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Grassley Says Democrats Wasted Time By Having a Vote on Abortion Rights Bill

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, walks past members of the media as he heads to the Senate Chamber floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Radio Iowa) Both of Iowa’s U.S. Senators, as expected, joined with their Republican colleagues in defeating the bill Democrats sponsored to guarantee access to abortion nationwide. Senator Chuck Grassley spoke during debate of the bill.

“This legislation is being discussed for political purposes,” Grassley said, “and we’re wasting time on this issue because we could be spending time on things that people want.” Senator Joni Ernst did not speak during debate. The Washington Post has reported Ernst will introduce a bill in the Senate to ban abortions after the sixth week of a pregnancy. Grassley has said in interviews with Iowa reporters he will not comment on a nationwide ban until after the U.S. Supreme Court issues its final ruling. During remarks on the Senate floor, this is how Grassley described his approach to the issue.

“Let me be clear: abortion should not be promoted as a default contraception and family planning tool. Let’s have a productive discussion on what can be done to support women and support ,” Grassley said. “It’s important to be open with our colleagues and peers, but we must unit to protect life because every single life is precious.” Grassley said the bill Democrats were offering would invalidate current state laws that regulate abortions.

“It would allow health care workers to determine when a life is viable which will lead, then, to inconsistent practices across the country,” Grassley said, “and endanger the lives of mothers everywhere.” The U.S. Senate is evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats and the outcome of yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) vote was expected, since there weren’t 60 senators willing to allow a vote on the bill. Abby Finkenauer, one of the Democrats running for a chance to face Grassley in the November election, says yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) vote shows why Democrats need to win more seats in the U.S. Senate. Mike Franken, who is also competing for the Iowa Democratic Party’s U.S. Senate nomination, says Grassley has consistently voted to take rights away from women.

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