Congressional hopeful Christie Vilsack has avoided discussing her pro-abortion stances on the campaign trail. However, state and national pro-life leaders shined a very bright light on Vilsack’s views during a three-stop bus tour across Iowa Monday.
“Christie Vilsack and Tom Vilsack are very closely connected to Planned Parenthood,” said Sue Thayer, a former Planned Parenthood worker from Storm Lake. “Voting for Christie Vilsack is voting for the death of more babies in Iowa.”
The tour, called “Women Speak Out: Abortion is Not Healthcare”, is organized by the Susan B. Anthony List, a renowned pro-life group. Two events took place in the new Fourth Congressional District, which Vilsack hopes to represent. The bus made its other stop at the State Capitol.
A mostly female crowd of more than 100 supporters attended the Des Moines event, which featured speeches by Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave, and abortion survivor Melissa Ohden, among others.
The number of abortions in the United States is staggering. Since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, 55 million abortions have taken place in our country. In 2008, 6,560 of those abortions took place in Iowa.
“Christie Vilsack, as the head of Iowa Initiative, has done a lion’s share of work to make sure that our unborn Iowans never saw the light of day,” said Iowa Right to Life Executive Director Jenifer Bowen.
Iowa Initiative is an umbrella organization for abortion providers in the state. Christie Vilsack was the organization’s executive director from 2008-2011. She is now the chair of their board of directors.
While hammering Vilsack, the eight speakers also heaped praise on her November opponent. Congressman Steve King has stood up for life throughout his political career.
“I have had the privilege to know Steve King for a long time and he is a man of conviction, he is a man of integrity and he is a man who is unafraid to stand up for the rights of the unborn and the sanctity of life,” Lt. Governor Reynolds said. “We should not be afraid to stand up for somebody who stands up for the unborn.”
Marilyn Musgrave entered Congress the same year as Steve King. Musgrave said the first day she met the Iowa conservative, he said the one thing they needed to get right was the life issue. Musgrave immediately gained a huge measure of respect for King because of that statement. She is now a vice-president for the Susan B. Anthony List.
“When you look up the word courage in the dictionary, you’ll see a picture of Steve King,” Musgrave said. “I mean, he is the most courageous man. He’s willing to take all the slings and arrows that come with the strong, principled stand that he’s had ever since he’s been in Congress.”
The Vilsacks were not the only Democrats to receive blistering criticism from the pro-life women. Former Illinois nurse Jill Stanek relayed a story about her dealings with Barack Obama when he was an Illinois state senator.
After seeing a baby survive an abortion, but refused medical due to hospital rules and state laws, Stanek lobbied the Illinois legislature to pass the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. State Senator Obama was the main opponent of the bill.
“He was the only senator to speak against the Born Alive Act on the state senate floor,“ Stanek said. “And he said giving these premature babies who were born the same legal protections as full-term born babies, he said would somehow lead to the overturn of Roe v. Wade. And so he voted against the Born Alive bill four times and he spoke against it twice on the senate floor.”
A bill with the exact same language passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate in 2002. Liberals Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, Dick Durbin and Ted Kennedy were among the senators voting in favor the bill. Pro-life activists believe voting against the bill is the equivalent of voting for infanticide.
“It can be safely and assuredly said that Barack Obama is more extreme on the abortion issue than all of his future U.S. Senate colleagues,” Stanek added. “It can also be said that he is the most radical, pro-abortion president that the United States has ever seen.”
The most powerful moments of the rally came during the speech of abortion survivor Melissa Ohden.
“I stand here before you today as a life that my very president would have left to die,” Ohden said. “In fact we know that he voted in favor for me to be left to die.”
35 years ago, Melissa Ohden survived a saline-infusion abortion. That involves injecting a toxic salt solution into the womb. Ohden should have been scalded to death. When doctors noticed she was making noises and moving, they stepped in and provided her with medical care in an attempt to save her life.
“And I soaked in that toxic salt solution for five days, actually two days longer than I even should have. Miraculous indeed,” Ohden said.
Doctors did not believe Ohden would live long. She had severe respiratory and liver problems, and suffered from seizures for an extended period. Ohden spent three months in the neo-natal intensive care unit at the University of Iowa hospitals. Doctors thought that if she did survive, Ohden would suffer from multiple disabilities the rest of her life. However, Melissa Ohden says today, she is perfectly healthy.
“I cannot accept that we live in a world that talks about what happened to me as ‘healthcare’. Scalding a child to death in the womb is not healthcare,” Ohden said.
Melissa Ohden and Concerned Women for America’s Iowa director Tamara Scott both encouraged the attendees to do all they can to elect pro-life candidates this November.
“Susan B. Anthony fought for our right to vote almost a hundred years ago,” Scott said. “And who would have guessed, a hundred years later we would still be fighting oppression. Those who would enslave us by making us think we would be free if we commit murder on else. It’s time, a hundred years later, that we stand up and stand for the little ones in the womb, and say, ‘No more.’”
The Susan B. Anthony List plans to visit 30 cities in five swing states to campaign against President Obama and other pro-abortion candidates. Iowa was the first state on the docket.
In the videos below, you can view the highlights of Monday’s event, and Melissa l Ohden’s entire speech: