All candidates running for Congress in Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District were given an opportunity to participate in this eight-question interview on the abortion issue. Here are their full answers to our eight questions:
Describe your position on the abortion issue: STEVE KING — First, for me, I’ll say from the earliest years of my adulthood and from the time I picked up my first born child, David, I looked at him and thought this is a miracle in my hands and how could anyone take his life no or a minute after he was born or a minute before he was born or the hour, the day, the week, the month, the trimester before. When did his life begin? In a matter of about 10 seconds, I came back to conception. Today we say fertilization because of modern science. That has been my deep conviction that I came to at with clarity at that moment. Since that time, I’ve been active in the pro-life movement all along. It’s been 43 or 44 years ago now. And my activities as far as in the Iowa Senate, where I was always on the pro-life side — it was one of the things that motivated me to run for state senate. In fact, back then the debate was in the earlier stages, I challenged a state senator, 24-year incumbent, because of his position on parental notification. I promised I would go in and rewrite that law. It’s one of the 13 promises I made when I ran for state senate, 12 of which I kept. Since that time we’ve made significant process in pro-life legislation. Here in Congress, I’m a member of the pro-life caucus and clearly known as perhaps the strongest voice with the maximum amount of clarity on the full breadth for the principles of all human life from fertilization until natural death, born and unborn. I’ve been supporting every piece of legislation that is pro-life legislation. I have a reception and host the March for Life people who come out here from Iowa. I’ve done that every year I’ve been out here in Congress. I’ve spoken on that stage from the Mall, I can’t count how many times it’s been, but for years I’ve given that speech on the Mall. Anything that is pro-life comes through the Judiciary committee. The crowning endeavor was the crafting of the Heartbeat legislation. I made that pledge at the funeral of Phyllis Schlafly. Then I spent several months drafting the legislation to get the language as precise and most effective as we could. I moved that into the House of Representatives. We achieved 174 cosponsors on that legislation and we were poised to bring it to the floor. We had the votes to pass it without exceptions for rape or incest, because those babies are as precious to God and to our society as my own grandchildren are. So, we’ve defended the platform with utter clarity — no exceptions for rape or incest. That put me in position to draft Heartbeat legislation for the state of Iowa. That legislation was only altered to pick up the last three votes and that provided exceptions for rape or incest. It was better to move legislation to the Governor’s desk than not. I’m not quibbling with that decision, it was a political reality, but people know exactly where I stand with the platform. I always wear a heart pin with little feet on it right under my Congressional pin. That put me in position to write and promote Heartbeat legislation around the country. Today there have been at least 10 states with another 10 or 12 that have something in the works. It seems to me that we added up 25 states altogether that had either introduced or passed Heartbeat legislation. It has swept the country. It is a movement in America. We expect more Heartbeat legislation to come forward in the next session. This is something that I’ve been very active in nationwide and it doesn’t always make the press, but there’s no one who has been around me who doesn’t see or doesn’t understand that I have been, I’ll say, likely the strongest voice for legislation that will save the most lives. And I moved it further than anyone has in the history of Congress. My thank you for that came from my opponent (Randy Feenstra) who attacked me for defending those conceived in rape and incest and bragged he raised more money off that mailer than anything else he had done. That’s for him to answer. We checked that off and we go forward trying to do the right thing.
Describe your position on the abortion issue: STEVE REEDER — Well, I am definitely pro-life and I believe that life starts at conception. There’s no gray area there. It’s just, I’m a firm believer in life. I think that there’s plenty of reasons for it. I think there’s more of an issue where we need to have better counseling for young women who have pregnancies and so they get the proper therapy for dealing with a pregnancy. We know there’s plenty of adoption options out there available for them. That’s what I believe.
Describe your position on the abortion issue: BRET RICHARDS — I believe that life begins at conception, and that’s where I’m at on it. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that. It begins at conception.
