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Refuse to Expand Medicaid, See More Moms and Kids Get Sick and Die

Kristi Noem campaigns under the fake "pro-life" banner
Voice for the voiceless, but not all those noisy crying babies and their moms whom we could help…

I am, and always have been pro-life…. I believe every human life is sacred….”

My foot.

By refusing to support Medicaid expansion, Governor Kristi Noem subjects South Dakota infants and mothers to higher risk of death. So says science:

As the country grapples with increasing rates of maternal mortality, a new study from the Georgetown University Center of Health Policy found that one of the biggest things a state can do for the health of new mothers and babies is to expand Medicaid.

…Fourteen states have not expanded Medicaid, and the result can be deadly: States that expanded Medicaid saw a reduction in infant mortality — from 5.9 to 5.6 deaths per 100,000, while the rate slightly rose in nonexpansion states — from 6.4 to 6.5 deaths per 100,000.

…Medicaid expansion was also found to decrease maternal mortality. According to the study, Medicaid expansion led to 1.6 fewer deaths per 100,000 women [Mattie Quinn, “Report: Babies Are More Likely to Die in States That DIdn’t Expand Medicaid,” Governing, 2019.05.22].

Go ahead, Kristi. Spin all you want. Tell us how the study is flawed, how science is wrong, how Medicaid expansion doesn’t really save lives. Lay out your evidence for refusing to adopt a policy that looks like it can do more to save babies and mothers than any of your vaunted anti-abortion bills.

Kristi Noem and American children
Kids make great campaign props, and they pose for free! But actually taking care of them and their moms? That costs too much.

Those of you making excuses for Kristi’s hypocrisy, read the study first. The Georgetown researchers aren’t just showing correlation—gee whiz, states refused to expand Medicaid, and more kids and moms died, ain’t that a coinkydink? They are saying Medicaid expansion makes women healthier by improving their access to health care, not just while they are pregnant but before they get pregnant. Those healthier women who get pregnant then have better chances of healthy pregnancies, of surviving childbirth themselves, and of delivering healthier babies.

Reviews of state data estimate the majority of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable. Expanding access to health coverage is a key strategy for addressing this problem. A growing body of research demonstrates the ACA and implementation of state Medicaid expansions have had positive effects on the health of mothers and their infants. Recent studies show that state Medicaid expansions have helped to reduce the rates of both maternal deaths and infant mortality. Women are getting better health coverage before pregnancy, leading to improved prenatal nutrition and prenatal care. And postpartum coverage has improved for women, helping them get the care they need following the birth of their child. States that have expanded Medicaid also have decreased the likelihood that eligibility for coverage will fluctuate, resulting in losing and regaining coverage over a relatively short span of time, a phenomenon known as “churning.” Breaks in health coverage can disrupt care and cause existing health conditions to become more serious and more difficult and expensive to treat [Adam Searing and Donna Cohen Ross, “Medicaid Expansion Fills Gaps in Maternal Health Coverage Leading to Healthier Mothers and Babies,” Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, May 2019].

Medicaid expansion has effects far beyond pregnancy that show that being “pro-life” must necessarily be about big-picture, life-spanning policies, not just feel-good campaign slogans and abstract debates about how many angels can dance on the head of an embryo. Medicaid expansion helps women get depression screening and treatment so they can form better relationships that boost their babies’ health. Medicaid expansion helps more women quit smoking, which protects their kids from asthma, ear infections, and tooth decay.

Cause: Medicaid expansion. Effect: more healthy, living women and babies is the effect.

If you claim to be “pro-life,” you don’t need to hear one more word to vote to expand Medicaid. I just can’t figure out why “pro-life” Kristi Noem can’t hear those words.


  1. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr., 2019-05-23 14:13

    Perhaps, one of the reasons that Republicans are anti-choice, is because they need workers to work in jobs primarily controlled by Republicans, who under pay and under benefit their employees. So Given that, you would think that they would want a healthy, ready, willing, and able workforce with the help of Medicaid expansion; but unfortunately, their self-indulgent greed is the the Achilles’ heel of their overall businesss model.

  2. Southsider 2019-05-23 14:46

    Dont hold your breath waiting for Kristi or the GOP to have any sort of logical consistency with this, or any other issue. Pure ideological head in the sand-isms is all they have, shout their lies and tag lines and hope the masses buy the garbage they are selling.

  3. Eve Fisher 2019-05-23 17:18

    She’s very pro-birth, whether it’s people or pheasants. But that’s about it. Everything else can go to jail or be killed for interfering in her plans.

  4. Joe Nelson 2019-05-23 18:00

    I am having trouble finding all the data, but the March of Dimes estimates that there were 12,275 live births in 2017.

    Expanding Medicaid would be statistical insignificant, as it would not have affected the number of deaths.

    Is it still the “right” thing to do? Maybe, but based on the cited study, it would not save any additional SD lives.

  5. bearcreekbat 2019-05-23 18:29

    I can’t follow Joe’s reasoning. According to this 2019 report in the Argus Leader the SD infant mortality rate is near the worst in the nation in several areas.

    Infants reported as dying from birth defects (24.2%) and premature births (15.9%) “have long been the biggest causes of infant mortality in South Dakota and across the country.” Other frequent causes that lead the nation include sleep-related causes and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

    Since the statistical evidence cited by Cory indicates that Medicaid expanded eligibility reduces infant deaths, and since our state’s rate of infant mortality is much higher than most other states, I can’t see how our number of live births is even relevant, other than to put more infants at risk of dying due to lack of life protecting coverage provided by Medicaid eligibility.

  6. Kurt Evans 2019-05-23 18:42

    When government steals money from people in group A by spending it to promote the individual welfare of people in group B, there are often short-term benefits for people in group B.

    Studies like this one typically ignore both the short-term costs for people in group A and the long-term costs for society as a whole when the private-sector economy is perpetually suffocating under the weight of coercive, oppressive, authoritarian government.

