efforts are you making to actually try to prevent abortion? Anything?

    – Do you support legislation that would make birth control be available over-the-counter, without a visit to the doctor, and affordable?

    – Do you support pulling the millions and millions of tax payer dollars being funded to teach abstinence only, which this education has been proven to not work (but is sure lining the pockets of the charlatons) – and turn that money into education that works to reduce unwanted pregnancies?

    If you could only put as much energy into these efforts as you do opposing abortion with zero facts, the result would be……less abortion!!!

    Still unanswered question (always avoids it) from Stace is why he wants to violate a constitutionally protected right of women.

  61. Spencer: “Ironically, pro-abortion candidates lose the most when they refuse to participate.”

    Probably because there are no pro-abortion candidates… but that won’t fit your narrative. I’ve been around a while and never met a single person who is out there demanding more abortions or that women should get pregnant merely so they can run out and get an abortion.

    Anyone who uses the “pro-abortion” label has shown they cannot be rational about the issue and shouldn’t be taken seriously. Thankfully more and more voters seem to agree with each passing year.

  62. Stace, you still should respect Cory’s beliefs so you two can get to work on that anticorruption bill next year in Pierre.

  63. Dana, I realize I’m not Stace, but to your point:

    – It’s probably fine for a doctor not to prescribe birth control, but someone needs to consult the person considering taking birth control. Pharmacists could do that just as easily. There are real, significant risks of stroke and embolism for smokers who take birth control drugs. They should be consulted before taking. Also, people need to understand the importance of timing when on the pill, and the fact that antibiotics reduce its efficacy. Putting in on the label doesn’t help.

  64. Adam, the absolutist woman with whom I spoke Saturday would refuse to allow an abortion for the 21-year-old rape victim.

    The problem with being pro-life is that few if any values work in absolute application. Even personally, while I tell myself that I am committed to living and not dying, I can imagine certain circumstances in which I would determine that I must yield my life to some overriding concern… much as Stace was willing to surrender his life and take the lives of others in defense of his country. Absolutism generally leads to moral trouble and bad politics. Practical politics means managing our compromises.

  65. Roger E., women occupy a unique practical and moral position in bringing a child into the world. That unique position renders moot in my mind any men’s whining over women’s demands for child support payments.

  66. Roger C., I impose no penalty for long paragraphs… especially since i have my own proclivity therefor. :-)

  67. Mike, no matter how much I disagree with Stace’s position on women’s reproductive rights, I will not do him the disservice of likening him to Donald Trump. Nelson’s principles lead him to the wrong legal conclusions, but at least he has principles. Trump wouldn’t know how to handle a discussion like this.

  68. “Stace…why do Republicans want to ban abortions yet encourage death sentences?”

    Not all of us do. I am pro-life and vehemently opposed to the death penalty.

  69. Pay close attention to what Bearcreekbat says: abortion opponents idealize the fetus while failing to empathize with the flesh and blood women beside them in the pews or in the grocery store or elsewhere, all around us. Abortion opponents are trying to force on these women, on every woman, a decision that is not their business. They use an ideal to absolutely trump the normal bounds of individual dignity and privacy.

    Principles check for Stace and other abortion opponents: remember the 1993 Jane Martin play Keely and Du? Would you be willing to kidnap a pregnant woman and restrain her to prevent her from aborting her fetus?

  70. “Abortion opponents are trying to force on these women, on every woman, a decision that is not their business.”

    Talk about a lack of nuance.

  71. jimmy james

    Cory,

    Skipping all of the side issues and religious arguments that often accompany this issue, at what point is it the government’s responsibility to protect a new life. The government MUST decide this issue. When will it protect the youngest human’s very right to exist and…. when will it not?

    For you, Is that at the moment of birth? When exactly is that, legally, in today’s technological world? Viability? How would that be defined? Some would say protections should be granted earlier and some would even suggest that point be post-birth.

    Cute talking points that avoid these questions never has satisfied me. Maybe being male, I don’t have a right to ask??

    As a legislator, you will “impose reproductive choices” on others. In reality, so does every voter. You just don’t want to admit it.

  72. Put more succinctly: if you believe that abortion is killing a human life, “it’s none of your business” is a complete and utter copout. Getting into a line drawing debate on when that fetus is “human” enough to be protected is completely reasonable, but just LOL NUNYER BIZNESS is nonsense without some broader context.

  73. mike from iowa

    Stace Nelson and Drumpf repeat the same old tired lies regardless of mountains of evidence to the contrary. Both are clueless although Drumpf is the worst of the two.

  74. mike from iowa

    Wayne B-thanks to wingnut god-squadders, your pharmacist does not have to prescribe any medication to anyone if it violates their sincerely held (see imaginary) religious beliefs.

  75. jimmy james

    Cory says:

    “Abortion opponents idealize the fetus while failing to empathize with the flesh and blood women beside them in the pews”.

    What? At this point, I have to wonder if you believe your own bull shift? I don’t set foot in a pew any more than I have to but I still find the idea of aborting an eight or nine month old pre-born… a bit on the repugnant side. Especially since there are “premies” at six or seven months living with the full rights of other citizens.

    Somehow you think that this respect for one human being means disrespect for another? Huh?

  76. Roger Cornelius

    The problem I have with Spencer Cody and Stace is that they continually put the abortion debate in the forefront of every election. They know it is a hot button issue ripe with emotion and they play on it to mostly Trump’s ‘uneducated voters’ that will follow them into the legislature like little puppies.
    Look at Stace’s Facebook page and you’ll find the same propaganda there that you will find here.
    There is no satisfactorily absolution to the abortion debate and there never has been, except that women have a Constitutional right to choose.
    The same can be said of Stace’s stance on the 2nd Amendment, he uses it to appeal to the minions and they dutifully fall in line.
    Once in the legislature Stace will revive two bit legislature to thwart women’s rights and take up valuable time.
    Stace take up that limited time with this nonsense and the hell with investigating and prosecuting this state’s corruption that has been dogging us for the past forty years.
    It is difficult for the average citizen of this state to see how the abortion debate and 2nd Amendment issues will make our daily lives better.

  77. Cory and my DFP people, why oh why can’t these so-called pro-lifers feel this emotional and moral when our soldiers are sent to war all the time? Unjustified wars that kill and emotionally and physically scar our men and women that have lived through the hell – how come you never hear these prolifers voice moral outrage on this?

  78. Jimmy James, I would say it is a breach of confidentiality when pro-lifers stand outside abortion clinic chanting against the women that go in there for services. The patient has a right to medical privacy.

  79. I meant to direct that to Dicta

  80. jimmy james

    Please just stop. Everyone. Can we all agree that there are radicals on all sides of all issues? Are there religious nut-jobs out there on the pro-life side? Of course. Are there crazies on the pro-choice left? Sure. Lets just stop claiming that they speak for all of us. The political parties can make it appear as if there are no moderate voters left but there are.

    Example? Many pro-lifers are against the death penalty. Many pro-choicers are for it. Let’s stop pretending otherwise.

