Stace Nelson Slow to Answer My Pro-Choice Test

On Sunday morning, in an effort to put another lengthy pro-choice discussion into a more concrete context, I posed the following specific, practical, ethical question to Stace Nelson on Twitter:

(…because moral discussions always go well 140 characters at a time.)

The hypothetical may not be realistic—after all, how many women walking toward a clinic will pause to tell strangers on a sidewalk what medical procedures they are heading in for? But I think you can see the moral question I’m testing. If you’re like Stace Nelson and view abortion as “the undisputed… indefensibl[e]… barbarism of killing an innocent baby” (Nelson used those words), then what do you personally do when faced with the imminent commission of such an indefensible barbaric killing?

I’m not asking how one votes in the Capitol. I’m not asking what one prints on a campaign postcard. I’m asking what personal, face-to-face action one takes in a very specific situation.

Consider the question in the context of the St. Cloud mall stabbings. What do you do if you see a man carrying a knife marching toward an innocent bystander with a clear intent to harm? “Install metal detectors at the mall entrance,” “Round up Somalis,” “Hire more cops,” and “Require all able-bodied adults to carry firearms” are responses to policy questions, but not this personal ethical question: What do we do in a moment of imminent evil action?

It took over two days for Nelson to finally say something that felt like a direct answer:

Nelson will speak to the woman. He will beg her not to carry out her action. He will recount his love for his own children.

Either that’s the limit of his 140 characters, or that’s the limit of the action he considers acceptable in that specific situation, before an indefensible barbaric act.

Nelson’s answer, like his view of the action, differs significantly from mine. Since I do not see a barbaric, indefensible act about to take place, I do not interrupt the woman’s progress toward the clinic. I do not offer my opinion unless the woman asks for it.

But while Nelson opens his mouth, we both still just stand there. We both let the woman go on her way. We both, it appears, allow that woman to carry out her choice.

69 Responses to Stace Nelson Slow to Answer My Pro-Choice Test

  1. mike from iowa

    Waiting periods before abortion don’t appear to work .

    A recent study on the effect of these laws in Utah conducted by the University of California at San Francisco surveyed 500 women on their first informational visit to a Utah abortion clinic, and then again three weeks later. After the three weeks had passed, 86% had completed the procedure, 3% turned out to not be pregnant or suffered a miscarriage, and 2% were still planning on having an abortion but hadn’t done so yet.

    Of the eight percent that were left? Eleven women, 4% of those who completed the followup survey, had said initially that their preference was to keep the baby anyway. What they were doing there, who can be sure? Maybe just checking out all their options as a just-in-case. As far as the others? “Nine (3% of those completing follow-up) had preferred abortion and had been somewhat or highly conflicted, and seven (2% of those completing follow-up) had preferred abortion and had low conflict.”


  2. Robin Friday

    It isn’t my place to “beg” her not to do it. And it isn’t my place to stand in her way. It’s my place to stand aside and support her right to make her own decisions, whether I approve them or not. And I really don’t care how much you love your children, Mr. Nelson, I love mine too, and my grandchildren, but that’s irrelevant to someone else’s decision.

  3. @CAH Not your proudest blog posting, more Pat Powersesque than fair debate moderator or political reporter. Contrary to your mischaracterization, there was significant and timely twitter responses to your disappointing effort at gotcha 120 character journalism. The only thing such baiting interactions do is reignite my resolve to do everything within the law to stop this barbaric, uncivilized, demeaning cruelty to women and innocent babies. Just as Democrats were on the wrong side of history on the treatment of blacks for hundreds of years, so are you morally wrong on the killing of innocent babies. I have no doubt that we shall overcome this evil as we did the evil of slavery. Rest assured, you shall once again here my booming voice on the floor of the peoples’ legislature decrying the evils of killing innocent babies and ensuring legislation is passed that secures the blessings of freedom for ourselves, and our innocent posterity.

  4. Stace, I did you a favor by not posting every one of your dodges. You did not answer the question I asked until this afternoon. Let us now discuss that answer and not all the preceding smoke.

    This is no gotcha game. My question Sunday morning and here is about fundamental principles, about finding the personal ethical basis on which we can build broader policy discussions. It is an effort to cut through the wild hyperbole (of which your response here gives multiple examples) that clouds the real issues and the real South Dakota neighbors we are dealing with.

    Let’s keep it real.