    If government had never gotten involved in the health care system, that system would be more efficient and less expensive, and most of us would have much more private wealth to spend on our own health care.

  7. mike from iowa 2019-05-23 18:47

    She’s very pro-birth, whether it’s people or pheasants.

    She’s more than willing to spend money saving pheasants.

  8. bearcreekbat 2019-05-23 18:53

    I wonder if Kurt has any evidence to support his unusual claims,

    -government steals money from people;

    -how these studies are typically done;

    – and what the state of our health care would have been had government never gotten involved;

    or perhaps Kurt is simply making unveriified claims that reinforced his personal bias?


  9. leslie 2019-05-23 19:35

    90 countries and some states, including California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Washington, have banned the use of the leg hold trap because of the cruelty it inflicts on animals.

    I am pro-fur life in SD. Always have been. Sacred four leggeds.

  10. o 2019-05-23 19:56

    Kurt: “If government had never gotten involved in the health care system, that system would be more efficient and less expensive, and most of us would have much more private wealth to spend on our own health care.”

    I wanted to consider this question before I posed it to you, Kurt. Here goes: when has that been true; what private enterprise, unregulated by government, kept prices low and efficiency high for the consumer over time? What example would you cite here?

  11. Debbo 2019-05-23 23:35

    “short-term costs for people in group A”

    As a tax paying citizen I’d like to say that paying my fair share of taxes that help people live healthier, happier lives is one of my favorite things to do. That’s on top of charitable giving and similar things I do.

    Making positive contributions to the human and non human world is one of the best things we human beings do and a thing that sets us generous altruists apart from tax cheats, avoiders and complainers.

    I’m not at all pleased when my taxes go to fake wars or welfare to big businesses, the most common welfare kings. Still, it’s legal, so I’ll work via political means to change that.

    Yeah, it gives me pleasure when my taxes go to shared infrastructure, healthcare, schools and other such needs that serve the common good.

  12. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr., 2019-05-24 00:54

    “If government had never gotten involved in the health care system, that system would be more efficient and less expensive, and most of us would have much more private wealth to spend on our own health care.”

    What, Kurt? If it hadn’t been for Medicare and Medicaid, and now the ACA, there would be fewer patients to pay for the health care infrastructure, and when they would show-up eventually, their ills would be further along in severity and more expensive, and without the patients in a vast percent age of cases having the means to pay for such health care needs.

    In fact, when you speak of private wealth, Medicare in particular has done more to create and keep private welfare by allowing millions of Americans to retire and eventually leave this life with dignity and a personal solvency for their heirs.

  13. Loren 2019-05-24 08:34

    Kurt’s “if it weren’t for government interference” argument that we’d have cheaper/better health care and more money in our pocket has the ring of trickle-gown economics. How’s that working for us? Anyone been trickled on lately?

  14. Eve Fisher 2019-05-24 08:53

    I’m with Debbo. There are far too many things that private enterprise does not and cannot do, from mass immunizations to national infrastructure, Medicare to Social Security, etc.

    What Kurt and so many others forget is that (1) many people have no “private wealth” to spend – they live from paycheck to paycheck; and (2) before the New Deal of the 1930s, the poor worked until they died, and they died young (by our standards), because there was no health insurance of any kind. Private enterprise was the only thing going in the 1920s, and most of us know what happened – the Great Depression was a lesson in how much actually trickles down.

  15. cibvet 2019-05-24 09:08

    When its comes to people, noem is pro birth, not pro life. When it comes to pheasants, nome is pro life till hunting season. More pheasants equals easy killing of birds so one can get back to the drinking and partying.

  16. Richard Schriever 2019-05-24 09:35

    Joe Nelson says, “Expanding Medicaid would be statistical insignificant.” Since when did Pro-lifers decide that statistical significance carries more weight to each and every actual (or potential) human life???? I guess it was around the same time they decided it is too expensive to support actual human life, and/or it is not government’s job to care for its citizens actual lives.

  17. Richard Schriever 2019-05-24 09:40

    Kurt Evans – so who is assigned to Group A and who is assigned to group B in your research?? Is it random? Is it self selection? Or is there some specific selection criteria you have in mind??

  18. leslie 2019-05-24 10:59

    well said JKCsr. PS, how is the SDDP looking to you, as vice-chair, if I recall? Big year or two coming up!

  19. Joe Nelson 2019-05-24 11:38

    Richard Schriever,

    As a state, SD only births about 12,000 babies a year. Even if our rate were to drop from the latest rate (7.7) the same amount as the national number dropped (.3 or down to 7.4), that would mean with 12,207 births, instead of 94 babies dying 89 babies would have died. While I do not want even 1 baby to die, there is no evidence that enacting Medicaid would prevent those 5 deaths.

    While I applaud the study, the effects are most prevalent in states that have a high concentration of African Americans. South Dakota is not one of those states, and expanding Medicaid would not have the same effect as in other states that have a higher concentration of African Americans (it’s all in the data, as well as admitted by the study).

    Looking at the data for 2016, of the 12,275 births, 9,025 were born to non-Hispanic whites with 33 deaths (3.66% mortality), 2.001 were born to American Indian or Alaska Natives with 21 deaths (10.49% mortality rate). The data is hard to parse, but it looks like another 1,049 children were born with with 6 additional deaths.

    South Dakota’s infant mortality fluctuates from year to year. in 2017 the infant mortality rate was 7.7 with 94 deaths, but in 2016 it was 4.8 with 59 deaths(well below the nation value of 5.9).

    Using national data to determine what should be done in South Dakota would be foolish in this case, as it has yet to be shown that expanding Medicaid in South Dakota would do anything to save any additional babies lives.

    If our government truly cared about saving lives, we would take any number of positions that would immediately and concretely start saving lives. Examples include banning tobacco use, raising the driving age to 21, etcetera.

    Policy, as well as personally choice, is often a game of risk management. No one seems to care that over 10,000 teenagers die every year as a result of vehicular accidents. Are some actions taken, perhaps, but they still leave room for over 10,000 deaths a year. But the gain of having teens on the road is seemingly worth the deaths of all those teens.