  81. Most people don’t give a damn either way, Jimmy.

  82. jimmy james

    If exaggerations are left unchallenged and lies allowed to live on, you can end up with nominees or even Presidents like Russian Agent Orange. God help us all if he wins this thing.

  83. Roger Elgersma

    Cory, I am not complaining about child support. But when women want to steal our kids in divorce and kill them in abortion and claim that is equal rights and then they want to dump the kid on their own but want us there anytime they please even if they never intended to marry is totally one sided selfish.

  84. “Cory and my DFP people, why oh why can’t these so-called pro-lifers feel this emotional and moral when our soldiers are sent to war all the time? Unjustified wars that kill and emotionally and physically scar our men and women that have lived through the hell – how come you never hear these prolifers voice moral outrage on this?”

    I fought in the damn war. Twice. I feel pretty comfortable with action I’ve taken on the topic.

  85. “mike from iowa” writes:

    People who try to prevent women from exercising their rights to control their bodies deserve jail time and if that doesn’t re-habilitate them, then we use our 2nd amendment remedies.

    Is your reference to “2nd amendment remedies” supposed to mean murder, or have I misunderstood?

    Jenny writes:

    Cory and my DFP people, why oh why can’t these so-called pro-lifers feel this emotional and moral when our soldiers are sent to war all the time? Unjustified wars that kill and emotionally and physically scar our men and women that have lived through the hell – how come you never hear these prolifers voice moral outrage on this?

    Many advocates of the right to life support unjustified wars because they’ve been brainwashed by Roger Ailes, the Republican establishment and the military-industrial complex. For the record, Rand Paul and I have voiced moral outrage on this hypocrisy many times.

  86. Roger Elgersma

    Cory, if women have a unique practical and moral position to bring a child into the world, how can you say is part of a moral position to kill the kid? Practical because they have a womb? Well yeah, but do you remember the only time the old Testament said that Abraham threw a party. It was because at age two and a half, Isaac was weaned so the party was because his mother was no longer needed. Practical was over. That is partly why I am totally for shared parenting in divorce. I actually did have joint custody at first till we met a judge that did not believe in that. Dad’s are just as uniquely necessary as parents as mom is. My parents were both good people. Dad did have an old school attitude that men work and women stay home. But he was actually more of a caring attitude than mom did. He did not see that very well till recently I told him that now that I have been a caregiver to an old person who grew up in a different culture and values than I did and I have been caring enough and fair enough to succeed as a caregiver for seven and a half years now, that I do and did have the skills to be a good enough care giver for my kids. He agreed surprisingly quick, considering how old school he had been. Mom died a few months ago so he dared to say it now.

  87. mike from iowa

    Kurt- ask 2nd amendmenters what that means.

    To some it might be murder. To others it is justifiable and constitutional.

  88. mike from iowa

    Pro-lifers are the ones that wear they positions on their sleeves. They are the ones that claim they have moral authority from a god that does not exist. They are the ones who claim to be the party of family values and then can’t keep their peckers in their pants where they belong. Hypocrites all.
    Lets stop pretending wingnuts are good and moral.

  89. I happen to know that God wants 12-year-old girls who were raped by their uncle, who are also enduring a life-threatening pregnancy to have an abortion. I spoke with Him yesterday about it.

  90. Linda Boyle

    Anti-abortionists do not own the term “LIfe” nor the word “Pro”; individuals and the media must stop using that hyphenated word to describe them. Human beings have the right over their own bodies. There is misogyny and sexism in the world. A woman must have the right to choose.

  91. Joe Nelson

    One of my favorite bloggers recently wrote a post, Americans favor aborting Zika babies. Pro-lifers must think deeper., on the recent poll showing that 59% of Americans think a woman should be allowed to get a late-term (24+ weeks gestation) abortion, despite the laws in her state, if her unborn baby is diagnosed with birth defects caused by the Zika virus. It is an interesting post that takes prolifers to task, and challenges them to do more that just shout “I’m prolife!” and actually be considerate of a woman’s situation.

    When we call ourselves pro-life, we must not only consider the basic issue of accepting abortion or rejecting abortion. We must look at the reasons that women seek abortions, and we must look at what she needs to reject those reasons. If we want fewer women to seek abortions, then we must do all we can to make life with her child seem possible, even joyful and worthwhile.

  92. “There is misogyny and sexism in the world.”

    There is. The question is if you think misogyny is a necessary and sufficient condition for being against abortion. I don’t.

  93. Roger Cornelius

    Today Florida Senator Marco Rubio there should be no abortions for pregnant women affected with Zika.

  94. “mike from iowa” writes:

    People who try to prevent women from exercising their rights to control their bodies deserve jail time and if that doesn’t re-habilitate them, then we use our 2nd amendment remedies.

    … ask 2nd amendmenters what that means. To some it might be murder. To others it is justifiable and constitutional.

    Pro-lifers are the ones that wear they positions on their sleeves… Hypocrites all. Lets stop pretending wingnuts are good and moral.

    So in a discussion where several advocates of the right to life are commenting under our real identities, an anonymous commenter is talking openly about shooting us to death.

    I’m not convinced the anonymous commenter ought to be criminally punished, but I think maybe he ought to be identified and interviewed.

  95. Roger Cornelius

    Kurt, I’m not to worried about mike from iowa, many of us that have been DFP for awhile know who he is.
    Who do think should identify and interview him?

    I am curious Kurt, IF abortions were to be made illegal what should the sentence be for a woman that has one? It is a question that seems be conveniently avoided when we have abortion debates.

  96. Evans, your serious? About mike from iowa?

    Your nuts. That’s about the most ignorant thing I’ve read here yet.

    If anybody knows about being “interviewed” it’s you.

  97. Roger Cornelius writes:

    Kurt, I’m not to worried about mike from iowa, many of us that have been DFP for awhile know who he is. Who do think should identify and interview him?

    Ideally one of his local deputies, but I’m not sure whether the law provides for that.

    I am curious Kurt, IF abortions were to be made illegal what should the sentence be for a woman that has one? It is a question that seems be conveniently avoided when we have abortion debates.

    As I inconveniently said during our abortion debate in June, “I’m generally in favor of punishing the abortionist rather than the mother.”
    http://dakotafreepress.com/2016/06/27/supreme-court-throws-out-texas-abortion-clinic-restrictions/#comment-50259

    “Spike” writes:

    Evans, your serious? … That’s about the most ignorant thing I’ve read here yet.

    Pro tip: When calling another person’s words ignorant, spell you’re correctly.

  98. Roger Cornelius

    Kurt,
    I specifically asked what the punishment should be for a woman that has an abortion, I did not ask what the punishment should be for the doctor that provides the abortion.
    Why do these pro-lifers continually dodge that question?

  99. Roger Cornelius writes:

    I specifically asked what the punishment should be for a woman that has an abortion, I did not ask what the punishment should be for the doctor that provides the abortion.

    I said, “I’m generally in favor of punishing the abortionist rather than the mother.” That means I’m not in favor of punishing the mother.

    Why do these pro-lifers continually dodge that question?

    From my perspective it seems like you’re dodging the answer.

