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Hamilton County GOP central committee votes down defunding abortion resolution

Baby 2By Bob Eschliman
Editor

 

For the first time since the statewide grassroots effort began this summer, a Republican county central committee has failed to adopt a resolution that calls for blocking taxpayer money from going to organizations that perform abortions. By a 4-2 vote, with one member abstaining, the Hamilton County Republican Central Committee voted down a draft resolution offered by committee member David Borer at last night’s meeting in Webster City.

The resolution, as it was originally drafted, read:

Whereas, the Platform of the Republican Party of Iowa has consistently recognized the sanctity of human life and the personhood of the unborn, and

Whereas, recent videos have indicated that Planned Parenthood may be illegally profiting from the sale of baby parts,

We, the Hamilton County Republican Central Committee, call on Governor Branstad to fulfill his 2010 campaign promise, made in an IPTV debate, to completely defund Planned Parenthood, with no exceptions. We also recognize and understand that money is fungible, and therefore, resolve that no taxpayer funding go to Planned Parenthood or any organization and/or clinic that performs abortions, in spite of the disclaimer that said funding is to be used for non-abortion services. Rather, any such funding should be redirected to provide for women’s health services at facilities that do not perform abortion.

We also call on all elected Republicans, both at the state and national level to do all in their power to end taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, and all other organizations that provide abortion, as part of their services.

Furthermore, we call for the immediate cessation of Medicaid funding to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics until they cease performing all abortions. Regardless of whether they submit claims to Medicaid for abortions, taxpayers are still funding the UIHC.

It is time to stop the atrocity of our time; the taking of innocent, unborn life. There is no time for delay. Lives are literally at stake. No more excuses. If not now, when?

Prior to taking a vote, with some members expressing concerns about including UIHC — which has not been included in other resolutions passed around the state — Borer offered an amendment to the fifth paragraph. It was amended as follows prior to taking a vote (emphasis added to highlight the amendment):

Furthermore, we call for the immediate cessation of Medicaid funding to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics until they cease performing all abortions, EXCEPT IN THE RARE CASES WHERE THE MOTHER’S PHYSICAL LIFE IS PLACED IN DANGER. Regardless of whether they submit claims to Medicaid for abortions, taxpayers are still funding the UIHC.

Borer said there were concerns among the committee members about withholding Medicaid payments to UIHC, since they are not receiving Medicaid payments for the abortions performed there. There was no effort, however, to remove the paragraph by the other committee members. Although Borer said he couldn’t, in good conscience, do that himself, he would have voted for the resulting resolution without it.

“Of course, I pointed out that UIHC has pretty much let Gov. Branstad off the hook, by not billing abortions to Medicaid,” he said. “With the amended paragraph, which supposedly, was the big concern, being passed, it made the earlier objection/concerns ring hollow. There were one or two who voiced the opinion, at the beginning of the discussion, that they didn’t think it was the place of the central committee to submit such a resolution, but our job was to help get Republicans elected.”

Borer didn’t name the other committee members, but did say one member believed Gov. Terry Branstad was still working with his legal team to find a way to fully defund Planned Parenthood, exhibiting some denial about Branstad’s recent and repeated claims that there is nothing he can do, and nothing he will do, to fully defund Planned Parenthood. He said others on the committee felt they should write personal letters to the Governor’s Office.

My experience in doing so, is that I get a patronizing email from Gov. Branstad’s spokesperson, with the excuses as to why he can’t — or won’t — do anything,” he said. “The whole thing sickens me. I tried to make the case that I think a stronger statement is made by it coming from county central committees.”