  5. Roger Elgersma

    protesting something like abortion that is legal is different than protesting a mass shooting which is illegal. If one believes in keeping ones actions within the law, then shooting the woman before she can kill her kid is different than shooting a mass killer. Killing the mass killer does not jeopardize the future victims but shooting the mother would not bode well for the baby either. Also, the mother might not know she is killing her kid. I know someone who was counseled that the fetus is not a baby till it is born. So the mother might be misinformed. Do people really need to be intelligent enough to know that is their kid they are killing rather than just a piece of their own body to be fit to raise a child?

  6. Stace, I want hear your booming voice decry the rampant ruthless corruption that goes on everyday in Pierre in your republican party when you are back in January and to hear you sponsor an anticorruption bill. ;)

  7. Oh man, not another 200 comment section on abortion. ( Sigh… quick change the subject) How about those Vikings!

  8. I find it hard to believe that Mr. Nelson was hiding in the Twitter bathroom from Sunday until this fine afternoon, dodging answers as they called his name.

  9. mike from iowa

    Apparently right wing assaults on women’s reproductive choices aren’t within the law and don’t pass constitutional muster, in many states.

  10. mike from iowa

    ps it is 140 characters, not 120.

  11. Has anyone seen the new Vikings stadium yet?

  12. @CAH I answered your questions forthright and straightforward. They did not fit the boxed narrative you were attempting so you persisted until you got something you felt you could massage. You selectively quoted me to fit your narrative, that is not a favor, and it is not ethical journalism.

    While I anwered you repeatedly, you dodged my return questions. Lets settle for this: “Describe the abortion process. Please tell us how ripping a living baby apart inutero is not barbaric. How is the sacraficing of that innocent life not the same in principle as the brutal pagan practices of uncivilized man who sacrificed babies? If abortion is not evil and barbaric, what qualifies as evil and barbaric in your view?”

  13. Porter Lansing

    Stacey Nelson … Your opinions are deplorable. PS … you can’t hide from me here like you did on Twitter.

  14. @Jenny You can count on it…

    @Grudznick Thanks for the chuckle. You just stick with that old tired asinine story, it should help keep you warm this winter under what ever rock you hide under.

  15. Stace Nelson

    @Porter I’m your huckleberry. Stick to being an internet tough troll in Colorado, real life would not be as patient with your ignorance.

    I’m late for supper with my grandsons, anyone else have an issue? (605) 770-7461 I have no further time.

  16. Porter Lansing

    Top Definition
    “I’m your huckleberry.”
    19th century slang which was popularized more recently by the movie Tombstone. Means “I’m the man you’re looking for”. Nowdays it’s usually used as a response to a threat or challenge, as in the movie.
    “Who thinks they can beat me?”
    “I’m your huckleberry.”
    Well, Stacey … I fight bullies. You’re the man I’m looking for.

  17. Robin Friday

    What happened to my reply from a few hours ago?

  18. owen reitzel

    all mute points. Abortion is legal.
    no more wasted time in Pierre on stupid abortion bills. Let’s get the work done on our state’s problems

  19. mike from iowa

    Your reply from 17:04 is still visible, Robin. That was the only one I saw on here.

  20. Mute, non-speaking points indeed, but that does not invalid or make moot Mr. reitzel’s point that there will be much time wasted in the legislatures.

  21. mike from iowa

    Invalidate, Grudz who is from Outer Space.

  22. Invalid (v), to make a point, in particular a good point making moot other points being made by a madman, an invalid.

  23. owen reitzel

    got me grudz. but my point is the same

  24. Darin Larson

    Sometimes it is a good thing for the legislature to waste time if we consider all the alternatives on which the legislature could spend its time. Kind of like when you give a dog a chew toy so it doesn’t spend its time chewing up your furniture or chasing cars. The meaningless resolutions are like chew toys.

  25. Roger Cornelius

    Once again Stace’s sense of history is woefully lacking. At every opportunity he blames Democrats for slavery while refusing to acknowledge the ‘southern strategy of the 60’s that turned southern Democrats into Nixon republicans. That strategy is alive and well today.
    If Stace were paying attention to the news of the past year he would realize that it is the republican party presidential nominee that is racist. Even high ranking republicans cannot support his candidacy because he has the support of the likes of David Duke and the KKK.
    The racism of the republican party is further evidenced on a local level by the republican volunteer firefighter in Dell Rapids.
    So, Stace will bellow in the lowly chamber of the South Dakota capital condemning abortion and making futile attempts to go up against SCOTUS.
    His response to Cory’s basic challenging question was more political and patriotic than it was of substance.
    Stace gives the same kind of non-answer when asked what the penalty should be for women if abortion was illegal.

