Groups urge GOP presidential candidates to back nationwide abortion restrictions

DES MOINES — Groups on both sides of the abortion debate are staging events to mark the one year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v Wade.

During an event in Des Moines last night, officials with Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America and The Family Leader called on Republican presidential candidates campaigning in Iowa to support nationwide restrictions on abortion. Bob Vander Plaats, the president and CEO of The Family Leader, said the candidates should be clear about their position on abortion and not just react to polling on the issue.

“It’s not just a state issue, it’s a federal issue,” Vander Plaats said, “so you want the president of the United States to cast a vision for life at the federal level as well.”

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who ran for president in 2016, also spoke at the event. Graham said the current group of GOP candidates need to at least say they support what he’s proposed: a nationwide ban on abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.

“I am trying to join with my friends in Iowa to plant a flag,” Graham said, “that if you want to be the standard bearer for the Republican Party in 2024, you must realize that the pro-life movement is about the baby, not about geography.”

Graham said states shouldn’t have free rein to decide their abortion laws.

The Iowa Interfaith Alliance and other groups that support abortion rights will hold a midday event in Des Moines tomorrow. On Saturday, Pulse Life Advocates is hosting an Iowa March for Life rally on the Iowa Capitol steps.  On Saturday night, there’s a concert in Cedar Rapids to raise money for the Iowa Abortion Access Fund and the Emma Goldman Clinic in Iowa City.