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Republican District 12 Candidate Arlint Dodges Abortion Question

Republican candidate for District 12 House Amber Arlint went on SDPB this noon and showed us how to not answer a simple question:

Megan Feighery: So I think something that’s going to be a big hot topic, a big hot-button issue is abortion, of course, this Session. Let’s talk a little bit about where you stand on that issue.

Amber Arlint: Oh, absolutely. It’s a hot topic, it’s a heavy topic, and it’s an incredibly complex topic. It’s come up a lot when I’m door-knocking—I should have included that in my previous list—and I think it’s so complex it’s going to be a topic that takes a significant amount of analyzation.

It is clear, though, that the one thing both sides have in common when it comes to this topic is their passion. Everybody is passionate about this topic and has an opinion.

Personally I’d like to see a world where no baby is aborted. But to get there, the conversation needs to include prevention, adoption, foster care, increased options for childcare, education, and supporting families in the community. I think my role as a legislator is going to really be to analyze right now where our current trigger law has us, and what it means for women, moms, and babies, and then how can we use some community support to work on those items of prevention, adoption, foster care, child care, as you can tell I’m pretty passionate about all of those!

MF: That seems to be the name of the game, passion.

AA: Yes, yeah! [Amber Arlint, interviewed by Megan Feighery, “Meet the Candidates: District 12 House: Amber Arlint,” SDPB: In the Moment, 2022.08.30]

Feighery did not follow up with the obvious redirect: So could you translate some of that passion to actually telling us where you stand as a legislator on abortion? Do you support the trigger law? Will you vote to uphold South Dakota’s current near-total ban on abortion, with no exceptions for rape or incest? Do you agree with 57% of South Dakotans that women should have access to abortion medications in South Dakota? Do you support putting abortion rights to a statewide vote of the people?

On the biggest political issue of this hot summer, an issue on which Republicans for the last 20-some years have been ready to give swift and unequivocal answers, Arlint uses her air time to tell us absolutely nothing about where she stands on the new abortion ban or possible changes thereto.

So much for that Primary Day “pro-life” hashtag.


  1. P. Aitch 2022-08-30 19:28

    Ms. Arlint. Do you agree with the current SD law that codifies that any woman having an abortion in South Dakota can be charged with murder because legally she is guilty of murder according to the trigger law?

  2. larry kurtz 2022-08-30 19:42

    Bill Janklow’s idea of public radio is the whimper on which the world will end.

  3. Matt Rosburg 2022-08-30 22:20

    P. Aitch … no I do not agree with YOUR statement, because that is NOT what the trigger law states.

    “Personally I’d like to see a world where no baby is aborted.” Doesn’t seem like he dodged the question too well … you don’t get much more direct than that.

  4. grudznick 2022-08-30 23:09

    My good friend Lar is righter than right. SDPB lost its credibility back when my granddaughter was writing “news” in the sort of papers the Belle Fourche North Park Elementary used to put out, and probably still does.

  5. bearcreekbat 2022-08-31 00:57

    Matt, the trigger law at SDCL 22-17-5.1 does not explicitly charge the Class A crime of murder for an unauthorized or illegal abortion,. All the trigger law does is make all abortions an unlawful Class 6 felony, unless the abortion is found to be “medically necessary” to save the life of the pregnant woman. The First Degree murder statute, however, does explicitly state that it is “Homicide is murder in the first degree: (1) If perpetrated without authority of law and with a premeditated design to effect the death of . . . an unborn child” (i.e. kill a fertilized egg on up). State law (SDCL 22-1-2 (50A) defines an “unborn child” as a fertilized egg until live birth. So Matt is right about the trigger law. P. Aitch, however, is right about the murder charge, but it must be brought under SDCL 22-16-4(1). (Look any of these statutes up by simply copying and pasting the full SDCL cite into Google and hitting search, they are quite easy to find online).

    One additional fact is that the penalty for First Degree Murder, a Class A felony, is either mandatory life or the death penalty (SDCL 22-6-1(1)). But the death penalty can only be inflicted if there is a statutory “aggravating circumstance.” One such statutory “aggravating circumstance” is when the victim of the murder is under the age of 13 (SDCL 23A-27A-1(6)). Since every single “unborn child” is under the age of 13, in all cases of unauthorized abortion there is by statute the required “aggravating circumstance” needed for the jury or judge to impose the death sentence on any woman who unlawfully terminates her pregnancy (i.e. kills her fertilized egg on up) and for any medical provider or friend that assists her in committing this trigger statute expansion of what now constitutes an unlawful abortion under the existing First Degree Murder statute. This suggests the need for more questions to Ms. Arlint, such as:

    Ms. Arlint. Do you agree with the current SD law that codifies the death penalty for any woman having an abortion in South Dakota when she is charged and convicted of murder because legally she is guilty of murder since the trigger law now makes most abortions unlawful?

    Do you agree that South Dakota should quickly make an example by charging the murder and imposing the death sentence to discourage women from terminating pregancies and discourage doctors, medical providers, family and friends from providing any assistance to a woman that desires to kill her fertilized egg on up?

    I did raise this question to a worker at the recent 2022 Pennington County State Fair “Right to Life” booth and she made same responses as Matt about the trigger statute. When I clarified that it is the homicide statutes that providfe for a First Degree Murder charge and the death sentence she said that these women and doctors deserve such a punishment for murder by killing a fertilized egg on up.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-08-31 05:37

    BCB, good work getting the Right to Life boother to admit the logical implications of her philosophy. Now let’s see if we can get Amber Arlint to give us any details about how she would vote on specific abortion statutes. Does she agree with BCB’s thesis that South Dakota law as written puts women who abort their pregnancies and doctors who perform abortions in danger of first-degree murder charges? If so, would she change those laws to protect women and/or doctors from such charges?

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