  26. Todd Kolden

    Two who should never be voted into and serve our legislature, vote no Nelson/Heidelberger.

  27. CH,

    I don’t get your point of asking the question. Did you expect him to act like the Occupy Wall Street folks or shout down people like those on college campuses do to conservative spaces? Take her picture and put it on social media like is done to people who hunt? Throw paint on her like is done to people who wear leather?

    Frankly, I wouldn’t have answered as much as Stace did.

  28. Stace, I’m disappointed that you are telling us such untruths about your responses. For two days, you dodged and parried. You spoke in political generalities. You threw other questions at me to divert from my question. It was as if I asked where you want to go have supper tonight, and you started making speeches about taxing pop and asking me if I support tighter CAFO regulations. We’ve had that discussion before. You know where I stand. I offered a new moral question to get at the heart of the basis for your political position, and you didn’t want to answer it. Why not? Why were all of the other rhetorical ploys you offered for those two days more important than a simple, straightforward answer to my practical moral question?

  29. Troy, the point is to test just how we are supposed to respond to an action that Stace and others paint in gory, absolute terms as an indefensible evil.

    Suppose Stace wins the argument. Suppose he persuades me that abortion really is the killing of an innocent baby, that it is undisputed, indefensible, barbaric evil. I don’t use words like that to describe texting and driving. Those words, if true, compel action. If so persuaded, I’d support more than Stace’s legislative responses. I’d do more than try to talk the pregnant woman out of her evil, barbaric decision. I’d approach her just as I hope I would have the courage to approach a murderer: if I could safely and effectively restrain her with my own physical force, I would.

    If I had been in the St. Cloud mall, I hope I wouldn’t have frozen or run away. I hope I would have had the courage to grab the guy’s knife arm.

    Troy, what would you do? In a moment of clear and present danger to a fetus, do you stick with Stace’s verbal persuasion? Or is stronger action required (and justified) in the face of what Stace calls absolute, barbaric evil?

    Note that I keep having to emphasize “what Stace calls.” Stace chooses to play word games with me on Twitter, saying I’m conceding that abortion is the evil he calls it. That, of course, is false (again, Stace, falsehood after falsehood calls into question your moral authority on this issue: why do you resort to so many false statements in discussing this moral issue?). I clearly don’t accept Stace’s moral position, but I am willing to explore and test that moral position. I start with “If this position were true,” an archetypal use of the subjunctive mood and see what logical conclusions would flow from that assumption. We do the same thing in math with proofs by contradiction. I’m willing to muck about in Stace’s assumptions to figure out whether they lead us to moral contradictions.

  30. Richard Schriever

    @Roger Elgersma – Just an FYI – “mass killing” is perfectly legal – depending on the circumstances/context. It’s called WAR. Same act under a different name.

  31. Richard Schriever

    Oh, and BTW there is an entire industry and professional culture supported in this world in support of such mass killing. And Mr. Nelson has been a proud member and participant in said industry. He also proclaims that said industry is worthy of our collective reverence.

  32. Abortion proves mankind are animals – just like prairie dogs or rats eat their young.

  33. mike from iowa

    Wrong context, outer space Grudz.

  34. mike from iowa

    Nelson is playing the victim here. Wonder how those poor women feel after being accosted and harassed by overbearing man Nelson?

  35. Stace apparently, couldn’t take the heat and got out of the kitchen. I thought the question was pretty straight forward. If someone was breaking into Stace’s home to do bodily harm, and perhaps deadly harm, to him or his family, of COURSE Stace would do everything in his power to stop that. We all would. Stace continualy statements of killing innocents, blah blah blah (I can’t recall of of Stace’s statements on this), so Cory’s question was perfect. Why would he do anything and everything you could to stop the killing of innocents in all circumstances…..except draw a line for a woman headed to an abortion clinic.

    Stace has finally shown the light on the “real” GOP abortion argument. This isn’t about “saving innocent lives”. This rhetoric is about getting votes and controlling women. Period. And the proverbial cherry on the top of the cupcake is to put down lie after lie to try to prove the point. Evidence, medical experts dispute most everything Stace and others say about this topic.

