Iowa Gov. Branstad speaks at annual Rally for Life, pledges continued support

Branstad, abortion opponents insist to keep moving forward on abortion restrictions

Published: February 17 2014 | 6:03 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 3:46 am in

DES MOINES – Anti-abortion advocates gathered at the Iowa Statehouse Monday in a continued effort to limit the practice following a small victory last week for the movement.

Gov. Terry Branstad spoke at the annual Rally for Life in the Capitol Rotunda and pledged his continued support for abortion opponents. Branstad touted the passage of legislation banning telemedicine abortion in the House last week, which would require doctors to meet with patients in-person before providing them with abortion-inducing medicine.

“We think it’s the least we can do to protect them,” Branstad said, his words echoing throughout the rotunda.

Leaders in the Democratic-controlled Senate have said they won’t take up the bill, however  Bishop Richard Pate of Des Moines said it's only a small set back and he's encouraged by House lawmakers' to limit webcam abortions. Pate said the movement will continue to push forward on the issue and lobby Senators.

“We’re not going to take one partial defeat as the final word,” Pate said.

Two dozen Iowa lawmakers including Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz  attended the annual rally, which is sponsored by Iowa Right to Life, the Iowa Catholic Counsel and Iowans for L.I.F.E.

Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds told those in attendance “the power of (anti-abortion) groups like this at the Capitol is undeniable” as state lawmakers continue to debate and address issues surrounding abortion.

The rally’s keynote speaker Wesley Smith, a San Francisco author, warned about assisted suicide, a different type of life-ending medical practice. Although there isn’t any legislation on assisted suicide being proposed, Smith stressed the importance of preserving life at all stages, and to be wary if potential legislation were to arise in the future.

Although officials with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland wouldn’t comment on the event Monday afternoon, Erin Davison-Rippey, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Policy analyst and lobbyist said discussing social issues like abortion continues to be a waste of taxpayer dollars and time.

“HF 2175 only makes it more difficult for a woman to access safe, legal care, and every woman deserves to have access to safe health care,” Davison-Rippey said in an emailed statement.

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