  100. If a person thinks abortion is ‘murder,’ then they are literally accusing both the mother and the doctor of coconspiring murder.

    It’s a shamefully accusation.

  101. mike from iowa

    2nd amendment remedies don’t upset right-wingers unless and until the chickens come home to roost.

    Getting a little nervous, Kurt? How do you imagine us libs feel when we have to share space with freakin’ maniacs packing heat and swearing to overthrow the government if they don’t get their demands met?

    Thank you Roger and Spike for the kind words.

  102. Troy Jones

    Jimmy James,

    Hey bud. Its fun jumping between two ideological fantasy worlds where everything is absolute. In one world, you get to be called a right wing nut job and in the other a left wing RINO. :)

  103. bearcreekbat

    Kurt, I’ll also vouch for mfi. He seems a decent contributor that means no harm to anyone, but he will call out hypocrisy when he sees it.

    Your position on whether to punish a woman who has an abortion raises an interesting question. What if there is no doctor or nurse involved? What if she takes steps to induce her own miscarriage, such as taking a morning after pill or, as they did pre-legalization, use a coat hanger on herself or ingest a substance that will cause the miscarriage? Should she then be punished and if so, what would be an appropriate punishment?

  104. Roger Cornelius

    Thanks Bear and Adam, now we’re getting somewhere.
    Adam’s point seems to be on target, a woman that request an abortion is not a victim and the doctor that performs the abortion has not acted alone, at the minimum if abortion is illegal the doctor is charged with murder and the impregnated woman should be charged with conspiracy. What should the punishment be in that situation.
    Bear’s comment and question speaks for itself.
    Kurt, your attempt to evade the question of punishment by turning it back on me is not working. I am not evading your ‘answer’, I’m expecting an answer to a direct question, if you can’t provide it, just say so.
    Should the crime and punishment be murder one, manslaughter, or maybe reckless homicide? Should the punishment be a minimum cash amount, ten years in prison, life in prison, the death penalty?

  105. Newquist’s essay from Shannon Dingle is spectacular. She consistently applies the “pro-life” ethos to a variety of issues, as Joe asked me to do. Read her original text here:

    http://www.shannondingle.com/blog//im-pro-life-and-im-voting-for-hillary-heres-why

    Joe offers a useful step toward empathy with his link: instead of just turning “pro-life” into an empty and deceptive campaign slogan on behalf of certain opportunistic candidates (Trump’s opportunistic exploitation of the phrase is one of the reasons Dingle says she is voting for pro-choice Clinton), opponents of abortion need to look at what moms need to choose not to abort and “do all we can to make life with her child seem possible, even joyful and worthwhile.” As folks on both sides of this discussion have admitted, no amount of regulation can overcome the determination of a woman who has decided she cannot properly care for the fetus in her womb. South Dakota has restricted abortion as far as it Constitutionally can and then some, and South Dakota women are still seeking abortions. To stop those remaining abortions, if that’s your goal, requires something deeper and more humane than the force of law. It requires discussions that go far beyond branding a few candidates as baby-killers and giving a segment of the electorate an easy excuse to ignore other issues and vote R with convenient moral certitude.

  106. Wayne, birth is not my bright line. I’m not sure I have a bright line. I don’t know if Stace has a bright line, either. The anti-abortion crowd draw their bright lines as matters of convenience, marching back from third trimester to 20 weeks to 12 weeks to whatever new specious study jumps out to help them make the case that we’re killing babies and thus ban all abortions.

    I agree with dishing out extra punishment for crimes against pregnant women that result in fetal injury or miscarriage. If I need a moral bright line, I might characterize those crimes not as crimes against a fetus but as crimes against the woman who has chosen to carry a fetus. The angry boyfriend who doesn’t want to be saddled with a child and thus punches his girlfriend in the stomach (ugh, the horrors we have to talk about) commits a crime beyond assault and battery. He commits a crime against the woman’s dignity and bodily integrity and against her autonomous choice to become a mother. Even if that woman hasn’t made her final choice, even if she’s still debating whether or not to have an abortion, if the boyfriend says, “I’ll choose for you” and starts beating her, he imposes a choice on her in a way as atrocious as when the state imposes a choice on her.

  107. Jenny, while I would happily collaborate with Stace on anti-corruption legislation and other issues on which we agree, I suspect South Dakota will enjoy even better results from my fruitful collaboration with Senator Russell Graeff.

  108. Dicta, I appreciate the anti-abortion, anti-death penalty position you share with Steve Hickey.

    But lack of nuance? I don’t think so. Abortion opponents, by seeking to whittle down access to abortion until we have a complete ban, are trying to impose a decision on every pregnant woman. That decision is not any abortion opponent’s business unless specific pregnant women invite those specific opponents to sit down and speak with them personally and offer advice on their pregnancies and their choices.

  109. Jimmy James, I am anything but cute. I am not imposing choices. I refuse to impose my choice on others, especially when we’re talking about a choice that I will never personally have to make.

    The state cannot demand that a woman become pregnant. The state cannot demand that a woman remain pregnant. The state’s interest in protecting life does not trump a woman’s dignity and bodily integrity. See also Bear’s comments about blood transfusions, organ donation, and surrogacy.

    I don’t feel cute when I say that.

  110. Roger E, there are certainly some scummy moms out there. I don’t seek to excuse immoral behavior by women. However, in reproductive issues, there is a fundamental, unmitigable inequality between men and women. Women suffer burdens men never will. With those additional burdens, women deserve additional rights, including a certain freedom from the idea that men get equal say over whether women carry their pregnancies to term.

  111. Jimmy, Kurt, others, I acknowledge the multiplicity of views on various issues among voters and activists on either side of reproductive issues. I recognize that anti-abortion activists may align with death penalty supporters or opponents, just as choice advocates may disagree with each other on capital punishment and other issues. That acknowledgment does not impact my assessment that a woman’s choice on this matter is none of my business unless she specifically invites me to advise her on her decision. Even then, the decision remains hers to make. I cannot handcuff her to her bed until she delivers the child (again, read Keely and Du).

  112. Linda introduced misogyny into the conversation… or at least introduced the word that describes some of the underlying thinking of some anti-abortion activists. I agree with Dicta that the existence of misogyny does not somehow end this discussion and win the debate for Linda and me.

    However, Kurt’s response, that we should punish abortion providers but not women who choose to abort their fetuses, exposes a certain misogyny that undermines the moral case he and activists make for outlawing abortion. Saying the woman should not be punished means the woman bears no responsibility for choosing to have an abortion. Saying women bear no responsibility for the choice says they make no choice; the choice is made entirely by someone else. Fundamental to that position is the notion that women can’t make this choice. They need the anti-abortion activists and the law to choose remaining pregnant for them. They need doctors and Planned Parenthood ghouls to choose abortion for them. Women have no agency in this choice… which conclusion is either immoral (misogyny!) or nonsensical.

    I reject immorality and nonsensicality. I say women have ultimate agency over their pregnancy decisions (not just should but do). I can’t support treating women who have abortions as murderers, and no else here does either. I thus have to leave that choice to women.

    I still don’t feel cute, Dicta.

