Axne and Nunn offer arguments on abortion policy

DES MOINES — The candidates running in Iowa’s third congressional district are each accusing the other of having an extreme position on abortion. Democratic Congresswoman Cindy Axne of West Des Moines and her Republican opponent, Zach Nunn, debated last night on KCCI in Des Moines.

Nunn, who is currently a state senator, emphasized his votes in the Iowa legislature on abortion restrictions. “I support the mother and the baby,” Nunn said, “and we’ve voted here in Iowa to provide exceptions for the health of the mother…rape, incest and fetal abnormalities.”

Axne opposes the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v Wade. “We woke up one day and our boys had more rights than our daughters did,” Axne said. “…This shouldn’t be a decision that states get to make. This is a decision that women get to make.”

Axne cited Nunn’s response during a debate this spring, when he raised his hand in support of a ban on abortion without exceptions. “My opponent…can slice and dice this however he wants,” Axne said. “…This was just a few months ago, folks.”

Nunn then accused Axne of supporting abortions “up until the day of a birth.”

“This is more extreme than places we see in anywhere else in the world, in China and North Korea, and it’s wrong,” Nunn said.

Axne said it’s “completely offensive” to suggest she supports abortions after women give birth.

“Does he really think women are having babies and then all of a sudden we’re saying: ‘Kill the babies,’” Axne said. “That’s crazy talk.”

Nunn expressed opposition to using taxpayer money to pay for abortions.

“We in Iowa have taken votes to support the mother and provide reasonable exceptions and to say, ‘No to late term abortion,’” Nunn said.

The new third congressional district covers 21 counties in central and southern Iowa and includes the cities of Des Moines, Creston and Ottumwa.