    Stace might think his word salad is cute. I don’t. I find it off-putting, topic avoiding, demeaning, and ridiculous.

  36. Darin Larson

    Paul says “Abortion proves mankind are animals – just like prairie dogs or rats eat their young.”

    And I suppose enslaving women to use their womb for 9 months would prove that mankind are not animals. Animals wouldn’t seek to enslave each other like this.

  37. mike from iowa

    What? Women have rights? When did this happen?

  38. Who is enslaving women? Enslaving women is illegal and it needs to be reported to the authorities.

  39. CH,

    A couple of points: First, you employ two logic fallacies in asking the question. You attempt to compare taking action to stop the evil as was done in St. Cloud and what Stace asserts is done at an abortion clinic is the logic fallacy of “false equivalence.” One is legal and one is illegal. Additionally, you assert by implication the logic fallacy of a “false dilemma.” Just because Stace would like respond as the off-duty police officer did in St. Cloud doesn’t mean he should respond the same at an abortion clinic even if in both cases he sees the same outcome (intentional violent death of innocent human beings).

    Second, no matter how evil you think my behavior might be, in this nation, nobody has the legal right to stop me from engaging in legal behavior. Stace’s answer was he would respond within the law which is proper in a nation of laws. Stace also could embark on an illegal action for which he would have to pay the legal consequences*. I’m shocked Cory that you’d act in an illegal manner if your opinion of abortion were reversed. (I could infer maybe you really wouldn’t do so but you are hyperbolically employing the logic fallacy “moral high ground” fallacy to make Stace look relatively less moral than you but to do so requires some presumption with regard to your intent which isn’t clear in your latest response).

    My views on abortion aren’t that much different (if at all) than Stace’s. In addition to Stace’s response, I add I would pray for the mother and those in the clinic to have a change of heart, which I have personally done dozens of times at Planned Parenthood (hundreds of times if you count every time I drive by).

    * BTW, I don’t think one’s decision not to engage in illegal behavior is an indication one’s position is insincere. In my mind, the use of lawlessness doesn’t effect true change with regard to the hearts and minds of the body politic. In fact, I think it is long-term counter-productive as it destroys the environment for civil discussion and true change in law and society.

  40. Paul, Paul, Paul, let’s not get people thinking that anyone is eating babies. ;-)

  41. CH. I`m not following your link between female slavery and baby eating. ;]

  42. Mark Remily

    Mr. Nelson, you say “Just as democrats were on the wrong side of history on the treatment of blacks for hundreds of years, so are you morally wrong on the killing of babies”.
    First of all, todays democrats are not and never were part of the southern democrats, who against the majority of their own people succeeded from Lincolns union to protect their evil institution of slavery. We all know how that ended. While you were at it, you should have mentioned that John Wilkes Booth was a democrat, the KKK was established by democrats as was the John Birch Society, and Jim Crow laws. Not until angered by Pres. Lyndon Johnsons equal rights legislation 100 years later did they switch to Republicans to spread their racist beliefs. If Lincoln were alive today, he would definitely be democrat.
    Second of all, Just because Cory and I have a D by our name, it is assumed that we must be baby killers. I have been labeled that by more than just you Mr. Nelson. Just as you lie about the history of the democrats, this again is another vial republican lie. Your party believes that even with reasonable gun laws, criminals will still find a way to obtain guns. So go the abortion seekers. They will find illegal and life threatening ways to have an abortion.

  43. mike from iowa

    Silly wingnuts, if Donald Drumpf was accosted on the street he would demand that person be arrested for being on the same planet.

    But you seem to think it is legal for you to do the same thing to others.

  44. Stace loves the term ‘indefensible barbarism,’ yet doesn’t realize how he is the very thing he hates the most. Trying to force a 12 year old girl who was raped by her uncle to endure a resulting pregnancy, and labor, that would very likely kill her is NOT WHAT JESUS WOULD DO.

    Even if that little girl were able to survive the labor forced upon her by Stace’s big giant overreaching government – forcing her to raise her rapists baby instead of one resulting from a good clean loving marriage – is also just flat out against God’s will.

    Stace disagrees with The Lord more than he realizes.

  45. bearcreekbat

    Science has moved forward and has expanded my analogy asking if anti-choice people would support forcing men to give up an organ to save the life of an innocent.