Describe your position on the abortion issue: JEREMY TAYLOR — So, for me and my stance, it is that life begins at conception and is a God-given, inalienable right that has to be fought for, protected and preserved in this fallen world. So, I think that all instances, and in every instance, we ought to champion the cause and fight for a culture that upholds and protects human life. I’ve had a track record of doing so in the Iowa House as well as in my personal life and with my stewardship — whether that is supporting Personhood, or whether that is the defunding of any taxpayer dollars for abortion providers — even when that went against the majority of my caucus — or whether that’s in my personal giving to centers like Her Health Women’s Center that I support in Sioux City and for which I MC’d their annual banquet. I’m also someone who is very prayerful and believes that this is not only a political issue but a spiritual issue as well and one that I think anyone who is called to public service should make central to his or her message and to the way which that representative will ultimately govern.
Why are you pro-life: STEVE REEDER — I’m a Christian, but that shouldn’t make a difference with life. I just believe that it’s not up to us to determine whether or not a life, at any age — whether it’s in the womb or a senior who is suffering from severe terminal illness — it is not up to us to make decisions on someone else’s life. I know some states have passed laws for ending one’s own life, and I don’t believe that. Even if it’s that individual’s decision, I don’t think it’s up to anybody else to participate in ending someone’s life. I believe that God created us all in His image and it’s not up to us to think that any individual can terminate another individual’s life, whether it’s in the womb or in their last stages of life.
Why are you pro-life: BRET RICHARDS — I was raised in a traditional Iowa family that always believed in the sanctity of life, but I’ll tell you when it crystallized in my mind, when my wife was pregnant with our first child, and I actually remember this, it’s one of those flashbulb memories you have in your life that you always remember. I was a brand new dad and she was a brand new mom. She yelled to come here and I said ‘Oh my gosh, what’s wrong.’ That’s what’s on your mind when you’re expecting. I was always worried about the baby and my wife. So, I ran in there and I asked what’s wrong. She said ‘Look at this.’ I said, ‘Oh my God, what?’ She pulled up her shirt so I could see her belly and (our son) was pushing out and you could see a perfect footprint. I mean, it was five toes, the ball of the heel — it’s just one of those moments that is really just kind of ‘Wow, that is amazing.’ So, having been in my mind always pro-life, and seeing that, it just truly crystallized my thinking on it. And it’s not that anything ever changed, it’s just ‘Wow, that is a baby in there and I don’t know how anyone that has had a child could ever think anything different.’ We had twins also. They actually tried to come early. Twins often have complications. Jill and I debate about what week it was, I think 26 and she says 27 or close to 28, but it was too early and they started coming. Of course, we rushed to the hospital and they gave her all sorts of drugs and treatments to slow that down. She was in the hospital on bed rest and then we were back and forth to Omaha to make sure she could keep those babies in there. And gosh, there’s several times I was in and out of that chapel and just willing to trade anything for God to make sure my babies stayed healthy and my wife too. That’s what is important to me and probably most important to most Iowans. What they care about is their family. It really crystallizes it when your child has issues.
Why are you pro-life: JEREMY TAYLOR — I’m pro-life because I’m a Christian and a believer that knows that our rights don’t come from government but they come from God. And that we are created in God’s image as Psalm 139 talks about us being knitted together in our mother’s womb. Our God-given rights are not just based on our class or certain position, but they’re something that each of us is given as inalienable. That’s something that I believe and will be a fearless and passionate voice on. I know that as well as a father and as a chaplain and just reading our Founding fathers — they talked about life as being the essential thing that we’re given and that ought to be fought for. I also know that it is darkness that has blinded people from understanding that basic tenant. So, it’s a matter not only of understanding that from a spiritual perspective and from a political, foundational perspective, but also just the very essence of empathy and compassion — that we as a culture and society ought to be about those who cannot protect themselves and a baby in the womb is the most innocent in terms of status and being unable to protect one’s self. That is the reason, from a moral perspective, that I believe life starts at conception. But, also from an ethical perspective and knowing the difference between right and wrong and that we ought to stand for those who cannot stand for themselves and be a voice for those who do not have a voice, and this is certainly the case with our unborn babies who need that protection.
