How Many More Young Girls Must Die Before Iowa Acts?

I have seen a lot of political inaction in my time here in Iowa, but nothing that has perplexed and infuriated me as much as the state’s inability to respond to the starvation deaths of two adopted girls. You would have thought something may have changed after 16-year-old Natalie Finn died from starvation and torture last October in her West Des Moines home. Police found Finn on a floor wearing an adult diaper, laying in filth from herself and the many animals that roamed the house. Her adopted siblings apparently faced similar physical and mental abuse from Nicole and Joseph Finn. […]

Women In Southeast Iowa Left Behind After Planned Parenthood Closures

The options for women’s healthcare services are being dramatically reduced in Southeast Iowa thanks to the actions of local Republican lawmakers like Mark Lofgren, Tom Greene and Gary Carlson. Planned Parenthood announced today that they will close four clinics by the end of June, including their Eastern Iowa locations of Bettendorf, Burlington and Keokuk. Sioux City’s clinic will close as well. There are no Planned Parenthood clinics on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities, nor are there any in Missouri or Illinois near the border of the Southeast Iowa corner. Keokuk residents now face a nearly 100-mile drive to the […]

Consumer Rights Eroding Under GOP And Trump Administration

In the first ninety days of Donald Trump’s presidency, his actions speak more to his business background than of politics. He has been frank about his disapproval of government laws, which are oftentimes burdensome to businesses but essential for the safety of consumer rights. He has followed through on his campaign promise of cutting funding for the EPA and has started process of streamlining multiple government agencies by cutting regulations for the FDA, CDC, and EPA. “I will ask each and every federal agency to prepare a list of all of the regulations they impose on Americans which are not […]

Iowa Passing Abortion Restrictions Worse Than Deep South

Just a few short years ago, Iowa was leading the way in safe and legal abortion access with the new telemedicine process that provided options to women living in rural areas. Now, after this year’s legislative session at the Statehouse, Iowa will join just a handful of states in enacting some of the most stringent restrictions on abortion rights in the entire country. This week the Iowa House passed a 20-week abortion ban, supported by all but one Republican in the chamber. The Iowa Senate approved their version of the bill a week prior, but will have to vote on it […]

Iowa Legislator Proposes “Masturbatory Emissions” Fine

Iowa State Representative Lisa Heddens of Ames is simply looking to achieve “equality” in Iowa’s laws on men and women’s health procedures with a new amendment she proposed to Republicans’ 20-week abortion ban. Heddens is encouraging her colleagues to pass her “Men’s Right to Know Act,” which would allow doctors to refuse prescribing erectile dysfunction drugs on moral grounds, require rectal exams for men seeking such medication, and impose an $100 fine on every “masturbatory emission.” It’s all in response to a series of Republican bills this session designed to vastly restrict women’s healthcare options, abortion rights and funding for Planned […]

Does Iowa GOP Think Miscarriages Should Be Brought To Term?

A very bizarre moment occurred during last night’s committee hearing over Iowa House Republicans’ 20-week abortion ban. Republican Representative Shannon Lundgren, during an exchange with Democratic Representative John Forbes, suggested that a woman who suffered a miscarriage would need to carry that fetus to term. Forbes posed the question to Lundgren in relation to his daughter, who is in her 21st week of pregnancy. He said that while everything is going well with the pregnancy, he worried what would happen if she were to miscarriage, whether this new legislation would force her to continue on with the fetus until her own […]

Another Mess: Branstad And Reynolds Are Bankrupting Iowa

By the time Terry Branstad leaves for China, Iowa’s treasury may be as empty as his many campaign promises about fiscal responsibility. And Kim Reynolds is about to take on both the political responsibility and near-impossible governing responsibility of cleaning up her and her current boss’ huge mess. The Des Moines Register reported late Friday the disheartening news that Iowa would once again be shelling out hundreds of millions of dollars for the Branstad/Reynolds failed Medicaid privatization scheme. The three private insurers have lobbied the Governor’s office for yet another payout to cover their “catastrophic” losses under the new setup, and […]

Blum And Young Should Work In Bipartisan Way On Healthcare Fix

Guest post from Austin Haywood of Adel, Iowa Republicans in Congress are making a fatal mistake when it comes to passing a bill that repeals and replaces the Affordable Care Act. By keeping details of the bill secret from everyone, including Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Republicans are setting up their bill for failure. For that reason I encourage the Iowa delegation, including Congressmen David Young and Rob Blum, to vote against the American Health Care Act. In order to really fix our nation’s healthcare system, we need bipartisan efforts that are done in the light of […]

Can The “River City” Accept Its First-Ever Pride Fest?

Guest post from Elle Smith Will the Northern Iowa town of Mason City see its first ever Pride event? Teanna Corcoran and AJ Bradbury will test the boundaries of acceptance in this “River City.” What distinguishes a small town from the fantasies that you and I have invented for them in our coastal cities? Born and raised in Mason City, playwright Meredith Wilson dubbed it “River City” in his 1957 stage musical The Music Man. It’s a barely fictionalized portrait of Wilson’s childhood home depicting “Iowa-stubborn” citizens. In The Music Man, prejudice, small-mindedness, and gossip litter the community. The mayor’s wife […]

Protect the Environment. Oppose Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee

Guest post from Mark Langgin, Citizens for a Healthy Iowa Next week Senator Chuck Grassley will chair hearings considering Judge Neil Gorsuch for an appointment to the Supreme Court. Gorsuch was nominated by President Trump, who was chosen to be a rubber stamp as his administration moves to dismantle longstanding environmental protections. Judge Gorsuch’s philosophy on environmental protections is squarely on the side of polluters versus safeguarding clean air and water. He has repeatedly turned away challenges by groups seeking to protect natural resources and would undermine agencies’ abilities to enforce our laws. These cases in particular highlight Judge Gorsuch’s […]