    Regardless, in the case of human death before the age of 1, the leading cause of death is not SIDS, SUIDS, or genetic abnormality (those deaths of human born), but actually abortion.

    If you want to got the utilitarian route of preventing the most human death, the logical choice is to outlaw abortion (which looks like may happen).

    Barring that, a study should be done on why the infant mortality rate of American Indian or Alaska Natives in SD is so high, and what can be done to lower that rate. Because guess what, all Native Americans qualify for Medicaid as long as the meet the income requirement (which is what expanding Medicaid would do for everyone else. As such, expanding it would not move the mark one bit.

  20. Certain Inflatable Recreational Devices 2019-05-24 11:43

    Medical costs increased at four times the general rate of inflation after Medicare. College costs increased at four times the rate of inflation after government-guaranteed school loans became the rule.

  21. bearcreekbat 2019-05-24 13:07

    Joe Nelson, would you mind addressing the Argus report I linked earlier? Do you contend the information in that link about the extremely high rate of infant mortality in SD is incorrect? If the information is correct why do wouldn’t it support the conclusion that expanding Medicaid would make a positive difference?

    And when you describes deaths by abortion can you indicate at what stage at or after conception you are defining the fertilized egg as a human when you reference human death?

    For example, if you consider an embryo to be “human,” then have you seen statistical comparisons of the number of abortions compared to the number of in vitro embryos destroyed in a given time period? See e.g.,

    More than 1.7 million human embryos created for IVF pregnancies have been discarded without being used, new figures have disclosed.

    Would such a comparison change your conclusion that

    the utilitarian route of preventing the most human death, the logical choice is to outlaw abortion?

    And on that note have you any statistics or studies that have found the number of abortions that would actually decrease if abortion were outlawed? See e.g.,

    Countries with the most restrictive abortion laws also have the highest rates of abortion, the study by the Guttmacher Institute found.

    And finally, have you taken into account the increased mortality rate for women who obtain abortions but are denied medical care becuase aborn has been made illegal?

  22. Joe Nelson 2019-05-24 13:44


    The Argus Leader article sites SUID as a culprit for infant deaths, something expanded Medicaid would nor prevent.

    As for human life, it starts at conception. This is a highly contested issue, and I don’t expect to convince others of this. However, it is an concrete definable moment when the full, unique genetic code of a new human is created. Barring better research, I would rather err on the side of defining human life earlier rather then later (such as brain activity, heart beat, etcetera).

    As for IVF, I am aware of the statistics. I am also opposed to IVF, as in the process of trying to provide 1 born baby, anywhere from 5-10 humans embryos die.

    As for your cited article about legal abortion leading to a decline in abortion rates, the article itself says “”Improved contraceptive use, and in turn, declines in unintended pregnancy rates are the likely driver behind the worldwide decline in abortion rates,” Susheela Singh, vice president for international research at the Guttmacher Institute, said in a statement.”

    So legalizing abortion did not lead to a decrease in abortion rates, increased contraception is the cause.

    I will say that it is hard to compare the US to other countries where abortion is illegal, as many of them are 3rd world or developing nations. But we can look to the great white north, and see how their numbers look after they decided to legalize abortion. In 1971, when abortions in Canada were quite restricted, the abortion rate was 7.87. When it was legalized in 1988, the rate was 15.87% Despite legalizing abortion, Canada’s abortion rate continued to rise, and for the past few years has hovered at around 20%. Not only has the rate increased, but so have the numbers of total abortions.

    As I have yet to find a comparable country to the US which has criminalized abortion after many decades of it being legal, I have no stats. But, I think it is worth ding to save lives.

    As for increased mortality rate of women who obtain illegal abortions, there is no dataset that I could find. I would be curious to see it, and to know how and who they would be comparing these women to.

  23. Porter Lansing 2019-05-24 13:51

    Joe Nelson … “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” – Mark Twain

  24. Joe Nelson 2019-05-24 13:59

    Porter Lansing,

    While I love a good quote, there is no evidence that Mark Twain ever said or wrote that phrase. Still a good aphorism, but hardly a logical response to anything I have put forth.

    I will say that, in a situation of ignorance or surety, I will always advocate protecting human life over destroying it.

  25. Porter Lansing 2019-05-24 14:10

    A fetus doesn’t become a life until after it’s born and God blesses it with a soul.
    You, Joe Nelson suffer from confirmation bias. i.e. You look for any way to justify your existing beliefs. You’re locked and loaded to see and agree with any ideas that fit your preconceptions and to ignore and dismiss information that conflicts with them.
    “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.” – Richard Feynman

  26. Debbo 2019-05-24 14:15

    Joe, how do you feel about controlling the sexual behavior of impregnators?

    It is a fact that no one aborts a wanted pregnancy unless the life or health of the mother or fetus is at risk. Those wanted pregnancies are sometimes the result of medical procedures such as IVF.

    On the other hand, unwanted pregnancies, the #1 cause of abortions, are always due to impregnators, males. Doesn’t it therefore simply seem reasonable that some controls on the sexual behavior of impregnators would reduce the number of abortions? Stringently enforced repercussions on impregnators for creating an unwanted pregnancy might be effective too, don’t you think?

  27. Joe Nelson 2019-05-24 14:18


    We obviously disagree about a topic, that neither of us can prove with scientific evidence i.e. when human life begins.

    As for confirmation bias, I disagree. I have read the cited studies, and drawn conclusions from the data. I am not ignoring any data, and in fact said I would like to see any additional data on maternity mortality rates. It is absurd to say I am ignoring or dismissing information that conflicts with my beliefs, when I am asking for more information. Anything I dismissed above, I gave a logical reason for. If my logic is unsound, show me. Claiming I have committed a fallacy does not mean I am wrong, just that my argumentation is bad. And we must not forget the fallacy fallacy,”analyzing an argument and inferring that, since it contains a fallacy, its conclusion must be false.”