Why are you pro-life: STEVE KING — When I said born and unborn, incorporated into that is when there’s an issue that I find or comes before me that means life or death, and sometimes we are dealing with life or death issues, I see others sometimes just give up and think ‘there’s no hope there, so I’m not going to defend life.’ As long as there is life, there is hope. Two examples: One of them is the Tanzanian Miracle children. Those kids were on death’s door in Tanzania. Dr. Steven Meyer said those kids would be dead today if not for Steve King. That’s true, but it’s also true for a number of those in that chain of a miracle. I am not taking exclusive credit. There were three 10-12 year-olds lying in a hospital bed in Tanzania. I had a chance to save their lives. I’m a link in that chain and I think that chain is a gift from God that I had the privilege of being in that chain of miracles partly because I turned up everything I could to save their lives. I knew I had a chance to save their lives. When you have a chance to save a life, you put the pedal to the medal. You hold that throttle down full bore until that heartbeat stops or you accomplish your goal. Another one is Jaci Hermstad. This is another case of life and she’s alive today and most people think she would not be if it hadn’t been for the work I did here to get the FDA out of the way so she could receive treatments in early June rather than perhaps October. Today I see videos of movement in her fingers, arms and legs. Most of us thought she wouldn’t be with us at all if not for the treatments she received. The FDA was standing in the way. I was able to crack that. I did a whole series of things, but key was to introduce legislation to exempt her. I worked across the aisle with Nancy Pelosi to put the last piece in place. I have to confess that, when it comes to life, yes, I will work across the aisle and I’ll do so any time I think I can help constituents in the Fourth District. Jaci is from Spencer. She had an identical twin sister who was diagnosed with ALS. Her twin sister died on Valentine’s Day in 2011 of ALS. They donated tissue from her passed away sister for science to see if they could come up with a treatment to address ALS. Columbia University produced a treatment infusion injected into the spinal fluid that travels throughout the nervous system in the body. On Valentine’s Day of this year, Jaci was diagnosed with the same aggressive form of ALS. And then we did a fundraiser for her on April 13 up in Spencer. We raised over $400,000. Just hundreds of people showed up — well over 1,000 people showed up. They continued to donate after the fundraiser was over, but the FDA had blocked that treatment to her and said toxicity tests were being done, which means they give this to rats and what for rats to die. They thought they’d be done with that by September or October. When I saw that, I thought ‘she’s not going to make it.’ And neither did anybody around her. So, I began turning this thing up and I did a lot of things to get it to the point where I had to introduce private legislation to address it. We would’ve passed it on the floor the first Friday in June as I recall, but on the Thursday night before, the FDA found a way to waive its regulations. They didn’t want to see that legislation passed out of the House of Representatives and start a new precedent. From a legislation prospective, yes, I brought people into this. But I almost single handily moved that thing so that Jaci could get her treatment. She went to Columbia to receiver her first treatment June 11 and has had eight treatments now. The young lady now, who is just a very likable individual and was essentially paralyzed for months now, has received eight treatments and those treatments she’s received are showing some signs of not only the suspension of the digression, but also some restoration of her ability to move her fingers, her arms and her legs. So, where there’s life, there’s hope. And there’s a chance for her to be the first survivor of ALS.
When do you believe life begins: BRET RICHARDS — I’m not a politician, so I don’t have to have a long, long paragraph, but it goes being at conception and that is now rooted in who I am, my faith and values, but also science. I kind of chuckle when I see the Left says Republicans are science deniers. Biologists overwhelmingly say life begins at conception. If you look at it and think about it, what is the definition of life? It is when cells start their own unique genetic material and start dividing and growing. I don’t know how that debate gets muddled. If we believe in science, that should be an important piece to the discussion, not just our faith and our values. So, it begins at conception for me for several reasons.
When do you believe life begins: JEREMY TAYLOR — I believe life begins at conception.
When do you believe life begins: STEVE KING — Every baby is a miracle created in God’s image, and I do cherish every one of them. The Heartbeat legislation, the folks who call me these names, the Heartbeat bill saves more minority lives than any other bill that has ever been brought this far in Congress. It saves a higher percentage of minorities than any other. Hispanic lives saved are only second to the black lives as far as percentage of lives it saves. Asian lives are saved in greater number. Whites are last. So it is the least discriminatory piece of legislation ever brought to Congress. It saves far more minority lives than anything brought this far in Congress. I didn’t do it for that reason, I did it because every life is sacred, regardless.
When do you believe life begins: STEVE REEDER — I believe as soon as there’s a fetus in the womb that that baby deserves an opportunity at life and I don’t think that we need to be trying to determine when it’s a viable fetus. I believe that all life is precious and it needs to be protected.
