The Iowa Caucus Matters To Women

by April Siese

The final debate before the Iowa Caucus wrapped up on Thursday night, and barring Donald Trump, who sat out the event in favor of his own — a rally in Des Moines to benefit wounded veterans — prominent Republicans took the stage of the Iowa Events Center to make their case before the election season kicks into high gear. Some of the more troubling remarks that came out of the debate happened to concern Planned Parenthood, with candidates like Chris Christie voicing their disapproval of the organization. Such divisive rhetoric is exactly why every woman needs to care about the Iowa caucus outcome, especially on the right.

When asked to "name even one thing that the federal government does now that it should not do at all" by moderator Bret Baier, Christie first joked around about naming just one and then got serious with his response. He said:

How about one that I've done in New Jersey for the last six years. That's get rid of Planned Parenthood funding from the United States of America... Let me tell you something, when you see thousands upon thousands upon thousands of children being murdered in the womb, I can't think of anything better than that.

Similarly alarming responses about Planned Parenthood occurred during the undercard debate. Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina was asked directly about the altered, erroneous videos implicating the organization. Those who reportedly shot undercover video about Planned Parenthood are now indicted. Rather than face the issue head-on and admit that she was wrong about the footage, Fiorina instead doubled down on her stance. Fiorina said:

I will not be rendered silent on this issue or any other issue. And it doesn’t matter what stage I’m on... Planned Parenthood engages in partial birth abortion, in late-term abortion. They alter those abortion techniques to harvest and sell body parts... If you are 13 years old, you can get an abortion, but you can’t go to a tanning salon without your mother’s permission. In a president Fiorina budget, there will not be one dime for Planned Parenthood..."
Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Such hatred for Planned Parenthood puts all women at risk, especially given the fact that there are so many other necessary services provided by Planned Parenthood, such as STD testing and wellness check-ups. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has been endorsed by the organization. Her fellow candidates to the left have similarly impressive records when it comes to women's rights. Very few candidates on the right, however, hold women's health and funding Planned Parenthood in high regard. As the Iowa Caucus may very well predict who nabs presidential nominations, so too may those candidates at the top end up deciding some of the most important legislation about women's health, and that's certainly something to keep watch of.