    I suggest less pithy quotes, and more original argumentation.

  28. Joe Nelson 2019-05-24 14:28


    You bring up an excellent point. It takes two to tango, whether a pregnancy is wanted or unwanted. I am 100% stricter penalties for rapists (male and female).

    As or the “cause” of abortions, that would be the act of the aborter. The cause of the pregnancy is the physical act between to people. Are all unwanted pregnancies the sole responsibility of the male? No, sometimes two consensual partners engage in sex, but their contraception fails. I do not think that either party, nor the growing baby, should be punished.

    As for enforcing repercussions against males, to my knowledge, even in cases where abortion is legal, the male has no legal right to force or prevent an abortion. In our hypothetical world, are we giving men the right to force abortions or prohibit them from their partners? What if the male wants the baby, but the female does not?

    Very tricky situation. I advocate forming a society where sexuality is seen as a responsibility, and not a ravenous desire or impulse that should be sated as much as possible. A society where human life is valued from conception to natural death. To whit, I am working on it.

  29. Joe Nelson 2019-05-24 14:34

    I know, right! Those states (Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Missouri) should expand Medicaid. The studies show that, with those states demographics, expanding Medicaid would give healthcare to a lot more women, especially those of African American descent, an would hopefully lead to healthier women and more babies surviving.

  30. Joe Nelson 2019-05-24 14:36

    And just to be clear, for those who choose not to read the article Porter cites, it literally says “The connection between high infant mortality and severe restrictions on abortion are correlational, meaning a ban on abortions can’t be proven to cause maternal or infant mortality or other negative health problems. “

  31. Porter Lansing 2019-05-24 14:39

    Joe Nelson has a troubling trait of singling out African Americans and yoking them with unfair, unqualified, and untrue bias based on their race. I won’t continue a conversation with someone this obviously bigoted.

  32. Porter Lansing 2019-05-24 14:42

    BTW, Joe Nelson. You’re misdefining correlational. If abortions and infant mortality are correlational it means it is proven.

    a mutual relationship or connection between two or more things.

  33. Joe Nelson 2019-05-24 14:53


    The data on infant mortality, provided by the CDC, identifies that there is a significant higher infant morality rate among African Americans. This is not unfair, unqualified, or untrue. It is a proven thing, and due in large part to lack of access to healthcare. I am not being bigoted, nor am I yoking anyone to anything. By identifying issues like this, it helps us to solve them. Without identifying that a disproportionate amount of black men go to jail, we would not be able to route out the injustice and racism in the penal system. Without identifying that a disproportionate amount of black babies who die, we would not be able to route out the cause and prevent it, e.g. Medicaid expansion.

    And yes, the correlation is there, but there is no causation. Another correlation: as ice cream sales increase, so do the number or rapes committed.

    But if you want to bow out of the conversation, that is your choice. You don’t know me, but you seem convinced that I am racked by confirmation bias and bigotry. As is often mis-attributed to Mark Twain “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

  34. Debbo 2019-05-24 15:12

    Joe said, “As or the “cause” of abortions, that would be the act of the aborter.”

    That’s an extremely narrow definition. I’m sure you wouldn’t argue with the fact that only women with unwanted pregnancies consider abortion, therefore only in the most immediate sense is she herself the cause. She is stuck in the position of final actor, whether she became pregnant via carelessness on the part of herself or her partner, failed bc or some other reason, all of them requiring a male.

    Absolving the male of any responsibility for his behavior requires that extremely limited definition. Thus far, disregarding the male’s major and necessary role in unwanted pregnancies has brought the world, including the US and SD, more children living in single parent homes and more children living in poverty than any other age group. (Under the US child support system, only 61% of child support ordered is actually recieved by the children.) UN economic stats show a direct relationship between those 2 facts.

    There are no studies to show the effect of stringently holding males responsible for the impregnations they cause, so we can’t cite them. That’s because not one single nation on this planet does so. Simply on the face of it, even a child can see how absurd that is.

    There has been increased advocacy for mandatory vasectomies for males at puberty. It’s a very minor surgery, less bothersome than circumcision and easily reversible. When the male has shown appropriate maturity and financial means, the vasectomy can be reversed. These procedures would be covered by insurance.

  35. grudznick 2019-05-24 17:40

    The really neat part about Ms. Geelsdottir’s idea of forced government mandated circumcision is that it would be up to her to decide when these young boys, about whom she fixates, would be plastic surgeon-ed back. That’s a real winner for Mr. H’s next campaign pamphlet.

  36. bearcreekbat 2019-05-24 17:56

    Joe Nelson,

    Your quote fromj the VP of the Guttmacher Institute about the effectiveness of contraception in reducing abortions seems a bit two-edged given the view shared by many, such as Catholics, that contraception is simply another means of killing human life by preventing its development and is just a variation of a frequent abortion. Indeed, under this belief the number of humans killed by contraception likely exceeds all other causes combined.

    Guttmacher has published some additional information, however, that adds context to what happens when abortion was legalized in the United States, and provides some answers to your question, “I would like to see any additional data on maternity mortality rates.” Some salient points include:

    . . . [I]llegal abortion was common before the 1973 Supreme Court decisions that legalized the procedure across the nation—and that denying women access to legal abortion does not prevent them from having abortions, but just increases the likelihood that they will resort to an illegal abortion carried out under unsafe conditions. In a 1976 article, researchers from the Center for Disease Control examined national abortion data from the three years surrounding the rulings and estimated that the number of illegal procedures in the country plummeted from around 130,000 to 17,000 between 1972 and 1974. The number of deaths associated with illegal abortion decreased from 39 to five in that same time period . . . .

    Abortion rates are similar in countries where abortion is highly restricted and where it is broadly legal. The abortion rate is 37 per 1,000 women in countries that prohibit abortion altogether or allow it only to save a woman’s life, and 34 per 1,000 in countries that allow abortion without restriction as to reason—a difference that is not significant.

