State of Iowa Archives: on Abortion


Scott Walker: Passed pro-life legislation & defunded Planned Parenthood

In his 2010 and 2012 races for governor, Walker mostly steered clear of talking about his strong opposition to abortion. Nonetheless, he acted in private and signed legislation in 2013 requiring women seeking abortions to get ultrasounds and doctors performing the procedure to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.

Abortion flared as an issue in his 2014 race, and Walker ran an ad saying the measure was about patient safety and that he understood the decision to end a pregnancy is an "agonizing one."

The governor repeatedly declined last year to say whether he would support banning abortion after 20 weeks, which is the top priority for Wisconsin Right to Life in the current legislative session. But now, as Walker eyes the presidency, he is trumpeting his opposition to abortion at events such as his January speech to the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines. "We've passed pro-life legislation and we've defunded Planned Parenthood," he said there.

Source: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit Mar 2, 2015

Carly Fiorina: Liberals believe in protecting flies, but not human life

Still unknown to many Iowans, Fiorina touted pro-life credentials by slamming liberals in her former home state of California. "Liberals believe that flies are worth protecting, but the life of an unborn child is not," Fiorina said.
Source: Des Moines Register on 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit Jan 24, 2015

Pat Murphy: Defend a woman's right to make her own health care decisions

Defending Women's Rights: Pat is pro-choice and will defend a woman's right to make her own health care decisions. In the Iowa House, he voted against efforts to ban abortions after 20 weeks, and in Congress, he will be a vocal opponent of radicals who invent misleading facts to restrict access to women's health care. Pat will fight to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work, and he'll join efforts to get tough on sexual assault in the military.
Source: 2014 Iowa House campaign website, PatMurphyForIowa.com Oct 10, 2014

Joni Ernst: Human life begins at conception

Question topic: Human life begins at conception and deserves legal protection at every stage until natural death.

Ernst: Strongly Agree

Question topic: Should abortion be allowed under extenuating circumstances? If so, what circumstances?

Ernst: Yes, in the case of life of the mother.

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Iowa Senate race Sep 30, 2014

Joni Ernst: Affordable access to contraception

Braley supports access to abortion. Ernst opposes abortion. That led to a fierce back-and-forth where Braley said Ernst introduced legislation that would've banned all forms of abortion and prevented certain forms of contraception.

Ernst responded that the amendment Braley referenced "would not do any of the things that he stated it would do. That amendment is simply a statement that I support life."

"I always stand with our women on affordable access to contraception," added Ernst, who stood on a seven-inch riser to put her at eye level with her opponent. "That's something that Congressman Braley has been trying to mislead our women voters on. I do believe in a woman's right to contraception."

Source: Des Moines Register on 2014 Iowa Senate debate Sep 29, 2014

Joni Ernst: Personhood amendment is a statement of pro-life principle

Ernst, a state senator since 2010, was prodded to explain several positions she staked out on her way to winning the Republican primary in June, such as supporting a Personhood amendment.

Ernst defended her support for a Personhood amendment to the Iowa Constitution. Braley attacked Ernst for supporting the measure in the state legislature, which he said would allow doctors to be prosecuted for terminating pregnancies. That amendment is simply a statement that I support life." She added that she supports "a woman's right to contraception."

Source: Politico.com e-zine on 2014 Iowa Senate debate Sep 28, 2014

Doug Butzier: Leave abortion decisions to the states

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right"?

A: The constitution leaves this question to the States, so I would oppose any Federal interference with the issue.

Source: E-mail interview: 2014 Iowa Senate race with OnTheIssues.org Sep 17, 2014

Sam Clovis: Human life begins at conception

Question topic: Human life begins at conception and deserves legal protection at every stage until natural death.

Clovis: Strongly Agree.

Question topic: Should abortion be allowed under extenuating circumstances? If so, what circumstances?

Clovis: I am a Catholic and cannot find my way to exceptions of any kind for abortion. Who protects the unborn if not those who are empowered by the Constitution? It is, after all, the main role of government to protect its citizens.

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Iowa Senate race Jul 2, 2014

Tom Hoefling: Human life begins at conception

Question topic: Human life begins at conception and deserves legal protection at every stage until natural death.

Hoefling: Strongly Agree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2013 Iowa Gubernatorial campaign Jul 2, 2014

Rob Hogg: Restricting abortion for "women's safety" won't win approval

Despite emotional testimony from women who claimed they were harmed by abortions, Iowa lawmakers were told that legislation to create a new cause of action based on physical injury or emotional distress is unnecessary and would have a chilling effect on abortion providers. The bill's House Sponsor said the legislation is consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that said the state has a legitimate interest in protecting the safety of women.