What protections should be given to defend an unborn baby’s constitutional rights: JEREMY TAYLOR — So, in terms of policy, Personhood is the ultimate goal, but an immediate goal of mine would be the Heartbeat. One of the arguments I’m going to make, and I hope people can appreciate, is sitting on the Judiciary committee is critical. The events of the last few days (impeachment) have proven that very well. So one of my goals would be to sit on Judiciary and Personhood formalized by statute is a long-term goal. An immediate goal of introducing the federal Heartbeat bill would be something that I would take as a top priority. I think we need to, and I will, sponsor and support a federal Heartbeat bill, which would outlaw abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat. That, to me, is the immediate goal. Another goal is to make sure that abortion is something that is a part of our past and part of our history, albeit during a dark period of time. So, going forward, that would be my ultimate goal. I also support other means to make sure that we see until that time, no federal dollars and taxpayer funding going overseas providers or international groups that perform abortions. I also am supportive of legislation to make President Trump’s rule prohibiting clinics from referring patients to abortion providers through Title X, I want to make that the law. I support prohibiting abortion on unborn babies with Down Syndrome. And then finally, to fight to insure that the Department of Health and Human Services allows people to opt out of Affordable Care Act surcharges for abortion charges. Those are all means in terms of making sure that we have the protection up front. But, as we work toward that, these are all steps that I would take in order to make sure that we are having a full-court press on the cause of life at the federal level.
What protections should be given to defend an unborn baby’s constitutional rights: STEVE KING — The right of Personhood. The right of Personhood would encompass all the rights that all the rest of us have. In other words, I’d describe it this way — if you look into the Declaration of Independence, it covers the protection for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I make the point those are prioritized rights. Life is the paramount right. So, no one in their pursuit of liberty can take somebody else’s life because life is No. 1, liberty is No. 2. So, you can do all things in exercising your liberty, but the barrier is at the expense of someone else’s life. The third one is pursuit of happiness. The root of this phrase is in the Greek term eudaimonia. The word eudaimonia includes the development, not just pursuit of happiness. It is the development of the whole human being — your physical, intellectual, spiritual being taking the gifts God has given you — your mind and body — and developing them to the maximum so that you have learned all that you can learn. You develop your soul as spiritually as you can to take care of the physical body because that’s the temple where the soul lives. That’s the objective of the pursuit of happiness. It’s not just a fun tailgate party, it’s an entirely different pursuit of happiness than what it might mean to certain people. The pursuit of happiness can be exercised all the way until you trample on someone else’s life. Life is to be protected with all that we have. That’s what that means to the Personhood of the unborn as well as the born.
What protections should be given to defend an unborn baby’s constitutional rights: STEVE REEDER — From a legislative standpoint of view that abortion is wrong, and once again, here’s a situation where most states have legislated that, and that’s why I also believe that it should be left up to the states and it’s really not an issue for the federal government. Here’s another case where the courts of tried to legislate rather than our state legislators. I’m a firm believer in the U.S. Constitution. And that Constitution is the framework for our country. We need to follow that Constitution in our country. It basically lays out that we have legislators who write the laws. The courts are only supposed to interpret the law. So once again, I think it’s more of a state issue and not a federal issue. The federal government has taken way too much control of the state and of our lives. When I get there, I want to put more control back in the states and less in the federal government.
What protections should be given to defend an unborn baby’s constitutional rights: BRET RICHARDS — Well, you know, we’ve got to overturn Roe v. Wade first of all. And I absolutely think that Personhood is something that we have to discuss and as Republicans push. How do we change that narrative is the big strategic question. It’s one that I’m willing to work with people, but Personhood to me is the right direction to go. The Heartbeat bill, that was a great start. It was a great start to the discussion and I think it’s part of what we do. I think Congressman King has been very out front on that. We’ve got to actually start implementing these things and getting them done. The Heartbeat bill is a good start for the discussion, but we have to keep moving that needle like the other politicians do when they want to change something. We have to have this discussion on our terms and our terms certainly should be around Personhood and we shouldn’t be shy about that.