  113. mike from iowa

    Thanks Bear.

    Great read from Newquist. I didn’t take in every single word, but managed to get through the lion’s share of each point. No doubts in my mind, Drumpf is the most dangerous candidate for Potus ever.

  114. “But lack of nuance? I don’t think so. Abortion opponents, by seeking to whittle down access to abortion until we have a complete ban, are trying to impose a decision on every pregnant woman. That decision is not any abortion opponent’s business unless specific pregnant women invite those specific opponents to sit down and speak with them personally and offer advice on their pregnancies and their choices.”

    That completely depends on where you draw lines. If you believe the fetus/baby/zygote/second coming of Gandalf the Grey inside a woman is fundamentally human, then it being killed for whatever reason becomes a societal concern. The Supreme Court recgonized the compelling interest in Roe, and clearly spelled out the post viability line in Casey. I do agree that those of us with penises have to show some empathy and recognize the skin we have in the game is nowhere near that of women, but nunya bizness is incredibly oversimplified, in my view.

    “I still don’t feel cute, Dicta.”

    I never have either, man. I think it’s my fivehead.

  115. mike from iowa

    Kurt Evans- Cut to Donald J Trump today:

    “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people – maybe there is, I dunno…”

    I also dunno: is he advocating that someone shoot Hillary? Or that someone shoot a Supreme Court Justice after Hillary picks him or her? (Primo Encarcion at Juanita Jean’s)

  116. Robin Friday

    I am pro-choice, pro-Planned Parenthood, and I VOTE. Paula Hawks for U.S. House, and Cory Heidelberger for State Senate

  117. Robin Friday

    mike from Iowa, Senator Chris Murphy just said: “Donald Trump’s controversial line about “Second Amendment people” qualifies as an assassination threat against Hillary Clinton.”

  118. mike from iowa

    Robin Friday- I am positive wingnuts won’t bother to investigate Drumpf’s speech. Secret Service might.

  119. Robin Friday

    mike, 2nd amendment wingnuts are a specialized breed of wingnut. They read a lot into a comment, especially from Trump. Wouldn’t be the first time some Nut Case heard a subliminal suggestion and acted on his own. Not that I’m approving or promoting it, just observation.

  120. “Fivehead”?! I had to look that one up! Your and your high cranial capacity, Dicta….

    Even if we draw the humanity line all the way back at the moment of spermal contact (and I’m not), our societal interest is compounded by the fact that the entity we are imbuing with humanity depends entirely, uniquely, unlike any other situation of dependency, on the body of the woman for its continued existence. That unique dependency, the woman’s solitude in her irreplaceable as sustainer of that life, puts a “Whoa, there!” on the state’s compelling interest. In every other situation where the state has a compelling interest in protecting a human life, the state forbids lots of actions (don’t shoot people, don’t drive 80 in town, don’t sell people hamburger not cooked at 160°F) but after I’ve lowered my gun, slowed down, and turned up the stove, the state rarely (if ever?) compels ongoing affirmative action to sustain the lives of others. I don’t have to cook and serve anyone a hamburger. If I see an ambulance coming with lights flashing, I have to pull over and let it pass, but I do not have to follow it to the hospital and offer my blood for a transfusion.

    I’m going to return to what I said to Wayne today at 11:29: perhaps the state’s compelling interest is less in preserving the life of the entity in utero than in protecting the woman’s dignity and autonomy in choosing what happens in her utero. If Roe v. Wade says otherwise… well, heck, then maybe Roe v. Wade is wrong. (Quick! Spencer! Quote just those last six words in the SDRTL flyer! :-D )

  121. Thanks for that endorsement, Robin! Tell your friends… especially the friends who get the SDRTL voter guide!

  122. Joe Nelson

    Cory,

    I could be wrong, but don’t you have certain obligations as a parent and guardian of your child to provide them with food, shelter, education. and safety? Would not the state in the form of Child Protective Services take you child away from you? I mean, I guess you do have the option of giving your child up for adoption, or even abdicating your parental rights, and they could be given over to foster care.

    You say ” the state rarely (if ever?) compels ongoing affirmative action to sustain the lives of others.” Is this not the basis of our government, to compel its citizens to preserve the nation in the very form of protecting and preserving life? You mention the speed limit; why are you not free to choose which speed you drive? Why can the state set a limit? Because it is ultimately dangerous and detrimental to society. The same goes of the gun and the hamburger. Each of those is the state compelling you to abide by a certain law. The state has decided you do not have the legal choice to murder people with a gun, or poison them with undercooked meat. Nay, the government says you have an obligation to society, and that obligation is to follows those laws in order to protect life.

    I am sure you would agree that we citizens have an obligation to our fellow citizens. You speak quite a bit about the importance of education, and how more money should go towards that…which would come through taxes. If the citizens of SD are obligated to hand over their money so that society can be benefited through public education, how is it wrong that the government would obligate a woman to carry a human life (without which, there is no society) to term? The government certainly does not compel woman (or men) to have sex, just as it does not compel them to own property, buy things, or drive automobiles. It is when men and women choose to do these things that obligations kick in. The government and society should protect all human life, in utero and out. Rape and incest are horrible, and the government and society should also strive to create a culture where these things are punished. But the solution to these societal ills should never be to end another human life.

  123. mike from iowa

    Mr Nelson- here is your theory that states have a compelling interest in protecting kid……..profits from regulations.

    http://tinyurl.com/hurstks

    Wingnut legislator’s son was the victim of wingnut lack of safety regulations in Kansas.

  124. mike from iowa

    According to wingnuts, the state’s compelling interest in a fetus ends the minute a live baby is brought into the world at which time the shackles of gubmint interest and concern are withdrawn and that baby is left to its own devices.

  125. That’s why we dems are pro anti-war, pro sex education pro peace, and pro environment , Joe Nelson.
    Cory, Roger, MFI, Adam, Robin and I don’t want to end human lives, either.

  126. Cory,

    So do you believe a woman should have the choice to carry out a late term (third trimester) abortion for non medically necessary reasons (i.e. the life of the mother is at risk)?

    Do you believe we should hold women to a different standard when it comes to responsibility for their actions?

  127. mike from iowa

    Kansas article above- the park was hosting an official diplomats day for pols. Irony much.

  128. Joe Nelson

    mike from iowa, it is unfortunate when those in our government (both on the left and the right) cater to big business rather than protect the people. I would hope that if Cory is elected, he would not bow down to big business (I doubt that he would!).

    Jenny, you say you and others mentioned do not want to end human lives…but you want to give people a legal recourse to end human lives. All rights should be protected and upheld, and first among those rights is a right to life. Can you imagine any other right that would take precedence? Maybe it is a problem of definitions, or maybe a disagreement over the very nature of rights. I guess the other thing I find troubling is that I would strive to create an environment and society where abortion would never even be considered as an option (like wise with war, capital punishment), or at the very least, the very last and final option when all else has failed. What I see more and more from the pro-choice movement is not an aversion to ending human life, it is not seeking to create a society where abortions are rare, but rather a celebration that a woman can choose such an action. Even if the factors that contribute to many abortions (poverty, lack of education, horrible home life, et cetera) were minimized, the pro-choice side seems to still want the rich , highly educated, perfect home life person to have the choice to end the life of their child, if they consider their child an inconvenience (such as the celebration of Ilyse Hogue’s abortion at the DNC this year).

  129. bearcreekbat

    Joe, equating bodily integrity to paying taxes might be a reasonable argument only if you take the next logical step – quit discriminating against women to save lives and, as with taxes, make the bodily integrity of everyone, man, woman and child alike, subject to the state’s requirement that each of us give up our blood, and whatever body parts we can survive without, to save some poor soul in need of blood or body parts to live.

    So assuming the validity of your argument, can you give any reason why the bodily integrity of pregnant women alone should be subjected to the power of the state, while the rest of us can selfishly keep un-needed blood and organs while sick and injured people are left to suffer and die?

  130. Joe Nelson

    bearcreekbat,
    I am not equating bodily integrity with paying taxes. Our government has a wide spectrum of activities they conduct to preserve life, from suggesting what types of food we eat to making homicide illegal, to giving tax breaks to people who give to charity. If a person wants to partake in the public education here in SD, they have to allow the state to violate their bodily integrity by making them slaves to the various virus and bacteria via vaccines.

    It is unfortunate that there are sick and injured people left to suffer an die, and I would hope that the government would provide incentives for citizens to give blood and organ, and even incentives to get vaccinated. But a pregnant woman’s situation is very unique; there is no other natural state where one person’s bodily is linked to another person’s. It might sound silly, but I would argue that the government should protect the right to life of that in utero person, even if it does infringe on the pregnant woman’s right to bodily integrity. Life is that important. Me not giving blood or donating organs could certainly be seen as selfish, and by not doing these things, it is reasonable to assume that someone out there might die, but it is not a 100% guarantee. However I would not say that I am directly cooperating with that person’s death, but indirectly cooperating in it. Getting an abortion is directly cooperating and 100% ending a human life.

  131. bearcreekbat

    Joe, thanks for your response. What sort of punishment would you advocate that society impose upon a woman who terminates her pregnancy?

  132. Joe Nelson

    bearcreekbat,
    I am not sure. We have so many laws on the books for various actions that result in death, from first degree murder to involuntary manslaughter. Here is what we have for fetal homicide:

    22-16-1.1. Fetal homicide–Felony–Application. Homicide is fetal homicide if the person knew, or reasonably should have known, that a woman bearing an unborn child was pregnant and caused the death of the unborn child without lawful justification and if the person:
    (1) Intended to cause the death of or do serious bodily injury to the pregnant woman or the unborn child; or
    (2) Knew that the acts taken would cause death or serious bodily injury to the pregnant woman or her unborn child; or
    (3) If perpetrated without any design to effect death by a person engaged in the commission of any felony.
    Fetal homicide is a Class B felony.
    This section does not apply to acts which cause the death of an unborn child if those acts were committed during any abortion, lawful or unlawful, to which the pregnant woman consented.
    Source: SL 1995, ch 122, § 3; SL 2005, ch 120, § 151.

    Class B felonies have a penalty of life imprisonment with no possibility of a lighter sentence, and up to $50,000 in fines. Of course this law does address abortion, and excludes it from fetal homicide. I would suggest revising this law to include abortion. As for the penalty, jail time and fine. But there should certainly be additional clauses that take into account different circumstances, and I would hope that the human element of a judge and jury would have an effect on the severity of the penalty. A 16 year old girl who is coerced into an abortion should certainly not receive the same punishment as a 35 year old woman who got an abortion because they have a cruise planned and she does not want her figure affected by a baby bulge.

    But I do believe in democracy, and would hope that we could all talk about these issues, and determine the legal ramifications if abortion were made illegal.

  133. bearcreekbat

    Joe, I think if abortion were made illegal that the current SD death penalty statutes would authorize a jury to sentence a woman to death. Our homicide statutes cover the “unborn” and don’t have an express exception for abortion. (SDCL 22-16-1). Our death penalty statutes identify the aggravating factors that will support a jury in imposing the death sentence, and one of the aggravating circumstances is when the victim is under the age of 13, which necessarily includes the unborn. (SDCL 23A-27A-1(6)).

    Our fetal homicide statutes do not say the homicide statutes don’t apply, but make it an additional crime if the victim is an unborn child. It oddly provides an exception for an abortion, whereas the homicide statute does not have such an exception.

  134. Bill Dithmer

    ” But I do believe in democracy, and would hope that we could all talk about these issues, and determine the legal ramifications if abortion were made illegal.”

    Unless you are a woman, it doesnt look like there are any ramifications.

    Might as well put women up for bids, if you value their thought processes that little.

    Cattle, hogs, horses, sheep, oh ya and women of breeding age. Didnt the country do away with that?

    Ramifications, how can men even talk about ramifications when for them pregnancy is only a concept of an idea of what being pregnant is.

    The Blindman

  135. You could be wrong, Joe. :-)

    It is not a crime to give a child up for adoption. The state does not punish a mother for surrendering her child to another family or to the state.

    The fetus’s unique biological demands on the pregnant mother are different from the moral obligations we assign to parents of children. We let parents surrender their parental rights and obligations to their children. Others can sustain the children’s lives. No such process exists for pregnant mothers to end their obligations and surrender their fetuses to other caregivers. Pregnancy is a unique situation, and abortion bans are a unique imposition of the state’s will on women, forcing them to continue placing their bodies in service of another entity in a way that the state does in none of the other policy situations you describe.

    The examples I offer—laws against murder, speed limits, ground beef preparation rules—are negative prohibitions, telling people what not to do. Not shooting you, not passing your minivan at reckless speed, and not serving you undercooked meat lowers the chance that I’m going to kill you. But none of those prohibitions requires me to actively sustain you the way that refusing an abortion requires the pregnant woman to keep sustaining a fetus.

    We do have obligations to each other in community. None of them are obligations of the intensity and invasiveness of pregnancy. All of our other obligations have legal escape routes. If nothing else, if I don’t want to meet obligations to my fellow South Dakotans, I can move to New York, or the Yukon, or Bermuda.

    I agree that choosing to have sex triggers new moral obligations between partners. I’m willing to accept in my society parents who instill in their children the notion that if they choose to have sex, and if that action results in conception, the girls have an obligation to carry that pregnancy to term and the boys have an obligation to marry the girls and help take care of the offspring. But I cannot implement that moral teaching from the Legislature. Doing so would require the state to interrogate citizens about private, intimate behavior—how did you get pregnant? who impregnated you? did you use birth control? Basically, we’d be playing sex police. I can’t support an absolute abortion ban, and I can’t support the level of government intrusion in private life that would be necessary to enforce some ideal, nuanced, conditional abortion ban. It is none of the government’s business who has sex with whom, what birth control or other devices those sexual partners use during their act, or why a woman has chosen to no longer bear the burden of pregnancy.

