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%.