Legislative candidates participate in public forum By David Lias
Plain Talk The public got a chance to meet the six District 17 legislative candidates up close and personal thanks to a forum held Monday at the Vermillion Public Library. The meeting was sponsored by the Vermillion Christian Home Educators Co-op local politics class. Candidates were asked questions covering a wide range of issues, from energy development to abortion. The candidates were asked when they believed life begins, and what role government should play to protect it. It was a question that brought out some of the more diverse answers of the evening. â�?�?Itâ�?�?s really my feeling that government shouldnâ�?�?t establish religion,â�? Rep. Eldon Nygaard said. â�?�?The First Amendment of the United States Constitution even spells that out for you, so I think that me as a legislator to try to make that decision for any of you is probably wrong.â�? â�?�?I believe that government should have a very limited role in this decision,â�? said Sen. Ben Nesselhuf. â�?�?In my mind, itâ�?�?s between a woman and her partner and her doctor. Itâ�?�?s not something that I would ever sponsor any legislation for on either side of this issue, and if this is your number one issue, Iâ�?�?m probably not your guy.â�? Nesselhufâ�?�?s opponent, Jared Higman, noted that he is father of two young girls. â�?�?I believe life begins at conception â�?¦ I canâ�?�?t imagine how I could think otherwise,â�? he said. â�?�?Is it the job of government to moderate that? One thing that worries me is it seems that Americans nowadays want everything quick and fast, to the point that if they get someone pregnant, the quick solution is to get an abortion. â�?�?I think that devalues life as we know it,â�? he said. â�?�?I think thatâ�?�?s one of the big things we face. Our family values are breaking down â�?¦ and and we need to focus on the family again.â�? Rep. Jamie Boomgarden shared many of Higmanâ�?�?s opinions. Science, he said, has determined that life begins at conception. â�?�?Babies are being born alive at five months,â�? he said. â�?�?People are being falsely told that itâ�?�?s just a blob of cells â�?�? thatâ�?�?s not true.â�? Boomgarden referred recent efforts in Pierre to restrict abortion. Itâ�?�?s a question that will also come before state voters in the November election. He hopes the measure will be approved. â�?�?It (abortion) is being used as a convenience; itâ�?�?s being used to make things easy, and thatâ�?�?s the wrong reason for using abortion these days,â�? he said.