    There are enough other social forces to encourage women to carry their pregnancies to term and become mothers. Those social forces satisfy our rightful interest in continuing as a species without invoking the force of law…

    …although a thought experiment occurs to me: Imagine a plague wipes out humanity, except for a handful of survivors, five young men, five young women. No one else. No children. All ten of the survivors are healthy and able to reproduce. Suppose one, or two, or all five of those young women refuse to bear children. Maybe the young women refuse to have sex at all. Maybe the young women have sex but take measures to prevent pregnancy or, failing that, induce abortions. The key moral question: can the survivors demand that every woman submit to impregnation and carry fetuses to term for the sake of the survival of the species?

  136. Wayne, as you can tell, I am uneasy with the third-term question. The viability of those third-term fetuses gives me pause… but so does requiring any woman to give birth. I don’t know if I’ve nailed down the principles that allow me to make a clear policy recommendation on that issue… but so far, I’m inclined to say that it’s still not my call as a legislator.

    I’ll work on my answer if you’ll work on this question: if the law should not allow a late-term abortion, what is the proper penalty for a woman who has a late-term abortion?

  137. Speaking of punishment and Joe’s citation of our “fetal homicide” law, it is important to note that we have written that statute to not apply to the act of abortion. South Dakota law says abortion is not murder and refuses to treat abortion the way it treats the killing of other human beings in other situations. And notice that the mootness of the fetal homicide statute hinges on the woman’s consent. Even our state’s regressive, restrictive, discriminatory laws preserve this kernel of the idea that women’s dignity and autonomy can outweigh concerns about the life of a fetus.

  138. “Even our state’s regressive, restrictive, discriminatory laws preserve this kernel of the idea that women’s dignity and autonomy can outweigh concerns about the life of a fetus.”

    Funny, I thought they just wrote the law that way to avoid preemption. Today I learned.

  139. I’m not running for legislator, Cory. You are. You should nail down your principles so those who are considering voting for you know where you stand. You should do that whether or not I can chew on the question of punishment.

    As for the punishment… Most of history has been targeting the abortionist as the criminal, not the woman seeking the crime.

    State v. Burlingame, 47 S.D. 332, 198 N.W. 824 (1924).

    South Dakota (1924): “She does not, by consenting to the unlawful operation, become an accomplice in the crime. She should be regarded as the victim of the crime, rather than a participant in it.”

    So there’s the jurisprudence of South Dakota… not sure how I feel about it. But I’ll wrestle with it.

    Personally, I like the idea of where we’re going with drug court & interventions, but let me ponder some more.

    There’s a lot to wrestle with here. It’s a serious topic that eludes 50 words. But it warrants the discussion.

    Cory, do you believe men should be held legally responsible for their participation in creating a child? That is, do you support mandatory child support & deadbeat dad laws?

  140. mike from iowa

    if the person knew, or reasonably should have known, that a woman bearing an unborn child was pregnant

    Is there another condition besides pregnant a woman bearing an unborn child could be in other than pregnant?

  141. mike from iowa

    Cory pretty well enumerated he is pro-choice-as that word is bandied about today.

    The decision is up to the woman and whoever she decides to confide in.

    Case closed.

  142. bearcreekbat

    Wayne B – If the woman is considered a victim under SD case law, then perhaps you can address a question I asked of Kurt Evans (He hasn’t responded yet):

    What if there is no doctor or nurse involved? What if the woman takes steps to induce her own miscarriage, such as taking a morning after pill or, as they did pre-legalization, use a coat hanger on herself or ingest a substance that will cause the miscarriage? Should she then be punished and if so, what would be an appropriate punishment?

    Joe says life in prison would be appropriate under an amended fetal homicide statute, although maybe less time for 16 year old forced to have an abortion by her boyfriend. Do you agree with a semi-mandatory life sentence in prison for a woman who causes herself to miscarry?

  143. bearcreekbat

    Not punishing a woman, but punishing a doctor who tries to assure the woman medical safety seems an odd choice premised on the idea that women are like children and can’t be held responsible for their own decisions. Perhaps denying safe medical help from a doctor is the intended punishment to the woman, especially if there are complications that can harm or kill her.

  144. Joe Nelson

    bearcreekbat,
    I said no such thing! I specifically said “jail time and a fine”. I actually do not think life sentences are of good use, as I think the correction system should be used to re-introduce a rehabilitated person back into society.

  145. bearcreekbat

    Joe, I apologize. I misunderstood your statement that:

    Class B felonies have a penalty of life imprisonment with no possibility of a lighter sentence, and up to $50,000 in fines. Of course this law does address abortion, and excludes it from fetal homicide. I would suggest revising this law to include abortion. As for the penalty, jail time and fine.

    I did not realize you wanted the penalty amended to less than a life sentence and a fine. Thanks for clarifying. What sort of jail time and fine would you suggest?

  146. bearcreekbat

    And Joe, I fully agree with your criticism of life sentences.

  147. Christine Nelson

    Cory, the state has no input on people having sex? I can think of several places where I’d be concerned. Prostitution, bigamy, incest and bestiality come to mind, there are probably more. Are you going to repeal these laws?

    Also on the third trimester abortion, why the hesitation? Because it is most likely viable? I’ve always wondered why you would abort, instead of just delivering the baby who could possibly live.

  148. The ridiculousness of jailing women for having abortions.

    People need to realize that abortions will always be around. Outlaw safe abortions and women will die. It will become an under the table money making procedure.

  149. no more ridiculous than jailing drunks for having a disease.

  150. Christine, yes, the information the state has to gather to implement an conditional abortion ban is none of the state’s business. The crimes you discuss are less about sex about more about abuse of power. Animals and children can’t consent. Bigamy and polygamy are tied with male hierarchy. Prostitution involves exploitation if not outright slavery.

    I do hesitate on late-term abortions because of the viability issue… but I’m willing to say the late-term issue is a red herring, because the only women seeking late-term abortions are women who are in terrible situations—the pregnancy has gone wrong with some terrible health issue. Repeal our abortion restrictions, and you won’t see a rush of women in month eight aborting. Women who don’t want to be pregnant are going to make that call far earlier. Women who abort late-term are women who want to be pregnant, who want to have their child, but are faced with some circumstance compelling that heart-wrenching decision. Late-term abortions are rare and require no legal restriction to be kept rare.

  151. Dicta, I can wish.

  152. All right then, Wayne. See my response to Christine.

    You should wrestle with that long-standing view of women as victims rather than moral actors. That view is morally problematic. Bearcreekbat’s line about “treating women like children” perfectly expresses that problem. Our abortion laws make women second-class citizens.

    Yes, I do support mandatory child support and deadbeat dad laws.

  153. (I invite Web-psychologists to analyze why men are dominating this conversation and why the women who have joined us offer much shorter responses.)

  154. You may be right about the rarity of third term abortions and the men srea of those seeking them. But policy must still be established. I’m comfortable allowing late term abortions for fetuses with severe medical complications, or threats to the mother’s health. I’m absolutely not okay with anyone deciding suddenly they want to terminate a perfectly healthy fetus in the third trimester. Rare as that may be, it should still be prohibited. I really don’t mean to be hyperbolic, but murder is also rare in South Dakota, and we keep that law on the books for good reason.

