Planned Parenthood issue heats up Eggs and Issues
29 Jan 2017
Legislators serving Webster County were alternately cheered and jeered as they tackled hot button issues such as funding for Planned Parenthood and public employee bargaining rights during a lively Eggs and Issues forum Saturday morning.
State Rep. Helen Miller, of Fort Dodge, was the lone Democrat among the lawmakers and found herself at odds with the Republicans on many issues.
The Republican lawmakers present were state Sen. Jerry Behn, of Boone; state Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink, of Fort Dodge; state Rep. Rob Bacon, of Slater; and state Rep. Mike Sexton, of Rockwell City.
About 110 people attended the forum in the Triton Cafe at Iowa Central Community College. At least some of them were not content to submit written questions to the forum’s moderator, and shouted from their seats. One loudly declared Kraayenbrink to be “anti-woman.” Jim Kersten, the forum’s moderator, warned the audience a couple of times that disorderly people would be asked to leave.
The lawmakers received applause and a chorus of boos at different times.
“This has been the biggest forum I’ve been part of and the most spirited one,” Bacon said at the conclusion of the event.
Taking government money away from Planned Parenthood has been a goal of many pro-life politicians since clandestine videos surfaced about a year ago which purport to show officials of the organization talking about selling body parts from aborted fetuses.
With Republicans controlling the governor’s office and the Iowa Legislature, an effort to strip about $300,000 from Planned Parenthood began this year. A state Senate subcommittee approved the proposal last week, sending it to a full committee.
“Planned Parenthood does do other things than just abortion right now,” Bacon said. “I haven’t seen the bill coming out of the Senate, but my understanding is it is not to defund Planned Parenthood, but to stop sending money to abortion providers. Simply put, if Planned Parenthood didn’t do abortions they would still get the funding.”
Bacon’s comments were interrupted by boos at that point.
“None of our tax dollars go to pay for abortions,” he added.
Kraayenbrink touted his pro-life stance.
“Everyone knows I’m very pro-life,” he said.
A woman in the audience responded by yelling: “You’re anti-woman.”