How have you lived out and expressed your pro-life position in the past: STEVE KING — It’s all of me. It’s what drew me into the state senate. It’s one of the big reasons I’ve spent these years on the Judiciary committee and why I’m on the pro-life caucus and why I’m active there. Shortly after I was elected to Congress, the first time we began hiring staff — and we don’t have very many of those non-negotiable principles here — but one of them is nobody comes on this staff in the district in Iowa or in the office here in Washington that isn’t clearly carrying a conviction of pro-life. Every one of our staff members is pro-life and they have been without exception all the way through. We don’t have exceptions to hire people who don’t have a conviction of life. We carry that within us. I believe if our people are strongly pro-life that value judgement informs the rest of their value judgments. It means they can have a long leash or no leash and we can be more effective than we’d be if we had to keep watching someone who didn’t carry the convictions I carry. I also brought the youngest witness in the history of Congress in to testify before Congress. He was 18 weeks into gestation, Lincoln Glenn Miller. His mother came in pregnant with him and we played the in vitro ultrasound of Lincoln Glenn Miller. That was a dramatic event in the hearing in the mark up. So, that was another step that had never been taken on the life issue, having the youngest witness to testify. I guess I swore him in, but I don’t remember how he answered that. It was a great day. It just brings joy to my face thinking about that little guy.
How have you lived out and expressed your pro-life position in the past: STEVE REEDER — I was born and raised in the Roman Catholic church. Both my parents were devout Christians. They taught me at an early age that life is precious and you do not treat another human being or discriminate or talk negatively about any other human, no matter what their race or ethnicity or anything. It’s cliche, but my dad had a famous saying when we were growing up — if us kids were talking about somebody else, he’d always say if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. And we’d just end it right there. We were brought up in a home where you didn’t talk negatively about other people. I’ve lived that life. My father just passed away at 92 years old and he was a man of his word and I’ve honored that. I’ve actually expanded my awareness of Christianity. I like going to more Bible-based churches now. I’ve gotten more out of the Bible. I believe that (the Bible) was a document used at the founding of our country as well as the United States Constitution. The more that we move away from the Bible and our Constitution, the worse it gets for our society.
How have you lived out and expressed your pro-life position in the past: BRET RICHARDS — I’m board chair of a health care center and when I was first asked to be on the board, there’s a lot of things I did an investigation on, and one of the first questions I asked in a series of questions was do you perform abortions at the health care center. They don’t. If they had, I don’t think I would be on that board. Now, that could be spun, could I make changes inside of it if it did, I don’t know. I think I absolutely could have. But, I wasn’t going to do something that went against my beliefs and my faith. Having lived that out on that front, I took a stand before I ever accepted the position.
How have you lived out and expressed your pro-life position in the past: JEREMY TAYLOR — I’ve lived it out by publicly stating that there is no greater cause in any election than the cause of life. I said that when I first ran for office and I’ve been consistent and absolutely clear in my governance of the Iowa House and it’s been a personal passion of mine as a Christian, a father and a chaplain in order to make that a reality. It’s something that we teach our children. It’s something that we are committed to within our family finances — every month we support centers that come alongside those who are choosing life. And it’s something that I’m committed to in this race. I’m being very clear about that. So, that’s one of the reasons that we put forward 10 different commitments as a federal representative in a way that no one else in the race has in order to make sure that people are absolutely clear on where I stand on life. The other thing I would say is, in my family at large, we have supported adoption and have done so as my brother and his wife have adopted five children. My wife’s family has adopted and we have supported and loved those children and that’s one of the reasons that part of my 10-fold platform includes, as a federal representative, increasing the federal tax credit for adoption to $20,000 and to pass the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act, which makes current adoption tax credits fully refundable. Not only is it incumbent on us as representatives to have those protections in place, but to also do what the pro-life movement has for the last 46 years, which is to answer the objections of the Left of ‘Well, then who will care for these children.’ Well, we have stepped up and we have committed financially to doing so and we have, I think, a strong message that we will do so by supporting those who would otherwise adopt, by coming alongside mothers in crises, making sure families facing a hard decision know that there are other options. I believe that personally, professionally and politically I have been absolutely clear and I will continue to do so.”
Should the courts have the final say on abortion: STEVE REEDER — No. I think it is up to the states and the people and their legislators to have the final say.
