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The following is a real-life story told by State Sen. Jim Carlin during his announcement of his candidacy for U.S. Senate. Included below the video are his remarks as prepared.


I am a trial lawyer and proud of it. I’ve made a career of fighting for the underdogs of this world. Fighting for every-day Iowans, the working people, the Forgotten Man of Iowa.

That’s what I do.

I had a case come to my office a long time ago that I will never forget.

Nineteen years or so years ago, I was getting ready to leave on a Friday evening.  It was about five o’clock when the phone rang.  I picked up the phone and the heard the voice of an anxious woman.  She said, “I want to sue Planned Parenthood!”  “So, do I,” I replied.  “Why?”  “They told me eight weeks ago when I had an ultrasound that I was not pregnant.  I now have one week to have an abortion.”  “Why are you getting an abortion?”  “My husband just left me.  I have three kids.  I work at the pizza place down the street and I can not afford a fourth child.”

“Can I ask you something?”  “Sure,” she said.  “Is your problem mainly an economic one?”  “Yes,” she said.  “Have you considered giving up the baby for an adoption?”  “No,” she replied.  “If I were to help you with five hundred dollars a month to help until the baby is born and for several months after, would you consider it?”  She said, “You would do that for me?”  “I have a check in my hand, come down to the office,”  I said.

She was there ten minutes later.  She was very emotional and grateful.  “I will see you next month,” I said.  She did not come back the next month.  I thought the life of the baby had been lost until one year later.  I received a very sweet thank you note with a picture of a beautiful baby girl.  Her daughter had been adopted by a family in Nebraska.  She was allowed to visit the baby and was very grateful.  I received another letter a year later with another picture.

Fourteen years later I was running for the Iowa House.  I was door-knocking in the Morningside area of Sioux City.  I knocked on a door when a man I did not know, said, “Jim!  C’mon in!”  I followed him in and he acted like he knew me.

A few moments later a woman I vaguely recognized walked in.  “You look familiar,” I said.  “Jim, I am _____.”  I immediately recognized who she was and asked, “How are you, how are you?”  She was doing well and had her life on a good track.  “I want to show you something,” and she walked me into the kitchen.  She pointed to a picture of a pretty, young girl on a horse.  “That is my daughter.”  I was overcome with emotion at that moment.  We talked about her for several minutes..  I gave a her hug and asked her to stay in touch.  I thanked God as I left.  I thought that if I never get to do anything else in my whole life at least I got to be a part of that.  I know her to this day.

I never felt more alive than I did that day.  Standing up for others is a big part of who we are.