    • High levels of unmet need for contraception and of unintended pregnancy help explain the high levels of abortion in countries with restrictive abortion laws.

    . . .

    • . . . [C]omplications from unsafe abortions are still common in developing regions where abortion remains highly restricted. Estimates for 2012 indicate that 6.9 million women in these regions (excluding Eastern Asia) were treated for complications from unsafe abortions, corresponding to an annual rate of approximately seven women treated per 1,000 women aged 15–44. However, estimates (based on a 14-country sample) suggest that, on average, 40% of women who experience complications never receive treatment.
    . . .

    • According to recent estimates, at least 8% of maternal deaths worldwide are from unsafe abortion; at least 22,800 women die each year from complications of unsafe abortion.

    Finally, your recognition that expanding Medicaid in states like Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Missouri because it would “give healthcare to a lot more women . . . and would hopefully lead to healthier women and more babies surviving” seems a strong reason to support expanding Medicaid in South Dakota as well, just as Cory’s post suggested, since expansion here also “would hopefully lead to healthier women and more babies surviving.”

  37. Joe Nelson 2019-05-24 19:41


    Thanks for you insights.

    As far as the quote about contraception, I share it in the sense to dissuade the thought that legalizing abortion somehow reduces the number of abortions. The people themselves say this is not the case.

    As for my own thoughts on contraception, and whether it kills a human life or not, it depends on the type of contraception used. As a Catholic, I am against the use of contraption, regardless of whether it ends a human life. Me citing the quote is not me advocating for the use of contraception, merely highlighting the statements of the study.

    Thanks or the additional info from the CDC on mortality rates. It makes complete sense that less women would die from illegal abortions, if abortion was made legal. Crude and unsafe-to-the-mother abortions versus Crude and more-safe-to-the-mother would naturally lead to less deaths.

    As for expanding Medicaid in SD, as I have shown repeatedly, would have little to no effect. Expansion of Medicaid in other states would be extremely beneficial due to the large population of women of African American descent, those most at risk from both maternal deaths and infant deaths. In SD, the population most at risk are Native Americans. Expanding Medicaid would do nothing for Native Americans, since the only need to meet the income requirements (versus the other requirements that non-Natives have to meet).

    “While Indian Health Services (IHS) is responsible for providing health care to American Indians, the South Dakota Medicaid Program serves as the safety net for this population, and will cover services that cannot be provided or accessed through the IHS system. This has significant financial implications, as Medicaid (unlike the federal IHS) is jointly funded by the State and federal government. During SFY16, an average of 42,429 American Indians were on Medicaid every month, which represents 35.75% of all the individuals eligible for Medicaid. This percentage has remained fairly consistent over the course of the last 10 years, despite the fact that American Indians comprised only about 10% of the state’s population.”

    Despite having a heavy dependence on Medicaid, Native Americans in SD have the highest mortality rate (10%) compared to other demographic (a little under 4%).

    As I quoted above, but will again “The research also showed that the decline in infant mortality rates linked to Medicaid expansion were greatest among African American infants, which drove the overall decline and helped to substantially reduce the racial disparity in infant mortality rates.”

    Expanding Medicaid in the state would not have the same dramatic effect as it did in Arkansas, as there is not a sizable portion of African American women living without healthcare in SD.

  38. Edwin Arndt 2019-05-24 19:49

    No matter how hard you try, sex without consequences is
    simply not in the cards.

    Debbo, you must have had more than your share of
    negative experiences with men. It is unbelievable to
    me that you would even suggest such a gruesome

  39. Porter Lansing 2019-05-24 20:03

    What’s gruesome about a vasectomy? I had one 35 years ago with absolutely zero problems and lots of benefits. Is this something you Catholic guys are taught? That birth control lowers the income of the church, over time?

  40. Debbo 2019-05-24 20:11

    Edwin, taking away a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions and control her own body is indeed a “gruesome” solution.

    On the other hand, a minor medical procedure, less painful than circumcision, according to those who’ve had both, seems like wise, safe and thorough management of the unwanted pregnancy = abortion issue.

    You only find it “gruesome” because it’s about your body. The utterly invasive and medically unnecessary laws written and passed chiefly by old white men that attack the bodily sovereignty of women and girls don’t strike you as “gruesome?”

  41. Edwin Arndt 2019-05-24 21:01

    What seems gruesome to me is that some women fight
    so hard for the right to kill their child. I will always believe
    that unless a woman was raped her first responsibility is to
    her child as is the fathers responsibility.

    Mandated vasectomy is police state stuff. And, I fear,
    mandated vasectomy of young males would only encourage
    more indiscriminate and irresponsible sexual activity.
    Please think this through again.

    It is worth noting that not all women agree with you.
    It is also worth noting that many of the old white men you
    refer to were elected, in South Dakota at least, by substantial
    majorities, often with minimal opposition. I suspect
    a fair number of women also voted for them.

  42. Edwin Arndt 2019-05-24 21:17

    Oh, Porter, I’m Missouri Synod Lutheran. My church is not
    opposed to birth control.
    You chose to have a vasectomy. There is a world of
    difference between voluntary choice and having the state forcing
    it on you.

  43. Debbo 2019-05-24 23:22

    “Mandated vasectomy is police state stuff.”

    Mandated child bearing is police state stuff.

    What I can believe Edwin, unfortunately, is how blind you are to the blatant sexism in your statements.

    A very minor procedure on a male is “gruesome, police state.” Yet the extremely invasive and totally unnecessary medical procedures mostly old white men have tried to force on women don’t draw even a whimper from you. Really, you must take some time to think about your responses. My sense is that you are simply appalled at the mere suggestion that the law be brought to bear with real force on impregnators like it is on women.

    Yes, some women and the majority have voted for those old white men. So?

  44. Debbo 2019-05-24 23:24

    Edwin said to Porter:

    “There is a world of difference between voluntary choice and having the state forcing it on you.”