    You may be right about the morally problematic nature of the historical judicial treatment of women who seek abortions illegally. But the decision not to punish a woman who seeks an illegal abortion need not be couched in terms of misogynistic attitudes. We’re evolving our jurisprudence to treat drug offenders differently because of a recognition that incarceration doesn’t solve the issue.

    If we do treat men and women as though they are fully capable and responsible people, and fully responsible for their bedroom activities and the potential consequences thereof, then should not they be treated equally in the eyes of the law?

    So Cory, why is what’s good for the goose good not good for the gander?

    If you are willing to hold men responsible for their actions for 18 years, threaten them with fines, felony charges and jail time, then why not also hold women responsible for their actions?

    If you truly believe what you wrote:

    It is none of the government’s business who has sex with whom, what birth control or other devices those sexual partners use during their act, or why a woman has chosen to no longer bear the burden of pregnancy.

    Then why is it the government’s business to interject and force one party to be held responsible, but not the other?

  155. Wayne, I won’t throw a flag for hyperbole, but I will signal caution for false analogy. Abortion isn’t murder; comparisons to murder are thus suspect.

    Looking back at Christine’s casual, perhaps impersonal use of the pronoun you in “I’ve always wondered why you would abort, instead of just delivering the baby who could possibly live,” I feel obliged to reiterate that I would not abort—or, more accurately, in a hypothetical universe where I got a different chromosome and a uterus and now have a possibly viable fetus therein, I would very likely not abort. I think I know what choice I would make for myself. I’m saying that I will not make that choice for any other human being, and neither should the law, because respect for the dignity and autonomy of a woman in this unique situation overrides respect for the developing life inside her. Translated to the late-term question, I can’t accept the state requiring a woman to meet some burden of proof that her decision over the use of her own body satisfies the moral preferences of those in power.

    We excuse drug offenders from harsh punishment in part because we accept that their moral agency is impaired by a disease. Are you contending that pregnant women as a class suffer from a disease that impairs their moral agency? If so, you’re probably in trouble, because labeling pregnant women as incapable of morally judgment sure sounds misogynistic and opens the door to making them second-class citizens and wards of the state (again, Keely and Du, The Handmaid’s Tale… women held in bondage as birthing vessels).

    On geese and ganders: the physical and moral circumstances are different. A man, by one swift and unwelcome act, can make a woman pregnant and force her into the moral quandary of choosing to carry a child to term or to abort. A woman can never put a man in such a situation. Reality lays a solid basis for treating men differently from women in certain regards in reproductive issues.

    But we do treat men and women equally with regards to child support, right? If one parent has custody, the court can demand that the other parent contribute to the child’s support, right? Plus, the ongoing consequences you are talking about—writing a check to buy the kid groceries—are still different from the consequences of nine months of pregnancy.

  156. It’s funny to me pregnancy is considered a disease by our health insurance company, and our employers. I don’t think of it as such. Nor do I think women are rendered mentally impaired by pregnancy. However, from a jurisprudence standpoint, I don’t see the benefit of incarceration for either. I do see a benefit in alternative strategies to reduce recidivism.

    You may not think of abortion as murder. Others do. The fact that a life is terminated cannot be denied.

    You’re once again playing with words, Cory. You say “A man, by one swift and unwelcome act, can make a woman pregnant and force her into the moral quandary of choosing to carry a child to term or to abort.” But who’s talking about unwelcome acts?

    If a man and a woman choose to have sex, even if he uses contraceptives, he has no recourse if he did not wish to impregnate her. He cannot abrogate his responsibility. She can force him, with the full power of the state and federal government, to indentured servitude for 18 years.

    Is his right to choose solely limited to abstinence or full culpability simply because of the luck of his birth? How is that just?

    Just because the biology of sex differs does not mean the situation is so unique that we must necessarily treat women differently.

  157. mike from iowa

    Then why is it the government’s business to interject and force one party to be held responsible, but not the other?

    Pardon me, but the one party is not held responsible unless and until a child is born. If the woman chooses to abort, the man isn’t forced to pay his share of the cost. He is not subjected to 72 straight hours of government sponsored propaganda. He does not have an ultra sound probe shoved inside him and be forced to hear the doctor’s lecture.

    Whether a woman decides to abort or not is still no one’s business except the woman and her doctor.

  158. Wayne, no one I’ve heard from here really believes abortion is murder, because no one is practically treating/punishing abortion like murder.

    I’m talking about unwelcome acts as a key way to define the power differential that underlies my willingness to reject complaints about paternity-support requirements. Men can and do impregnate women against the women’s will. I invite examples of women forcing men to impregnate them against the men’s will. Men pose a threat to women that women do not pose to men; men can also walk away from pregnancy in a way that women cannot. Those facts represent a power differential that the law should consider in its treatment of men and women in child support cases.

    As for the consensual situation you describe leading to unwanted pregnancy: note that the woman cannot oblige the man to pay child support unless she chooses to provide support as well. If all the court exacts from the father is a monthly check, that is still a far lower burden than the custodial care the mother assumes as her responsibility. “Woe is me, I have to write a check” seems a bit whiny compared to, “I have to feed, change, burp, stay up with, and supervise this child 24 hours a day.”

  159. I’d written:

    So in a discussion where several advocates of the right to life are commenting under our real identities, an anonymous commenter [“mike from iowa”] is talking openly about shooting us to death.

    “mike from iowa” asks:

    Getting a little nervous, Kurt?

    Not that I’ve noticed.

    How do you imagine us libs feel when we have to share space with freakin’ maniacs packing heat and swearing to overthrow the government if they don’t get their demands met?

    I don’t imagine everyone on the left has the same feelings.

    … is [Donald Trump] advocating that someone shoot Hillary? Or that someone shoot a Supreme Court Justice after Hillary picks him or her?

    To me it seems obvious he’s suggesting someone could shoot Hillary.

    Roger Cornelius writes:

    Kurt, your attempt to evade the question of punishment by turning it back on me is not working.

    I wasn’t turning the question back on you, Roger, but I will now: What would you say the punishment should be for the mother who has an abortion?

    I am not evading your ‘answer’, I’m expecting an answer to a direct question, if you can’t provide it, just say so.

    My answer, for the third time, is that I’m not in favor of punishing the mother.

    “Bearcreekbat” asks:

    What if there is no doctor or nurse involved? What if she takes steps to induce her own miscarriage, such as taking a morning after pill or, as they did pre-legalization, use a coat hanger on herself or ingest a substance that will cause the miscarriage? Should she then be punished and if so, what would be an appropriate punishment?

    If she doesn’t violate other laws, I’m still not in favor of punishing the mother.

    Cory writes:

    … Kurt’s response, that we should punish abortion providers but not women who choose to abort their fetuses, exposes a certain misogyny that undermines the moral case he and activists make for outlawing abortion.

    That claim is untrue and profoundly offensive, Cory.

    … no one I’ve heard from here really believes abortion is murder, because no one is practically treating/punishing abortion like murder.