    Apparently women soon will not be needed for reproduction. Instead, men will be able to reproduce using their own bodies’ cells rather than a female egg. So how about it, will the anti-choice boys now argue that men who refuse to use their cells to reproduce be the equivalent of mass murderers?

  46. Stace Nelson

    @CAH Horse puckey! Claiming I was slow to respond is flat out dishonest or that I didn’t respond to your 140 character effort to distract the discussion from your own election losing stance on abortion is equally abusive of the truth. An honest man has nothing to hide: The reality of that whole conversation was it was designed specifically for you to avoid your own support of abortion and a painful effort to try and concoct a “gotcha” moment. It was an asinine question. I am 49 years old, I have avoided those damnable slaughterhouses of innocent babies my whole life and taken the battle to where it will do the most good, civilly in the legislature. On that score, I have defeated you and yours at every juncture. Notably, while I have responded to your “gotcha” efforts ad nauseam, you have yet to respond to mine above: “Describe the abortion process. Please tell us how ripping a living baby apart inutero is not barbaric. How is the sacrificing of that innocent life not the same in principle as the brutal pagan practices of uncivilized man who sacrificed babies? If abortion is not evil and barbaric, what qualifies as evil and barbaric in your view?” Are we now to be treated to a mea culpa headline “Cory Heidelberger Slow to Answer and Dodges Questions on Abortion on His Own Blog?” :-D

    @Porter Lansing You being an obnoxious internet wanna be bully does not make you noble by claiming to bully those who are not, it just makes you obnoxious. Feel free to look me up and try your best if you ever scurry through SD from CO.

    @Dana P Yeah I’m dodging you. That’s why I posted my cellphone and respond here ad naseam. While such intellectually dishonest and ignorant rhetoric may seem clever when you abuse your keyboard with it? The reality is that it is cyber excrement. Only someone who does not know me and has no clue would make such asinine statements.

    @Roger Cornelius & Mark Remly Please, sell the moronic theories that the GOP and the Democratic Party switched places in the 60’s with someone who cant tie their own shoes or rub two sticks together.

    @Adam Remind me how old the virgin Mary was when she became pregnant? Remind us all of how many 12 year olds are raped by their uncles. Remind us all what the conceived child of that 1 in 100 (?) million occurrence did to warrant being brutally ripped apart inutero and killed with out due process? Red Herring?

    If anyone else has anything they wish to discuss in a civilized manner? (605) 770-7461 I have no further time to respond.

  47. mike from iowa

    Call the chiropractor. Nelson threw his arm out of whack patting hisownself on the back some more. Gawd does that get tiresome?

  48. Roger Cornelius

    Hot Damn! South Dakota has its very own version of Donald Trump and his name is Stace Nelson.
    When he can’t provide legitimate answers he repeats himself and insults people that have asked the questions.
    Remember Megyn Kelly in the first republican presidential debate?
    And Donald Trump, I mean Stace, the KKK and the Nazi’s of America both endorsed REPUBLICAN Donald Trump.

  49. Stace, and his kind, support forcing out-of-wedlock incest babies to be born even if it would KILL the mother during labor.

    His are some FUBAR family values.

  50. Roger Cornelius

    You don’t expect us to take your source Conservative HQ Freedom Daily seriously, do you?
    Find a legitimate source to try and make your point.

  51. Mr. Nelson, you are taking a brutal beating here. It reminds me of when Mr. Gosch tricked you by changing rules you weren’t paying attention to.

  52. Stace, explain to me again how the question I pose here for everyone and which posed for you publicly on Twitter a “gotcha” question. You’re trying really hard to throw words on top of it to keep us from focusing on the answer, but how is it an invalid question? Do you just not want to deal with the question because it exposes a weakness in your moral and legislative reasoning?

    The fact that it’s a hard question and that you are unable to give an answer from your preferred campaign playbook does not make it an invalid question, or one that you can justify dodging for over two days.

  53. Troy, I commit no fallacies.

    On the legal/illegal distinction: my question stands independent of the legal status of the act. Suppose the woman in question is headed to Planned Parenthood and hasn’t performed the required forced consultation with Leslee Unruh. Suppose she hasn’t waited 72 hours since her first visit to the doctor. Suppose she’s 20 weeks plus one day along. Does the answer change? Does the moral response of a citizen on the sidewalk change?

