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February 18th, 2014

Branstad, Reynolds Encourage Pro-Lifers to Continue Efforts

The oft-fractured Iowa pro-life committee stood united on Monday for the annual Rally for Life at the State Capitol. Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds joined dozens of Republican lawmakers, 10 pro-life organizations, U.S. Senate candidates Joni Ernst and Matt Whitaker, congressional candidates Robert Cramer, Matt Schultz and Brad Zaun, and supporters of the pro-life movement, to advocate for protecting all innocent life.

“15 years ago, our organization was doing it alone as a prayer for life,” said Jenifer Bowen, executive director of Iowa Right to Life. “Then Iowans for L.I.F.E. joined, and the Iowa Catholic Council and many more have. This year it’s nine or 10 of us. Adding the euthanasia component, adding St. Jude Hospice and Mercy Medical Center, it’s encouraging to see people wanting to come on board.”

Around 125 attendees gathered at the Capitol to support the cause.

“I have always been a supporter of pro-life policies and I always will be,” Governor Branstad told the crowd.

Branstad pledged his support for the webcam abortion ban passed by the Iowa House last week. He noted that aside from the abortion, the practice is a danger to the pregnant woman and should be stopped.

“We think this is the least we can do to protect them,” Branstad said.

Despite the “war on women” meme Democrats have attempted to paint all Republicans with, Lt. Governor Reynolds told attendees that she truly believes the pro-life is a pro-woman movement.

“We’re here to share with Iowans our message that all life is precious,” Reynolds said. “We want to help educate Iowans on the important of protecting those who are unable to protect themselves.”

Branstad and Reynolds combined spoke less than six minutes, with the governor talking a little longer than the lieutenant governor. However, Reynolds provided more meat in her speech.

“Our elected officials matter in this effort and this year many life issues will come before our legislators. The power of groups like this at the Capitol is undeniable. So we must continue to stand up for life,” Kim Reynolds said

The keynote speaker at the rally was noted author Wesley Smith. His remarks focused on a pro-life topic different from abortion: assisted suicide.

“We need to look very hard in the mirror and find out what it is that we are doing to make people feel unwelcome if they are ill, if they are disable, if they are elderly or if they are dying. Because when you say, ‘Ok, we’ll allow assisted suicide for some people’, you are sending a very loud and clear message that their lives don’t matter as much as the lives of other people who you would give suicide prevention to,” Smith said.

Emcee Ken Root wrapped up the event, leaving attendees and legislators with a powerful final question to ponder.

“When your heart stops you’re considered dead, so when your heart starts, why aren’t you considered to be alive?”

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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