JOHNSTON, Iowa — Candidates for Iowa’s 1st Congressional District faced off in what might be their one and only debate Monday night.
Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R) and Christina Bohannan (D) went head-to-head over many topics during the Iowa Press Debate on Iowa PBS, including abortion rights. The two were far apart on that topic.
Bohannon said the right for a woman to control her own pregnancy should be protected at the federal level, while her opponent favors a near-outright ban.
“So we know the baby is pain capable at that point in time. And when you’re thinking about what it takes, what medically what do you do when you do a late-term or a third-trimester abortion which 15 weeks would not be third-trimester, that’s not what I’m trying to imply. But those abortions are gruesome, they’re dismemberment. And when you have an infant that can feel pain, it then brings I think to people they see that in a different light than they do at an earlier point in time in pregnancy,” said Miller-Meeks, current representative for the 2nd District.
“I support Roe versus Wade. Seventy percent of Americans support Roe versus Wade. This is a very dangerous path that we are going down. It will put woman women’s lives at risk, and it is one of the worst examples of government overreach that we have seen in a very, very long time. It inserts politicians into the most private personal aspects of a person’s life,” Bohannan said.
The candidates had several exchanges regarding abortion rights.
The debate ended with this question about what the first bill voted on should be if their respective political party held the majority in the House next year.
“To get rid of 87,000 new IRS agents,” responded Miller-Meeks.
Bohannan said, “I want a rural health care initiative that will help places like Keokuk that just lost their hospital. To invest in that rural care and to bring more physicians and health care professionals to Iowa.” Due to redistricting the boundaries are new, with about 80 percent of the old 2nd District now being in the 1st District. The redrawn district should be very competitive with 34% of registered voters who are Republicans, 33% Democrats, and 32% unaffiliated.