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August 29th, 2013

Iowa Democrats Pray for Abortion Rights

Iowa Democrat gubernatorial candidates Jack Hatch and Tyler Olson joined 50 pro-abortion activists in an extended prayer for abortion rights during a rally at the State Capitol on Wednesday. The noon event was meant to fire-up liberals prior to an afternoon hearing across the street conducted by the Iowa Board of Medicine regarding tele-med abortions.

They made the unusual decision, for Democrats, to begin the event with a prayer. This was likely in response to a prayer vigil being conducted by pro-life activists at the same time nearby.

Des Moines activist Midge Slater took the podium and spent five and a half minutes thanking God for abortion rights, abortion doctors and taxpayer funding for abortions. She also referred to the decision to have an abortion as “a blessing”.

During the entire prayer, State Senator Jack Hatch and Rep. Tyler Olson, both of whom are running for governor, kept their heads bowed and eyes closed, joining in the group prayer.

Here are a view excerpts from the pro-abortion prayer:

“We give thanks, oh Lord, for the doctors, both current and future, who provide quality abortion care.”

“We pray for increased financial support for low-income women to access contraception, abortion and childcare.”

“Today, we pray for women in developing nations, that they may know the power of self-determination. May they have access to employment, education, birth control and abortion.”

“Today we pray for the families who have chosen. May they know the blessing of choice.”

At the end of the prayer, Jack Hatch started to clap, but then stopped himself. Olson did not applaud.

The event then became a Democrat campaign rally, with a steady stream of attacks on Governor Branstad from Hatch, Olson and State Senator Janet Petersen (D-Des Moines).

“We need a governor who will encourage women and girls to seek a doctor, not prevent them from doing so,” Petersen said, clearly referring to abortion doctors. “Governor Branstad’s administration and his party have been actively working to limit women’s reproductive healthcare in the state from the moment he took office.”

Sen. Petersen has endorsed Olson for governor, over her fellow state senator from Des Moines, Jack Hatch.

Hatch was the next speaker. He rehashed the controversy from two years ago when he opposed the appointment of a pro-life Catholic woman to the Iowa Board of Medicine, once again claiming his opposition had nothing to do with her being pro-life, despite all evidence to the contrary. Hatch even earned a thistle from the liberal Des Moines Register for that episode.

Apparently, Jack Hatch has discovered a line somewhere buried deep in the U.S. Constitution that states taxpayers must fund other people’s abortions. Hatch referred to Republican legislators’ attempts to strip taxpayer funding for abortions as “wanting to deny a woman their constitutional right to have an abortion”. He did not provide the article or amendment where that language is written.

Hatch then accused the Board of Medicine’s decision to conduct a hearing on tele-med abortions as “an attack that the current governor is making” that is “nothing more than political attack designed to divide Iowans and provide a very small victory for a very small part of the Republican Party”.

It’s interesting that Senator Hatch considers those who oppose telemed abortions as a “very small part” of the Republican Party. The pro-abortion rally organizers were trumpeting their accomplishment of getting 1,200 signatures on a petition. Iowa Right to Life turned in petitions with 20,000 signatures to the Board of Medicine from Iowans who oppose telemed abortions.

Tyler Olson’s speech centered largely on the false narrative that Governor Branstad wants to make medical decisions for Iowa women. Disapproving of taxpayer funds for abortions is not a medical decision.

Rep. Olson did not rehash the line from a few weeks ago that he used on a group of Beaverdale activists regarding looking out for all citizens, including those as “the dawn of life”. It is painfully clear Olson’s definition of “the dawn of life” means that life begins long after conception.

During the event, a dozen pro-life activists with signs and a large banner stood silently behind the pro-abortion crowd. Other media reported the size of the crowd as 75-80. In fact, there were 50 pro-abortion activists and around a dozen pro-lifers.

About the Author

Kevin Hall

Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor’s office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad’s 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for

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