Should the courts have the final say on abortion: BRET RICHARDS — No. It’s probably one of the other topics you’ll eventually interview us on, but we have so many problems with the courts. They shouldn’t have the final say on many, many things. Clearly the people can make these decisions and clearly Iowans would. As you well know, that court that issued that opinion and wrote into the Constitution with special ink apparently that there’s a right to an abortion — I have some choice language for that, but what I’ll say is the court should never, never insert stuff like that. That is not what the Constitution says, it’s not what the people want. It’s the legislature’s prerogative to take that back. We actually have to pass a Constitutional amendment at the state level to fix what the court did, which is really ridiculous that someone can legislate from the bench and find a new right in the Constitution like that. There are a lot of great organizations working on that. Iowans For Life is one at the forefront trying to do that. On the federal level, if we would re-elect President Trump and get another Supreme Court justice, we can get Roe v. Wade overturned and get this back to the states. That goes back to my problem on the state level. We have to pass the Constitutional amendment. Right now it is in the Iowa Constitution thanks to this judge. We have to get the federal government out of this too.
Should the courts have the final say on abortion: JEREMY TAYLOR — No. I believe that ultimately what should be our strongest branch of government is the duly elected representatives. They ought to be able to make sure that this issue is decided law and if that ultimately takes a Constitutional amendment at the state level or at the federal level to make sure that courts can’t some how abrogate the right of every life, then so be it. I think ultimately it shouldn’t belong to the judiciary to try to interpret the plain meaning of the Constitution and that we are afforded the right to life. Any other interpretation is one that is searching for an answer that is not found there.
Should the courts have the final say on abortion: STEVE KING — I’m tempted to say if we get the right answer (laughter). I think that Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were all unjustly founded. I don’t think they’re rooted in the text of the Constitution or the original understanding of the Constitution at all. I could take you through the case precedence that got us into this, but that’s a long story. I think the worst decision ever made in the history of the United States by the Supreme Court was those two cases coupled together — Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. They’re worse than any slavery case, because this is life. And so they threw this country into a situation that we didn’t understand back in 1973. The impact that it would have, no one in 1973 would’ve said 62 million babies will be aborted over the coming years. And so, the other thing it says is that some how abortion is moral because the Supreme Court didn’t find against it. I want to see the day, and that’s what I’m working for, where we overturn Roe v. Wade. I would like to see Heartbeat legislation litigated if passed into law and signed by the President. I’d like to see the Supreme Court uphold it. Then, at that point, we can begin to move in the direction of Personhood for the balance of this. But I think the court has to reverse this. So I want those decisions in the court until it’s reversed. They’ll find anything we do in the legislature that protects life to be unconstitutional until it’s reversed. Should the court make the decision, only when they’re right and only when moving back toward the Constitution and its original understanding. Nothing in the Constitution gave a right to an abortion. The idea it’s tied to privacy, that’s the mistake of the Supreme Court and it has to be corrected at the Supreme Court. If there’s a way we could do it as we The People, I’d be all for that. And that means legislatively of course.
Do you support any exceptions that allow for abortions: BRET RICHARDS — I don’t know how you distinguish between any life. No.
Do you support any exceptions that allow for abortion: JEREMY TAYLOR — I don’t support exceptions, except for in the case where it’s the life of the mother and it’s an actual, real and present danger. I think that is very rare. But that would be the only exception. And the reason I say that is that in the cases of where there are other tragedies, such as rape, that sin of the father does not belong to the child. So, I have known personally people within my larger family and otherwise who have been created in the image of God and who have led quite extraordinary lives. Their right to life should not be ended or decided based on what another individual did, as sorrowful as those circumstances are. That would be my position. It’s one I’ve clearly taken.
