Pastor tells of interaction with Gronstal

Mike GronstalBy The Iowa Statesman


Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs) apparently has had his fill of listening to pro-life conservatives who want to talk about bringing the House’s abortion prerequisites bill up for a vote.

Under current Senate rules, the majority party’s leader dictates what bills may come up for a vote, and whether or not a bill even moves out of committee. Gronstal has wielded that power effectively, preventing legislation he didn’t agree with away from the Senate floor, a tactic that has been less-than-affectionately referred to as “Gronstalling.”

House File 573, the aforementioned abortion prerequisites bill, is one such piece of legislation. The bill is currently in a “graveyard committee,” a derisive term for the legislative black holes Gronstal puts bills he never wants to see on the Senate floor.

Tuesday, Des Moines pastor Michael Demastus was at the Iowa Statehouse to check with the Democrats on the legislative subcommittee that has HF 573, state Sens. Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City) and Bill Dotzler (D-Waterloo). He had requested their time to lobby on behalf of the proposed legislation, and was waiting just outside the Senate chamber when Gronstal passed by.

The conversation that ensued became the subject of a new post on Demastus’ blog. According to Demastus, as soon as he mentioned HF 573, “something in Mr. Gronstal’s demeanor changed.” He wrote that Grostal “instantly scowled at me and pointed his finger right at my chest.” Then, he said:

Do you know what you want? You want to rape a woman twice! That’s what you want. That bill means that a woman who is raped would have to undergo a trans-vaginal ultrasound and be raped all over again. That’s what you want!

For the sake of honesty, HF 573 does not require transvaginal ultrasounds. When Demastus responded to Gronstal’s outburst, the senator then said HF 573 “will never see the light of day.”