  45. Edwin Arndt 2019-05-25 07:43

    Debbo, it is nowhere mandated in law that a woman get pregnant.
    We have a basic disagreement about moral imperatives.
    I can’t continue the conversation as we will be gone for the

  46. Porter Lansing 2019-05-25 08:25

    Edwin … Debbo is right. Forcing a woman to bring a fetus to term (It’s not a baby until it’s born and God blesses it with a soul) is the same type of government intervention as forcing a man to have a vasectomy.

  47. bearcreekbat 2019-05-25 11:04

    The vasectomy question is important, especially Edwin’s comment that “Mandated vasectomy is police state stuff” and Debbo’s response that “Mandated child bearing is police state stuff.”

    Both are correct and as the law now stands after cases such as Roe, Griswald and similar modern rulings a constitutional right of privacy limits the power of the government, federal and state, from engaging in such police state tactics.

    Of course, as has been previously mentioned more than once on DFP, this was not always the case. Before the “right of privacy” doctrine was established, states were free to require mandatory steralization, which today could include mandatory vasectomies. A highly honored and distinguished justice of the SCOTUS, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., ruled that a state law requiring mandatory sterilization was permissible in 1927 in the case of Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927). At that point the only limitation on state power was the due process requirement that the state first permit a hearing to determine that the teenager to be strapped down and forcibly sterilized was a member of the class of people the state mandatory sterilization statutes covered,

    While this case has never been explicitly overruled, the decisions leading to Roe holding that the Constitution restricts the government from carte blanche criminalization of private conduct pertaining to deciding whether and when to procreate have implicitly overruled Buck’s draconian decision upholding police state control over bodily integrity.

    Do conservatives and anti-choicers really think it is in their best interests if our SCOTUS overrules Rose allowing to a return to the days when the state was permitted to require forced sterilization, pregnancy and childbirth, as well as jailing men and women, including married couples, for engaging in otherwise private consensual sexual activity deemed Immoral by whatever moral crusaders happen to be in control at any given time?” Indeed, forced vasectomies seems a relatively minor danger if we lose our constitutional right of privacy.

    I would venture to speculate that every single person would like to see the health and life of people improved, especially the lives and health of pregnant women, mothers and infants. Arguments against a SD Medicaid expansion seemed to be premised on other considerations, such as cost or effectiveness.

    On the other hand, perhaps some people might want to return to the days when the state had the full authority to monitor every bedroom and doctor’s office to assure that all deemed moral transgressions will be harshly punished by the state. For these folks, repealed of Roe is an excellent start.

  48. Debbo 2019-05-25 12:53

    Edwin, I don’t think you’re dumb. I think for you and most men, the idea that the government would do anything to monitor, manage and control men’s sexual behavior is such an anathema, it causes the brain to simply recoil. It’s such a new thing and so foreign to US culture.

    The same has been done to women for as long as there have been females so it’s no big leap for us. That does not make it right. Let me repeat myself.


    Controlling women’s bodies, but not men’s is sexual discrimination. Period.

  49. Debbo 2019-05-25 12:53

    BCB, my hero, smartest commenter on DFP.

  50. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-05-26 17:53

    Kurt appeals to abstractions; Edwin digs to the true non-policy, non-pro-life core of what the people who call themselves are really after: punishing women for daring to have sex of which “pro-lifers” do not approve. Neither response has any weight on the core of this post: expanding Medicaid is a truly pro-life policy; refusing to expand Medicaid promotes death.

  51. Debbo 2019-05-26 21:11

    Bingo! for Cory.

  52. Ryan 2019-05-27 12:06

    Abortions are not sexual behavior, debbo. Your repeated analogy about controlling boys proactively is so weak it’s absurd. You consistently refuse to acknowledge a woman’s responsibility regarding pregnancy. 99% of pregnancies result from consensual sex. Nobody is suggesting we should prevent women from having all the sex that they want with whoever they want, with or without contraception. There is no intent to restrict sexual behavior of anybody. Once pregnancy occurs, people differ in their opinions as to the importance and status of the growing fetus.

    I don’t agree, but the folks who want to restrict or ban abortion think a fetus is a human life worth saving at any cost. You appear to believe a female’s bodily autonomy should override a fetus’s “right” to life. You seem to believe even a woman who intentionally gets pregnant should be unrestricted in her decision to end that fetus’s life. Both positions are defensible and reasonable. You pretend this very difficult ethical conundrum that permeates humanity is an issue of men controlling women, but males and females both have statistically equal opinions about abortion.

    But you know all this because I’ve said it the last few times you make one of your absurd comments about female victimhood and male oppression in an abortion conversation.

    As for when a blob of cells becomes a human life, maybe a god has something to do with it and maybe not, but our laws should not base anything on the behaviors of gods. That is an immeasurable variable.

  53. Debbo 2019-05-27 14:41

    “You appear to believe a female’s bodily autonomy should override a fetus’s “right” to life.”

    Yes! There you go Ryan!

    “You seem to believe even a woman who intentionally gets pregnant should be unrestricted in her decision to end that fetus’s life.”

    No! You missed that one Ryan. It’s *unwanted* pregnancies that are the cause of nearly all abortions, except the ones that are due to severe fetal abnormality or threat to the woman’s life. It’s also *unwanted* pregnancies that always include a male participant, hence the male share of responsibility.

    Simple equation.

  54. Debbo 2019-05-27 14:57

    “according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Sunday.

    “The poll found that 58% of American adults said abortion should be legal in most or all cases, up from 50% who said that in a similar poll that ran in July 2018.

    “While support broke down along partisan lines, passions were higher among registered Democrats, with 81% saying abortion should be legal in most or all cases, while 55% of registered Republicans said it should be illegal in most or all cases.”

  55. Ryan 2019-05-27 15:03

    Wait, debbo. Are you saying if someone becomes pregnant intentionally her access to an abortion should be restricted differently than a woman who becomes pregnant due to carelessness or accidentally despite reasonable precautions?