    Suppose Stace and SDRTL succeed and ban all abortions. What is the proper moral response at that point? Does one legislative action morally green-light more aggressive intervention?

    Let’s work the St. Cloud comparison: suppose Ron Branstner and Bob Enos’s fantasies come true: Somali refugees take over, pass Sharia law, and thus make it legal to kill infidels. Does your on-the-scene response to the mall stabber change?

    To ease your feigned shock, I remind you of civil disobedience. My question about morality in the face of absolute evil (as framed by Nelson’s language) transcends law. I think Gandhi and ML King would back me up on that principle (although I have no idea how they’d respond to the woman headed for the abortion clinic).

    Remember that I am not asking Stace how he effects true change in society. I am asking Stace what he does to save an innocent life from a barbaric, indefensible killing (again, his framing of the act).

    I’m not trying to make Stace look less moral than I. His response of begging and telling stories and your response of praying are not immoral. Your responses do, however, indicate, that the matter is not as absolute as Stace portrays it.

  54. Troy Jones


    1) Something is not “equivalent” if the two acts have different legal status. Its like saying shooting a intruder in your house and shooting your plumber who you invited into your house are equivalent.

    2) it wasn’t feigned shock. I didn’t think you would advocate such a vigilante approach but if you justify it under the banner of civil disobedience, so be it. But don’t conflate what you suggest with the type of civil disobedience of King and Gandhi. It is more in the spirit of Malcolm X and jihad.

    3) If you were asking Stace for a response to a specific individual situation, “what would you do?” I think it also appropriate to not conflate the specific situation with either general situations or other specific situations in this forum. To fairly and pursue such a conversation, a direct socratic discussion would be appropriate. This forum doesn’t work because it breaks down to fast.

    4) Exactly. There is a fine line between exploring moral questions and crossing the line of asserting moral superiority. And, when doing so it is easy to cross the line from saying a response/position is immoral or deplorable to asserting the person is immoral or deplorable. Nobody should be so defined by a single aspect of their life or even a preponderance of aspects of their life. The number of people in this world who are close to completely immoral or deplorable is extremely small.

  55. Conservative convolution contortionism.

  56. Stace….thank you, you proved my point!

    You are still dodging the initial and key question. If life is life and you will defend the “barbarism” (your words) to the inth degree, why are you now parsing and separating when you will defend it? There is a difference to you?

    Don’t dodge, don’t use word salad. Just answer the question. Easy as that.

  57. bearcreekbat

    Cory’s hypothetical is valid and exposes a real fundamental weakness in the “protect the women” argument.

    If I understand Stace’s position, the woman who seeks an abortion is a victim, not a perp. That position does not seem to justify a public policy that would deny her, as a victim, medical help and put her in the position where she can only seek a potentially dangerous back alley abortion. And to extent technology has developed safer ways to self induce an abortion, Stace’s position ends up being one that actually supports self induced abortions, while prohibiting medical personnel from assisting or protecting the woman.

    Although Stace does not mention it, the fact appears to be that for centuries women have decided for themselves whether they will carry a pregnancy to term. The only issue Roe decided was whether they should have the right of privacy to make that decision so that a state may no longer enact laws to punish women for abortions nor deny them safe and effective medical care for such a procedure.

    Stace can complain about abortions, but it seems disingenuous for him to assert he is protecting an innocent life while refusing to advocate punishment for the woman who has the abortion, such as South Dakota’s authorized punishment for murder of someone under the age of 13 – the death sentence.

  58. Just above, Stace called pro-choice an “election losing stance on abortion” and that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that he and his kind dummy down every election to one single issue.

    These people need to consider refraining from voting until they understand how complex running a state government actually is. No one, who is anyone, in Pierre, sits around all day everyday dedicating all their time to abortion. There are too many real problems to solve.

  59. Troy Jones


    I suppose the hypothetical is “valid” if one lives in a world outside the rule of law or desires such and each person gets to be cop, judge, jury, and executioner. Otherwise, it is preposterous.

  60. mike from iowa

    each person gets to be cop, judge, jury, and executioner.

    Seen about enough of this with cops basically murdering unarmed Blacks.

  61. bearcreekbat

    It may not be a perfect hypothetical Troy, but it does help bring out the flaw in using the “woman as victim” theory as an excuse to justify efforts to deny a woman the right to decide whether another entity may use her body against her will.

