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Representative Kirsten Running-Marquardt (D-Cedar Rapids) said in her remarks she wants to reduce abortions, but that can’t happen by cutting sexual education funding.

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Running-Marquardt said transgender Iowans are the most vulnerable Iowans. She said transgender Iowans are bullied every day in Iowa and are told by society currently they’re not good enough.

“And then we have the Iowa Legislature,” she said. “This is our governing body and we put language in the code, we are codifying discrimination against people and their health care needs because they’re transgender. If you vote yes on this, you are joining in on the bullying.”

Running-Marquardt then brought religion into the debate.

“There is no Jesus in this,” she said. “Matthew 25 is one of my favorites. What you do unto the least of these you do unto me. That’s Jesus. That’s God. He didn’t say continue the bullying, continue hurting Iowans who already have the hardest life.

“There is no religious justification for telling transgender Iowans that their critical health care needs should not be met.”

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