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.