Chuck Grassley sets stage for AG Sessions

Chuck Grassley sets stage for AG Sessions

Gazette Column
First order of business, attack orgs that serve women, science As the nation prepares for its next transition of power, it appears everything old and discredited is new again. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is calling for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice to investigate four Planned Parenthood affiliates in California, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and three privately-held California medical research companies regarding their work with fetal tissues. The Judiciary Committee began its review after the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group, released a series of highly edited video clips in 2015. The clips were presented to the public as proof Planned Parenthood profited from the illegal sale of tissues. Two of the people who created and released the video clips were…
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SCOTUS told us what we already knew

SCOTUS told us what we already knew

Gazette Blog
Abortion restrictions imposed by the Texas Legislature in the name of women’s health should have never made it to the U.S. Supreme Court. No matter what side of the abortion debate you are on, the dirty little not-so-secret behind regulations thinly wrapped inside a facade of improving women’s health was clear from the beginning. Unable to outright ban abortion, those opposed concentrated on what some openly referred to as “the next best thing,” erecting barriers to access. Years ago, and sometimes still today, those barriers were literal, amounting to lines of demonstrators who aimed to keep women out of health care facilities that provided abortions. They’ve also been psychological, like the published lists of home addresses and telephone numbers or photographs of clinic workers and doctors who perform abortions. Perhaps…
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Incentives speed Iowa bill to terminate parental rights of rapists

Incentives speed Iowa bill to terminate parental rights of rapists

Gazette Column
This is the most disgusting example possible of state lawmakers first ignoring and then profiting from a morally abhorrent problem. Back in 2012, when U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., waxed poetic about “legitimate rape,” the nation was yet again embroiled in a debate about abortion rights. Specifically, if abortion was illegal, should a woman’s health or sexual assault warrant exceptions. Akin was widely, and rightfully, chastised for suggesting that rape didn’t exist and, if it did, women couldn’t get pregnant as a result of it. Lost within the fanfare of ignorant comments uttered during an election year were the voices of women who had been raped, did become pregnant and made a choice. Too often those choices were made more difficult by laws that allow accused and convicted attackers to…
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Questions piling up for Joni Ernst

Questions piling up for Joni Ernst

Gazette Column
Joni Ernst seems to be disrespecting quite a few folks. You may have read in our U.S. Senate endorsement that Ernst, Republican candidate for the office, “failed to make time in her schedule” to meet with the Editorial Board at The Gazette. But while Ernst staffers merely strung us along, never agreeing to a meeting time or openly refusing the invitation, we learned Thursday morning Ernst reneged on her promise to The Des Moines Register. She also snubbed The Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, the Quad-City Times and the CBS television affiliate in Sioux City. Even more await an answer. She did meet with the board of the Sioux City Journal and, according to Bloomberg Politics reporter David Weigel, the Omaha, Neb. World-Herald as well. I’ve not heard chatter from the Nebraska interview, but there was noise…
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Joni Ernst disingenuous on personhood

Joni Ernst disingenuous on personhood

Gazette Column
It’s time for Iowans to jump in the weeds. And, thanks to all the manure spread as part of and on behalf of the U.S. Senate campaigns of Joni Ernst and Bruce Braley, you should know these weeds are deep. Reproduction is a very personal thing. To launch discussion on the topic opens the door to faith, sexuality and mortality. There is no way — at least none that I’ve found — to mitigate the strong emotions these subjects evoke. Difficult conversations, however, are no excuse for complete avoidance or, worse yet, the half-baked excuses allowed to stand during the first U.S. Senate race debate. DEBATE RECAP [caption id="attachment_1650" align="alignright" width="228"] US Senate candidate Joni Ernst claps during an event at The Blue Strawberry Coffee Company in Cedar Rapids on…
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Telemedicine case will find justice

Telemedicine case will find justice

Gazette Column
No matter our stance on controversy de jour, we can agree on the importance of an independent judiciary. No one wants to stand before a judge and wonder if his or her ruling is based on placement of a wet finger in the political winds. We understand all too well, after all, that politicians can be swayed in their mission of what’s in the best interest of society to a stance better summarized as doing right by their political party or a special interest group. The last thing we need or want is our court system to fall under political scrutiny; for each decision, verdict and sentencing to be viewed as some small battle on the path to a politically-motivated goal. This is exactly why the decision this week by…
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First Person: Abortion and the Blissfully Ignorant

First Person: Abortion and the Blissfully Ignorant

Various
'I came face-to-face with protesters at the Kansas clinic where I had to terminate my pregnancy' I was warned there would be protesters. Don't make eye contact and don't engage or confront, I was instructed. I had every intention of obeying, but my eyes betrayed me and found the face of a woman standing on the kerb. She was roughly my age and as we moved closer I could see her dark fringe, which almost fell into her blue-green eyes. Her mouth and the mouths of all the people within the small crowd were moving, obviously saying something, but I heard nothing more than a dull roar. The whole scene was surreal, as if I was watching it on a screen. We began to move faster, along the edges of…
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