  56. Ryan 2019-05-27 15:06

    Does your simple equation of equal responsibility include the equal standing for the father in abortion decisions?

  57. Debbo 2019-05-27 15:06


  58. jerry 2019-05-28 16:34

    Stop feeding people American bread. Wheat farmers, are you all crazy or what to allow this crap in your work?

    “Give us this day our daily foam expander. It may sound odd, but in America, your loaf of bread can contain ingredients with industrial applications – additives that also appear in things like yoga mats, pesticides, hair straighteners, explosives and petroleum products.

    Some of these chemicals, used as optional whiteners, dough conditioners and rising agents, may be harmful to human health. Potassium bromate, a potent oxidizer that helps bread rise, has been linked to kidney and thyroid cancers in rodents. Azodicarbonamide (ACA), a chemical that forms bubbles in foams and plastics like vinyl, is used to bleach and leaven dough – but when baked, it, too, has been linked to cancer in lab animals.”

    Chlorinated chicken, yoga mat bread products. We speak of third world countries and look down our noses at those s#@+ hole countries, we better look in the mirror and thank trump and his republicans for our new description. So broke we cannot fix our roads and bridges while spending billions on a military industrial complex that is stealing us blind.

  59. Debbo 2019-05-28 23:04

    “Alabama State Rep. Katie Shaw (D) says her proposed amendment would be tacked-onto Alabama’s abortion law, and force every unwed male in the Yellowhammer State to get a vasectomy, which they can only reverse within two weeks of their wedding date. If the wedding is called off for any reason, the man must either submit to chemical castration or another vasectomy. Shaw says she ‘fully understands how ridiculous and overreaching’ her proposal is, however she says all that ‘makes this proposal the perfect companion to the Republican’s Draconian abortion ban.’

    “’Hey, if this is all about preventing unwanted pregnancies in the first place, every red blooded, ammo hoarding, God fearing patriot in this state should be lined up around the block to have their weener tubes cut,’ Shaw said. ‘If they’re not cool with someone in the government making their reproductive decisions, they should stop sticking their noses into our uteruses.’

    “In order to enforce the vasectomy law, Shaw is proposing a 200% tax on all income above six million dollars a year in the state. The funds would go toward establishing a division of the state police called ‘Dick Dicks,’ that would investigate ‘every erection, boner, stiffy, hard one, and woody’ in Alabama. If they find a ‘cocked cock with a live load,’ they’ll ask for proof of marriage. If proof cannot be provided, the man will be sterilized on the spot and sent to jail for a maximum of 235 years.

    “’Look, if they’re gonna propose a bunch of whacky sh*t and push it on us, then I’m going to do the same thing because clearly everything is broken already,’ Rep. Shaw explained. ‘If we could just return to a place of logic, where religious fundamentalists aren’t allowed to put the rights of a blastocyst over the rights of the woman that blastocyst needs to one day, maybe, if she doesn’t miscarry or face another complication, develop into a human being, then we wouldn’t have their dumb laws or my dumb counter-proposal.’”

    And … Rep. Shaw is exactly right in her comparison.

  60. cibvet 2019-05-29 01:30

    Looks like there needs to be more women in the legislatures to get some laws like Rep. Shaw’s passed. True it is some wacky sh*t, but Alabama men would certainly have their “come to Jesus moment” if the law passed.

  61. bearcreekbat 2019-05-29 10:45

    Ryan’s comment ” the folks who want to restrict or ban abortion think a fetus is a human life worth saving at any cost” is puzzling. Clearly, these folks don’t think other human lives are worth saving “at all costs.” Indeed, abortion opponents that oppose the Medicaid expansion, especially due to “cost,” or minimize the fact that expansion will indeed save lives, reveal substantial light about their priorities. There is a full basket of other examples where abortion opponents view saving human lives as secondary to other costs.

    That raises the quesion – what is it about a zygote-fetus that gives greater value as a “human life” to these folks than all other human lives? Without an answer to this question, the motivation of anti-abortion zealots remains somewhat self-contradictory and even irrational.

    One possible answer is Debbo’s thesis that the motivation actually has more to do with controlling pregnant women than the the supposed importance of the zygote-fetus. Are there other possibilities, if any, that are just as factually rational and consistent as the “control” women thesis?

  62. Debbo 2019-05-29 11:36

    This link is for those of you especially who’ve been denying that the GOP’s anti-abortion bills are about controlling women.

    AL Sen. Clyde Chambliss, a sponsor of the GOP state house’s brutal anti-woman bill, was debating a Democrat in the Senate chamber. The Democrat, Sen. Roger Smitherman, asked Chambliss about fertility clinic embryos. The state has at least 6 such clinics. Smitherman wanted to know what the clinics ought to do with the excess embryos they’d normally destroy when they weren’t needed. Chambliss responded,

    “Oh, the egg in the lab doesn’t apply. It’s not in a woman. She’s not pregnant.”

    It’s. Not. In. A. Woman.

    That’s the deciding factor. IT’S NOT ABOUT THE EMBRYOS!!!

  63. Porter Lansing 2019-05-29 12:31

    Along with controlling women it’s feasible that anti-abortion zealots are carrying the burden of mortal sin and see controlling women and obeying the Catholic Church and born again evangelical misogynistic doctrines as their only path to heaven. “You cannot petition the Lord with prayer. God isn’t fooled by false faith.”

  64. Debbo 2019-05-29 20:58

    Tweet from Brad Betts:

    “If a woman has sex with 100 random men in a year, she can still only produce one full term pregnancy. If a guy has sex with 100 random women in a year, he can produce 100 full term pregnancies. So why exactly are we only talking about regulating women?”

  65. grudznick 2019-05-29 21:43

    We need to tone down the level of promiscuous women if today guys can have sex with 100 random women in a year. Back in my day that would be a record of some sort.

  66. leslie 2019-05-29 22:23

    bcb is a pro!

    is ryan tempting fate again?