Lobbyists for the Iowa Medical Society and the ACLU-Iowa told lawmakers the cause of action exists in current law. Singling out one medical procedure will have a `chilling effect` on physicians who offer that service. The bill `feels like an attempt to intimidate providers,` added a representative of Planned Parenthood Voters of Iowa.

Approval in the Senate seems unlikely, according to Judiciary Chairman Rob Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids, who said he was unaware of the proposal.

Source: Quad City Times on 2016 Iowa Senate race Feb 13, 2014

Sam Clovis: Life should be protected from conception

I believe life begins at conception and life should be protected from conception to natural, dignified death. There should be no exceptions for protecting life. However, the judicial system of the nation has protected certain options. In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court allowed that abortion was about privacy. If that is the case, then private funds should pay for whatever abortions take place. Not a single tax dollar should go to any organization or agency that supports the killing of the unborn.
Source: 2014 Senate campaign website, Iowans4SamClovis.com, "Issues" Nov 11, 2013

Joni Ernst: No taxpayer funding for abortion; protect the unborn

Protecting Innocent Life: Joni believes life begins at conception, that all innocent life is precious, and that we must cherish and protect the unborn. Joni opposes any taxpayer funding of abortion and has a record as a strong, proven defender of innocent life during her tenure in the state legislature.
Source: 2014 Senate campaign website, JoniForIowa.com, "Issues" Sep 9, 2013

Rick Santorum: No abortions even in cases of rape; one violence is enough

Q: In June, you said, "I believe that any doctor who performs an abortion should be criminally charged for doing so." You would allow no exceptions for cases of rape and incest?

SANTORUM: You know, the US Supreme Court on a recent case said that a man who committed rape could not be killed, could not be subject to the death penalty, yet the child conceived as a result of that rape could be. That to me sounds like a country that doesn't have its morals correct. That child did nothing wrong. That child is an innocent victim. To be victimized twice would be a horrible thing. It is an innocent human life. It is genetically human from the moment of conception. And it is a human life. And we in America should be big enough to try to surround ourselves and help women in those terrible situations who've been traumatized already. To put them through another trauma of an abortion I think is too much to ask. And so I would absolutely stand and say that one violence is enough.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Tim Pawlenty: Criminal sanctions against abortion doctors, not women

Q: You often cite an article in National Review saying you may be the strongest pro-life candidate in the race. What's the basis for that?

A : National Review's article said based on results, not rhetoric, that I'm perhaps the most pro-life candidate i this race. When I was governor, I proposed and signed into law the Women's Right to Know bill; the Positive Alternatives to Abortion bill; the Fetal Pain bill and more. And our abortion rate in Minnesota has dropped dramatically, in fact, now at historic lows. In terms of my personal views, the only exception I can really reconcile or justify is the life of the mother.

Q: Do you support criminal charges for doctors who perform abortions?

A: I think there should be absolutely consequences for doctors who perform abortions, when it's illegal, and the possibility of criminal sanctions or severe civil sanctions. I don't think the woman involved should be criminally sanctioned.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Roxanne Conlin: Support women's right to reproductive freedom

I believe in a women's right to reproductive freedom. We must do all we can to prevent unintended pregnancies and abortions should be legal, safe and rare. Senator Grassley does not support a woman's right to choose and has a 100% rating from the National Right to Life Committee.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.RoxanneForIowa, "Issues" Jul 20, 2010

Christopher Reed: Very pro-life; no abortion under any circumstances

Q: There are a couple of issues that are sort of perennial issues any time you have a political campaign, they are social issues. Abortion; where are you?

A: I am very pro-life.

Q: And what does very pro-life mean?

A: I do not agree with abortion.

Q: Under any circumstances?

A: Under any circumstances, life is a gift from God under any circumstances itís granted.

Source: Dean Borg, Iowa Public TV. on 2008 Iowa Senate debate Jun 6, 2008

John McCain: Abortion issue shows what kind of country we are

Q: Some people argue that, in the general election, the most important issue is going to be national security, and an issue like abortion should be de-emphasized. Do you agree with that?

A: I think the respect and commitment to the rights of the unborn is something Iíve fought for, and it has a lot to do with national security. Because it says very much what kind of a country we are and our respect for human life, whether it be here in the US or anyplace else in the world. So I think it is connected.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Mitt Romney: Iowa attack phone ads are not true; I am pro-life

Q: [to Brownback]: Your campaign has been making phone calls to Iowa voters about Mitt Romney:
(BEGIN AUDIO)
ANNOUNCER: Mitt Romney is telling Iowans that he is firmly pro-life. Nothing could be further from the truth. As late as 2005, Mitt Romney pledged to support and uphold pro-abortion policies and pass taxpayer funding of abortions in Massachusetts. His wife, Ann, has contributed money to Planned Parenthood. Mitt told the National Abortion Rights Action League that, ďYou need someone like me in Washington.ď
(END AUDIO)
Q: Do you stand by that attack?

