Sen. Joni Ernst: 'I'm very proud of' trying to take health care away from women


Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) is proud of her attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides health care for thousands in Iowa.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) says she is "very proud" of her unrelenting efforts to sabotage health care for thousands of women in Iowa, the Des Moines Register reported on Friday.

Speaking at the Family Leadership Summit, Ernst said of her votes to defund Planned Parenthood, "I'm very proud of that. I don't shy away."

Her statements show that Ernst is wildly out of touch with Iowa residents, who do not want the government to prevent Planned Parenthood from providing health care to thousands of Iowans.

After the state of Iowa took funding away from Planned Parenthood in 2017, a February 2018 poll showed 71% of Iowans wanted to restore funding. Further, when it comes to the issue of abortion, most Iowans (54%) believe it should be legal.

Yet Ernst doggedly works to rip health care away from women and families across the state of Iowa. More than 14,000 Iowans receive care at multiple Planned Parenthood health centers across the state, and defunding the organization would mean fewer breast cancer screenings, fewer people with access to contraceptives, and less access to treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

"Other providers simply cannot and do not fill the gap when Planned Parenthood is barred from serving patients," Erin Davison-Rippey, Planned Parenthood Iowa state executive director, said in February when the Trump administration attacked funding for Planned Parenthood in Iowa. "Regardless of these egregious attacks on our patients, Planned Parenthood isn't going anywhere. Our doors remain open and we will work with each patient to ensure they receive the care they need."

Ernst is not only attacking health care aimed at women and families, but at all people in Iowa. She repeatedly voted to do away with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If Ernst had her way, 187,000 Iowans would lose their health insurance, according to the Trump's Broken Promises project. More than that, 1.3 million Iowans who live with preexisting conditions would immediately lose protections that prevent health insurance companies from either denying them coverage or charging them more for health care.

In 2018, Americans across the country showed up in droves to protect health care from the type of sabotage Ernst voted for. Rather than listen to her constituents, Ernst decided to brag about her attempts to hurt women and families.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.