  67. Roger Cornelius 2019-05-29 22:29

    debbo, I read Brad Betts tweet the other day and thought immediately that if a woman had sex with a 100 men she would be called a slut, if a man had sex with a 100 women he would be called a stud.
    That is how much this country is screwed up when it comes to gender equality.

  68. Debbo 2019-05-29 23:20

    Exactly true, Roger.

  69. Kurt Evans 2019-05-30 23:53

    I’d written:

    When government steals money from people in group A by spending it to promote the individual welfare of people in group B, there are often short-term benefits for people in group B.

    Studies like this one typically ignore both the short-term costs for people in group A and the long-term costs for society as a whole when the private-sector economy is perpetually suffocating under the weight of coercive, oppressive, authoritarian government.

    If government had never gotten involved in the health care system, that system would be more efficient and less expensive, and most of us would have much more private wealth to spend on our own health care.

    “o” asks me:

    … when has that been true; what private enterprise, unregulated by government, kept prices low and efficiency high for the consumer over time? What example would you cite here?

    It isn’t completely unregulated, but I’d cite the example of cosmetic surgery compared to medical care:

    Richard Schriever asks me:

    … so who is assigned to Group A and who is assigned to group B in your research?? Is it random? Is it self selection? Or is there some specific selection criteria you have in mind??

    Group B consists of those on whom government spends money to promote their individual welfare, and group A consists of the rest of society, which suffers a loss of wealth as a result. My position is that neither group should exist because such transactions constitute stealing and lead to a net loss of life, liberty and happiness.

    Cory writes:

    Kurt appeals to abstractions …

    The long-term costs for society as a whole are no more abstract than the short-term benefits for people in group B. They’re just less obvious and more difficult to measure.

    … Edwin digs to the true non-policy, non-pro-life core of what the people who call themselves [pro-life] are really after: punishing women for daring to have sex of which “pro-lifers” do not approve.

    That isn’t my motive. I advocate for the child’s right to life even when her parents were married and the sex was consensual.

    … there is no debating that expanding Medicaid saves lives and that refusing to expand Medicaid costs lives and belies any claim to “pro-life” status.

    I’m not sure why you’d say there’s no debating it when I’m debating it right now.

  70. Debbo 2019-06-02 17:46

    From Yahoo News:

    5 Things Men Can Do To Support Women in States With Abortion Bans.

    1. Donate to the National Network of Abortion Funds
    2. Become a Clinic Escort
    3. Become a Trained Volunteer for Planned Parenthood
    4. Provide Rides for Those in Need
    5. Vote for Politicians Who Protect Abortion Rights

  71. Debbo 2019-06-02 20:36

    From 538:

    “Most Americans don’t want to ban abortion outright.

    “According to polls, most Americans don’t seem like they want the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade: For example, a Gallup poll from July 2018 found that 64 percent of Americans want the ruling to remain in place. And in an August 2018 ABC News/Washington Post poll — the last time they asked respondents this question — two-thirds of Americans said they either wanted the Supreme Court to make it easier to get an abortion (21 percent) or to leave the ability to get an abortion the same as it is now (45 percent). Thirty percent wanted the Supreme Court to make it more difficult to get an abortion.”

  72. Kurt Evans 2019-06-03 23:58

    Deb Geelsdottir writes:

    From Yahoo News:

    5 Things Men Can Do To Support Women in States With Abortion Bans.

    1. Honor the law by not aborting future women.

  73. mike from iowa 2019-06-05 09:20

    Quicki update, apparently someone bothered to get through Drumpf’s thick skull that healthcare has nothing to do with trade, so maybe HC is of the table…………………….for now.

    Still, how undiplomatic can we afford to allow Drumpf to get away with?

  74. Debbo 2019-06-05 12:09

    Crazy is one thing, and Wilted Weenie is definitely that. But his level of stupid is simply astonishing. I’m guessing his IQ is in the 70s. So stupid and shockingly ignorant. That makes him exactly what Pootie and Chinless Wonder McTurtle want in a puppet.

  75. Debbo 2019-06-05 12:45

    Just another example of misogyny, this one world wide in sports.

  76. jerry 2019-06-05 15:41

    We are becoming East Germany more and more each day.

    “This year marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism in east central Europe. I’ve been thinking about those events a lot lately. I witnessed some of them firsthand, since I was living in West Berlin at the time.

    But I suspect there’s another reason why I have East Germany on the brain these days.

    It’s not just that President Trump is disproportionately obsessed with steel and coal and the other smokestack industries of yore. It’s not just that the president demands ritualized displays of flattery (akin to the creepy messages of praise that members of the East Berlin Politburo used to get from the proletariat and the “fraternal socialist parties” every year on their birthdays). And it’s not just the way that Trump fawns over North Korea’s dictator and Hungary’s dictator and Russia’s dictator. Especially Russia’s dictator.” Washington Post 06.05.2019

    Yes, all of us who have some German in our family tree, should be able to relate to the hate. Some of us do and others vote for the old German in them so they support trump and his narrow views. These are not American values.

  77. Porter Lansing 2019-06-05 15:47

    Jerry says, “… vote with the old German in them.” – brilliant assessment (I fight the DNA every damn day.)

  78. Debbo 2019-06-12 11:21

    Oh Mike! I want one of those, one for every day!

  79. mike from iowa 2019-06-12 12:20

    What would you call it, Debbo? Whack a mole-esther?

  80. mike from iowa 2019-06-12 12:52

    This, from Crooks and Liars today left me whomper-jawed and seems to confirm my universal claim that wingnuts are too stoopid to be considered alive… Do people on Fox News realize they look and sound ridiculous and stupid? Do they just not care? Here’s this morning’s submission to the Fox News Idiot’s Hall Of Fame: Justin Haskins asking the question, “How does giving poor people money help them?” and asserting that the goal of this would be to destroy capitalism.

  81. Debbo 2019-06-12 14:29

    Works for me Mike.

    Fox’s Idiot’s Hall of Fame must be ENORMOUS!

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