  62. Stace Nelson=the Trump Wannabe…

  63. Troy, on equivalence:

    First, I didn’t quite claim equivalence. I won’t claim equivalence between abortion and any other moral situation, because pregnancy and the decision-making involved are unique, and any analogy is flawed (touching on bear’s words, every hypothetical is imperfect). I asked readers to consider the question in the context of the St. Cloud attack, as a moral reference point from which we can identify similar and different principles. Your distinction between legal/illegal actions is one differentiation unearthed by that context. Thank you.

    Second, I would contend that questions about both situations—woman planning to abort her pregnancy, man wielding knife with intent to harm—precede and ground the question of law you raise. How we respond to those concrete, personal situations informs what laws we craft to address those situations (or, in bear’s words, our response to the moral question helps us justify our public policy). I don’t jump the knife-wielder because his action is illegal; his action is illegal because I (and a vast majority of my neighbors) would jump him or would help some strong group jump him to stop such evil action.

    Stace and his fellow abortion absolutists offer the false equivalence. They frame the abortion question in language of moral horror equal to the response to the St. Cloud stabbings. Yet they frame their response to the initial moral question of personal response in very different terms. I acknowledge that murder and abortion are not equivalent. Stace’s response to my initial moral question underscores a lack of equivalence that he refuses to acknowledge.

  64. So in order to remain intellectually consistent, Stace should threaten women seeking abortions with knives? I see the dilemma you are attempting to establish here and it feels a bit disingenuous. A person can consider the two rough moral equivalents while also recognizing that committing a criminal act to prevent the legal activity would limit their ability to advocate for their belief. He can be practical in the actions he takes, Cory.

  65. barry freed

    Lucky for those people in Minnesota it wasn’t Cory having a ” Die Hard” fantasy of taking out a terrorist with his unarmed bad self, but another of the tens of thousands of “good guys and gals with a gun” who stop these crimes every day. He is a NRA Gun Safety Instructor who intentionally violated the Mall’s “Gun Free Zone” policy. If he had stopped at their information desk on his way in and revealed he was carrying, they would have said: “no entry”. Now it’s damage and lawsuit control to call him LE.

    He’s a retired Cop who volunteers in a small community because it has no 24 hour service and teaches how to use firearms in case Cory isn’t around to slap and scold the killer; Jason Falconer was carrying illegally. We’ll see if Avon claims him as the lawsuits roll in. To call him law enforcement would be the same as referring to South Dakota’s CCW holders as LE since we have a law making them automatic volunteers to their local Sheriff’s Department, to be called upon in an emergency.

    Since pregnancy is life threatening, it falls to the same Universal Right of self preservation as carrying guns (or clubs, as in Cory’s case). If anit-abortionists had to suffer the same complications, up to and including death, as their partners, they would feel differently about the issue and even Viagra might not help them get past the thought of unwanted pregnancy.

    In some cases, abortion is murder, in the rest of the cases it is self defense. Whether the threat is real or imagined, it doesn’t matter, it is a woman’s Universal Right that trumps religion and law.

  66. No, Dicta, that’s not what I said. I want to know what the proper response is to undisputed, indefensible, barbaric evil about to happen right in front of us. And as I said to Troy, the question precedes (given Stace’s absolutist language, transcends) the legal status of the evil action in question.

    Plus, I don’t know if we’ve heard Stace’s moral prescription for what he would do if he saw an individual about to commit physical harm to an innocent bystander. I don’t know how Stace would intervene. Maybe he would reason and plead with the attacker as he would with the pregnant woman. I don’t know. But I’d like to. If we are responding to evil, what is the proper practical response?

  67. (Barry, get out of my head. You don’t know what fantasies I have. I certainly don’t imagine myself as John McClane or John Wayne taking out bad guys. You are painting a picture that is not in my head. Argue with what I’ve said, not the straw men you’d rather paint.)

    That said, note Barry’s closing words, in which he takes a non-absolutist position on abortion and an absolutist position on women’s rights. That fundamentally is the position I take. At peril of putting things in Stace’s head the way Barry tries putting things in mine, I would posit that something like that conflict of values is why Stace stops at words and does not intervene personally in the actions of a pregnant woman. Even Stace appears to recognize that he does not have a personal right to interfere in that woman’s choice. Now the question is why he thinks he has that right to intervene as a legislator.


  68. Wrong, Barry. Jason Falconer was an off-duty police officer and they can carry off duty if they want to.