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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

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McKinley: Bill is about more than one abortion provider locating in Council Bluffs

Senate Republicans pledge to keep fighting for a full late-term abortion ban
By Lynda Waddington | 05.10.11 | 11:58 am

Senate Minority Leader Paul McKinley (R-Chariton) is lashing out against a Senate Democrats plan to offer a new version of a controversial late-term abortion bill, saying the debate isn’t about a single abortion provider.

The existing bill, House File 657, was forcibly removed from a committee where it had stalled by a petition of all Senate Republicans and two Senate Democrats — 26 of the 50 members of the Iowa chamber. Reproductive rights advocates have warned that the bill, which includes language that “life begins at fertilization,” could outlaw contraception as well as all abortions.

Paul McKinley

Although the bill has been promoted as a piece of legislation necessary to prevent a Nebraska doctor, LeRoy Carhart, from opening a family planning clinic in Council Bluffs that would offer late-term abortion services, McKinley is now stressing such an outcome is not enough.

“This debate is not just about keeping one abortionist out of Council Bluffs — it is about protecting the innocent lives of unborn Iowans in every community,” McKinley said in a prepared statement.

“We believe it is wrong for Senator [Mike] Gronstal to continue to obstruct a vote and stand in the way of meaningful Senate debate on this issue and Senate Republicans will continue to demand an up or down vote on a late-term abortion ban this session. We are confident that if Senator Gronstal opts to listen to the citizens of his district and allows a vote on a late-term abortion ban, it will pass the Senate with strong bipartisan support.”

Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs), who was targeted with Iowa GOP robocalls last week in relation to the pending abortion legislation, has directed all questions regarding the bill to Sen. Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City). Bolkcom will floor manage the legislation and has indicated that he is not interested in producing a new draft of the legislation that could face the same constitutional challenges as the bill passed by House Republicans.

Late-term abortions comprise a tiny fraction of all abortion in the U.S. as well as in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Public Health reported six abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in 2009. Figures for 2010 are not yet available.

A primary reason for late-term abortion is anencephaly, a congenital birth defect that results in an absence of brain and skull. While some anencephalic pregnancies result in a live birth, such children are typically born with only a brain stem that allows for only unconscious bodily functions, such a breathing and heart beat. The life expectancy of such infants is only a few hours or days; there is no known treatment for a child with anencephaly.

“Not every pregnancy ends the way a family hopes it will,” Bolkcom said earlier today. “A woman with a wanted pregnancy that goes terribly wrong must face an awful decision that none of us ever want to face. A Nebraska-style total ban will only make a difficult situation worse, and that’s no place for politicians to meddle.”

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