    That’s equally untrue and nearly as offensive. Here’s some recommended reading:
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/221742/one-untrue-thing-nro-symposium

  160. bearcreekbat

    Kurt, I fully agree with you that the woman who causes her own miscarriage should not be punished. Yet it seems that by threatening to punish any medical person who tries to keep the abortion safe for the woman is a form of punishment.

    It can be quite dangerous to a women who uses any of the following methods to induce miscarriage because she is denied the help of a medical provider:

    Many of the following methods present significant danger (see below) to the life or health of the woman:

    -physical exertion designed to bring about a miscarriage

    -abdominal massage

    -receiving punches, kicks, or other blows to the abdominal area

    -bellyflopping onto a hard surface, or throwing herself down a flight of stairs

    -attempted removal of the fetus with a steel wire coat-hanger or similar device inserted into the uterus through the cervix[6] (the historical use of this method has led to instances of its use as a symbol against the pro-life movement, illustrating dangers of barring state-condoned abortion)[7]

    -attempted piercing of the fetus with a knitting needle, crochet hook, hat pin, bobby pin or similar device inserted into the uterus through the cervix[6]

    -insertion of a rubber tube or catheter into the uterus and attempting to suck the fetus out, or, alternatively, blowing air into the uterus to cause a miscarriage (if the tube or catheter pierced a blood vessel, this would sometimes lead to air embolism, which could be fatal)

    -ingesting abortifacients, Vitamin C megadosage, Pennyroyal or other substances believed to induce miscarriage[8]

    -douching with substances believed to induce miscarriage, such as turpentine, clorox bleach, or lye, all of which could cause intense chemical burns (beginning in the 1960s, many women used Coca Cola for this purpose, although its utility is at best dubious)
    vaginal pessaries

    -yoga

    -acupuncture at points linked to miscarriage

    -hypothermia (many women would lie for peroids of time in snowbanks, which could be fatal to them) or hyperthermia (women would lie in tubs filled with hot or even scalding water for periods of time, often while simultaneously drinking gin)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-induced_abortion

    Apparently such methods have been used by women in areas where safe medical help is prohibited by law. Perhaps punishing medical personnel actually has the unfortunate result in punishing the woman after all.

  161. “Bearcreekbat” writes:

    Kurt, I fully agree with you that the woman who causes her own miscarriage should not be punished. Yet it seems that by threatening to punish any medical person who tries to keep the abortion safe for the woman is a form of punishment.

    I’m not in favor of punishing any medical person who merely tries to keep the abortion safe for the mother. I’m only in favor of punishing the one who makes it unsafe for her child.

    It can be quite dangerous to a women who uses any of the following methods to induce miscarriage because she is denied the help of a medical provider… Perhaps punishing medical personnel actually has the unfortunate result in punishing the woman after all.

    Abortion punishes both the mother and her child, with or without the help of a medical provider.

  162. bearcreekbat

    Kurt, arguments based on semantics seem to lose their impact. All abortions are unsafe for the fetus or unborn child, so your distinction is a bit of circular reasoning. Either you advocate punishing medical personnel and women for terminating pregnancies or you don’t.

  163. mike from iowa

    Abortion doesn’t punish the woman. Wingnuts and there increasing loads of medically unnecessary hoops for women to jump through punishes women. Make women wait, force them to listen to anti-abortion propaganda, make them have to travel to another state, make them take two visits for morning after pill.

    You people? will do anything to force your beliefs on other people, Kurt.

  164. bearcreekbat

    mfi makes a powerful point – the restrictions a woman must face and the various hoops she must jump through before she is permitted to exercise her constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy work together to punish her for her decision.

  165. As for the consensual situation you describe leading to unwanted pregnancy: note that the woman cannot oblige the man to pay child support unless she chooses to provide support as well. If all the court exacts from the father is a monthly check, that is still a far lower burden than the custodial care the mother assumes as her responsibility. “Woe is me, I have to write a check” seems a bit whiny compared to, “I have to feed, change, burp, stay up with, and supervise this child 24 hours a day.”

    It doesn’t matter what her burden is, Cory. She chose it and wanted it. She has the choice to carry to term or not. He doesn’t. If he didn’t choose it, being held responsible for his actions, going against his choice, is a subjugation of his freedoms. And yet, you say that’s OK.

    I would challenge the fairness of that.

    I would also challenge your assumptions . I had them challenged when I was in college at USD, working as an RA. We were given reports on campus crime and complaints. What surprised me was the significantly higher number of reported sexual assault and rape by men than women on campus.

    I suppose it’s plausible that for some reason, women were indeed getting raped more often than men and just weren’t reporting it, but then there’s the social pressure on men with the assumption that “you can’t rape the willing” that you seem to espouse. This would also create downward pressure on rape reports by men.

    If you read the Slate article I linked to, you might begin to realize we just haven’t measured the raping of men in America.

  166. Wayne, given the imbalance of power in sex, given the fact that men target women for rape far more often than women target men, I find requiring men to support the women they ahve impregnated with monthly checks for their biological offspring’s sustenance fair. Perhaps that requirement can serve as a deterrent to further wanton sexual offenses.

    I find measurements here that indicate women are raped far more frequently than men. But even if rape and molestation of males is being reported more, even if it is increasing , even if 46% percent of the perps may be female, and even as horrible as rape is for any victim and as imperative as it is that we prevent such crimes, women face that one additional unique risk from rape that men never will. I stand by that unique risk as partial justification for my position on child support and abortion.

  167. Why are men dominating this conversation? Not only in this blog but in general? For ever am amazed. West river can easily go into another state and not wait the waiting period here in SD. the woman is burdened not only with the social stigma of wrong doing by a perfectly legal procedure, they endure the financial costs involved in the waiting period. Point being, if it’s going to happen, and it does, more women are forced to go out of state. Every man that I have met that weighs a strong opinion against are the same men who want Medicaid payments taken away from those who are forced to have children. “You must have them, but expect no help In doing so” btw there are bigger payments made to our agriculture communities than single moms, it’s farm payments and technically that’s welfare. Leave women alone to make their own private decisions.

  168. “Bearcreekbat” writes:

    All abortions are unsafe for the fetus or unborn child, so your distinction is a bit of circular reasoning.

    No, there’s no circular reasoning there.

    Either you advocate punishing medical personnel and women for terminating pregnancies or you don’t.

    And as I’ve explicitly said above, I don’t. I’m only in favor of punishing the abortionist.

    “mike from iowa” writes:

    Abortion doesn’t punish the woman.

    Many, many grieving mothers have testified that it does.

    You people? will do anything to force your beliefs on other people, Kurt.

    I won’t do “anything” to prevent the murder of a child, but I’ll try to do what I can.

  169. mike from iowa

    Kurt Evans says: Many, many grieving mothers have testified that it does.

    How many of those grieving mothers were made to regret their having abortions by the slut shaming, so called kristians who yell and scream and call them names?

  170. “mike from iowa” writes:

    How many of those grieving mothers were made to regret their having abortions by the slut shaming, so called kristians who yell and scream and call them names?

    I’m guessing none. Why would slut-shaming make a mother regret her abortion?