BROWNBACK: I certainly do. Thereís one word that describes that ad, and itís Ētruthful.ď Thatís a truthful ad. And thatís what campaigns are about: for getting the truth out, expressing the differences between candidates.

Q: Is everything in that ad true?

ROMNEY: Virtually nothing in that ad is true. I am pro-life. Thatís the truth. Every action Iíve taken as governor of Massachusetts has been pro-life.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Mitt Romney: Tired of holier-than-thou attitude about becoming pro-life

Q: [to Romney]: Are any of the specifics true in Sen. Brownbackís phone ad calling you pro-choice?

ROMNEY: Abortion is a very difficult decision. Weíre involved in the lives of two people: a mom and an unborn child. Iíve come down on the side of saying Iím in favor of life. The best way you can learn about someone is not by asking their opponent, but ask them, ďWhat do you believe, and whatís your view?Ē And I am pro-life. And virtually every part of that ad is inaccurate. Iím pro-life. My positions are pro-life.

BROWNBACK: You can go on YouTube and see the governor speaking himself about where he is on this position in 1994.

ROMNEY: Look, I was pro-choice. I am pro-life. You can go back to YouTube and look at what I said in 1994. I never said I was pro-choice, but my position was effectively pro-choice. I changed my position. And I get tired of people that are holier-than-thou because theyíve been pro-life longer than I have. But Iím proud of the fact.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Mitt Romney: Defining mistake: supported abortion law despite opposing it

Q: What is the defining mistake of your life and why?

A: Probably from a political standpoint and a personal standpoint, the greatest mistake was when I first ran for office, being deeply opposed to abortion but saying, ďI support the current law,Ē which was pro-choice and effectively a pro-choice position. That was just wrong. And when I became a governor and faced a life-and-death decision as a governor, I came down on the side of life. That was a mistake before that.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: Ultimate decision by woman, her conscience & her doctor

I believe the best way we can have common ground in this debate that youíre hearing is if we put our emphasis on reducing abortions and increasing the number of adoptions, which is something that I did as mayor of New York City. But I think ultimately that decision that has to be made is one that government shouldnít make. Ultimately, a woman should make that with her conscience and ultimately with her doctor.
Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Sam Brownback: Iowa phone ad: Romney is not pro-life

Q: [to Brownback]: Your campaign has been making phone calls to Iowa voters about Mitt Romney:
(BEGIN AUDIO)
ANNOUNCER: Mitt Romney is telling Iowans that he is firmly pro-life. Nothing could be further from the truth. As late as 2005, Mitt Romney pledged to support and uphold pro-abortion policies and pass taxpayer funding of abortions in Massachusetts. His wife, Ann, has contributed money to Planned Parenthood. Mitt told the National Abortion Rights Action League that, ďYou need someone like me in Washington.ď
(END AUDIO)
Q: Do you stand by that attack?

BROWNBACK: I certainly do. Thereís one word that describes that ad, and itís Ētruthful.ď Thatís a truthful ad. And thatís what campaigns are about: for getting the truth out, expressing the differences between candidates.

Q: Is everything in that ad true?

ROMNEY: Virtually nothing in that ad is true. I am pro-life. Thatís the truth. Every action Iíve taken as governor of Massachusetts has been pro-life.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Tommy Thompson: Pro-choice GOP nominee problem for GOP platform

Q: Some columnists say one of the consequences--because of the mayorís pro-life position--of a Giuliani victory would be to place the Republican nominee in direct conflict with the Roman Catholic Church. How big a problem is that?

THOMPSON: I think itís a problem. I think itís a problem not only for the Roman Catholic Church, but itís a problem with the Constitution and the platform of the Republican Party. Every year the Republican Party, both at the state level in Iowa, and nationally, are parties that come out very avidly and passionately on being pro-life. And I think any candidate thatís pro-choice is going to have a difficulty with the party faithful and those individuals that have come to this district and the state and national meetings and have avowed time and time again that this party, the Republican Party, is a party of pro-life. So anybody thatís not pro-life is going to have difficulties. Thatís the question.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Jack Hatch: Abortions should always be legally available

Source: 2002 Iowa Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2002

Tom Fiegen: Limit legality, and eliminate public funding for abortion

Source: Iowa Congressional 2002 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2002

Orrin Hatch: Abortions cause a societal insensitivity to life

Q: Do you think that thereís a direct connection between Roe v. Wade and the violence that we see in schools these days? A: Sure do. There is an insensitivity to life in our society today. When you have 40 million babies that have been aborted since Roe v. Wade, there comes an insensitivity that affects all of us.
Source: Des Moines Iowa GOP Debate Dec 13, 1999

  • The above quotations are from State of Iowa Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Abortion.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2016 Presidential contenders on Abortion:
  Republicans:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Democrats:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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Page last updated: Dec 11, 2015