Do you support any exceptions that allow for abortions: STEVE KING — I just think people need to understand that from that moment of fertilization or conception, that is a unique life. I believe that God places a soul in that unique being at that moment of conception. And so we need to protect and hold that life sacred from that point forward. I think that it’s hard for people who get emotional about this to step back and look at it — this is life. We should not end the life of an innocent little baby because of, let’s say, the sin of the father, in the case of rape, for example. And so when we think about that, there’s another way. When a baby is aborted, you never know the potential of that child. You don’t know what America or the world has been deprived of. The creativity, the blessing of that child, who never has the chance to live, to laugh, to learn, to create, to challenge, to question, to move our civilization towards God and towards a better informed future. That ends at that moment. To get this in the right perspective for people, watch again the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” and see what happened when George Bailey said to the angel Clarence ‘I wish I had never been born.’ Clarence said ‘that’s a good idea, I’ll take you back to what it’d be like if you hadn’t been born.’ He showed him his brother’s grave stone. His brother would’ve drowned in the pond if George had not been there. What about all the soldiers and sailors saved by George’s brother on the ship? They’d all be dead too. The town would be in shambles. The buildings are a mess. The house is essentially a ghost house. He’s taken through the difference he made in his life. We’ll never know how much good could’ve been made in America with over 60 million babies aborted. That applies to them whether they were fertilized as an act of either rape or incest. So, let’s protect the babies and let’s punish the criminals. I was attacked for defending those babies. And, in that same attack — that mailer attack — it said that candidate (Randy Feenstra) is 100 percent pro-life, but Steve King defended those babies conceived as a result of rape or incest and we can’t have that, so send (Randy Feenstra) a check. I don’t know how they get by with that with a straight face, but that’s up to them to answer.
Do you support any exceptions that allow for abortions: STEVE REEDER — Only if the mother’s life is at jeopardy would I support an abortion. If the mother’s life is at risk, I would say that would be a reason for a doctor to make the decision on that.
Would you support exceptions for rape or incest: JEREMY TAYLOR — I would support pro-life legislation that did not allow for exceptions for rape or incest because I believe that every life is exceptional and every life is created in the image of God. The bottom line for me is that all lives matter, period. That being said, if the legislation before me that was put forward by another and the only way to advance such legislation at that time is to have those exceptions, I would support that until such a time as we could enact legislation that did not make any exceptions. In other words, I’m willing to advance pro-life legislation as far as we possibly can. And whether that is to protect 94-97 percent of all lives until such a time as we can protect 100 percent of life, I will do whatever I can to advance the cause of life.
Would you support exceptions for rape or incest: STEVE KING — I took it to the end of the argument here in the House with 174 cosponsors that wanted a bill without exceptions for rape or incest. My own leadership seemed to take a different position. I said to them, ‘let’s fight this out in committee. If you think you have the votes, put an amendment like that one, go for it.’ I had the votes to keep it off and they knew it. That was one of the things I was standing and fighting for a year ago about now, to get that bill through committee and to the floor without exceptions for rape or incest to demonstrate to America we’ve taken another moral step and we’ve stepped above that line and protected every life. I had held that ground really strongly.
Would you support exceptions for rape or incest: STEVE REEDER — What I’d like to say there is, I think the mother who has gone through any type of trauma or abuse or assault like that, that’s where we need to focus — is that woman who has had some type of trauma in her life. We need to have that woman get in front of a professional who can handle the counseling and the therapy to help her through something like that.
Would you support exceptions for rape or incest: BRET RICHARDS — Again, a life is a life regardless of the circumstances of how it is created. I guess it’s a hypothetical, but no, I don’t know how I can square that. I truly believe that it’s a life. It’s a great question, but I think we’ve got to keep that Personhood push. We’ve got to do that. I’m not going to compromise my principles. A life is a life. We need to get people the opportunity to give up their babies for adoption. Maybe we give someone a hope that they can live their life and still bring that life into the world and have it go to a great home. But instead, you know what our federal government does, they have regulations that make it expensive for everyone. We have laws that actually make it difficult for Catholic churches to help facilitate adoptions. How much money does a family who wants to adopt have to spend? It’s $25,000-$35,000. I have an extended family member who adopted someone. They had to raise money. There are so many babies that could go to a good home like theirs in the U.S. too, but we make it so difficult. It’s so ridiculous. I don’t know what the intent ever was to make so many regulations, to make it so burdensome. Beyond adoption, let’s look at also how we protect our medical providers. There’s been recent action on that, but it’s still in jeopardy that if a doctor or a nurse or anyone has a conscientious objection that they could be forced into taking part in this. That’s wrong. When socialist Democrats are running around here and talking about Medicare for all, well that would mean public funding would be used for abortion. If they think that abortion should be out there, and the only option is the public option, guess who is going to pay for it? You and I are going to pay for abortions, which is just terrible. We have to preserve the Hyde Amendment. Those type of issues get overlooked.