Bernie Sanders: Medicare For All Must Cover Abortion Services

Medicare for All has been a central part of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaigns since he launched his first national bid in 2015. Since then, the health care conversation in the United States has focused increasingly on reproductive services, as Republican-controlled state governments across the country limit abortion access and Supreme Court justices are appointed to help overturn Roe v. Wade. On Saturday in Des Moines, Sanders took part in a town hall hosted by NARAL Pro-Choice America, a national organization that opposes restrictions on abortion. There, Sanders said, “We are here today to say as loudly and clearly as […]

Access To Legal Abortions Keeps Getting Trickier In SE Iowa

For 13,100 women living in Burlington, Iowa, it keeps getting trickier to access affordable reproductive health care. The town’s Planned Parenthood provider closed in 2017. It forced residents to travel about 80 miles away to Iowa City just for routine checkups and to get birth control. Dr. Michael McCoy, chief medical officer for Great River Health System and an OBGYN at Women’s Health—Great River Medical Center decided women deserved better. He set up a gathering of healthcare providers in the community to figure out what it would take to get a new Title X clinic in the area. Healthcare providers […]

Kamala Harris In Iowa: Go On Offense On Women’s Health Rights

Senator Kamala Harris has told everyone during this 2020 campaign that she’s a fighter. She’s touted her time as the Attorney General of California, prosecuting banks and holding corporations accountable. She’s told the story about being raised by parents who were civil rights activists.  And at a NARAL-sponsored town hall in Des Moines, Harris emphasized her ability and willingness to fight for women’s reproductive health care in a way that others may not. “Right now, women’s access to reproductive health is under attack in America, and we have got to stand firm,” Harris said.  Twice on Wednesday, Harris emphasized the […]

Burlington’s Planned Parenthood Closure Brought Anger, But Also Activism

Shortly after becoming sexually active, Alexandra Rucinski got pregnant. She was 22 years old and had only been taught about abstinence because of her conservative, Mormon upbringing. “There was no conversation other than abstinence, which didn’t protect me at all,” Rucinski said. Enter Planned Parenthood in downtown Burlington, Iowa. The clinic closed in 2017 after Republican lawmakers excluded Planned Parenthood from state funding, but it was there for Rucinski. Rucinski said she went to the clinic when she was about three months pregnant because she didn’t have health insurance at the time. She was pretty sure she was pregnant, but […]

Candidates React To Court Ruling On ‘Domestic Gag Rule’

Yesterday, the Trump Administration got one step closer to restricting abortion access in the United States at the federal level. A three-judge panel on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, covering the Western part of the United States, ruled that the federal government can block federal grant money from health care providers if they offer information about abortion or have family planning services in facilities where doctors also perform abortions. In response, ten of the Democratic candidates running for president made statements on Twitter as of early Friday afternoon reiterating their support for Planned Parenthood and their opposition to this […]

Iowa Women Face Longer Travel Times To Abortion Services, Limiting Access

Despite recent efforts to limit it, abortion is still legal in Iowa up to 20 weeks. However, the procedure isn’t easily accessible to all Iowans. Iowa has eight Planned Parenthood clinics, five of which provide abortion services. There are also a few other clinics that provide the service. But these providers are concentrated mostly in the central and east-central parts of the state with locations in Des Moines, Urbandale, Ames, Iowa City, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids and Council Bluffs. This means people in the northern, western and southern parts of the state have to travel, sometimes hours, to access abortion […]

Cory Booker’s plan to protect reproductive rights

In response to states across the country passing laws that restrict access to abortion, women’s reproductive rights have become a key part of presidential candidates’ platforms this year. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker recently released a comprehensive list of actions he would take as president to ensure women have the ability to access and control their own reproductive health care. His proposals aim to address three main requirements for reproductive freedom: funding, access, and expanding information about services. He also plans to make Roe v. Wade a federal law, rather than just a Supreme Court decision that guides legislation. “My […]

How Kamala Harris’ Pre-Clearance Plan Could Halt Iowa Abortion Restrictions

National attention on abortion access has been heightened this year with states like Alabama and Missouri passing strict laws limiting women’s ability to access the procedure. This has prompted many presidential candidates to speak out and offer their thoughts and plans. In late May, Sen. Kamala Harris announced a plan to prevent states from dramatically restricting access to abortion in the future. Under Harris’s plan, called the Reproductive Rights Act, any state that passed policy that violated Roe v. Wade in the past 25 years would have to go through the Department of Justice to make any new changes to […]