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Ernst Betrays Constituents with Vote to Advance Amy Coney Barrett & Puts Iowans’ Health Care at Risk

CONTACT: Planned Parenthood Votes Media Office; 212-261-4433; [email protected]
Planned Parenthood Votes Pressroom

Des Moines, IA — Today, as Iowa faces record numbers of hospitalizations from COVID-19, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) voted to advance Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, out of the Senate Judiciary committee. As a judge, Barrett has been openly critical of abortion rights and the Affordable Care Act that’s provided Iowans with health insurance coverage and improved health care benefits. This vote comes at the end of a six year term, where Ernst has consistently sided with the Trump-Pence health care agenda. She’s voted to defund Planned Parenthood, urged the Supreme Court to consider overturning Roe v. Wade, and voted multiple times to repeal the ACA — which jeopardizes access to care for over 1.2 million Iowans with pre-existing conditions. Should Barrett be confirmed by the full Senate, she would consider the Trump-backed lawsuit to overturn the ACA, which if successful could leave more than 220,000 Iowans without health coverage in the middle of a pandemic. 

Statement from Samuel Lau, Planned Parenthood Votes:

“Senator Ernst doesn’t believe Iowa health workers who have reported an alarming amount of deaths due to COVID-19, but she somehow believes that a judge with a staggering record of opposition to reproductive rights will protect Iowans’ health and rights. Today’s vote will be the final straw in her already desperate campaign. Ernst has spent her career betraying Iowans by attacking access to sexual and reproductive care and jeopardizing care for people with pre-existing conditions. Iowa voters have had enough. Iowans deserve a senator who will fight for their health care, for their civil liberties, and for their reproductive freedom, including the right to safe, legal abortions. That’s why they will elect Theresa Greenfield, a scrappy farm kid who has never wavered in her commitment to protecting our health care and fighting for Iowa.”

Polls show that people want the U.S. Senate to vote on a desperately needed COVID-19 relief bill, not rush through a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. In addition, 77% of people support access to safe, legal abortions, something Barrett has been vocally critical of throughout her career. Trump promised to only appoint justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade and will “do the right thing” by overturning the ACA.

Ernst’s vote today is just another proof point of her refusal to do what’s best for Iowans. Instead of siding with Iowa families to protect their health and rights, Ernst prioritizes the needs of her dark money, special-interest backers. It is clear from her debate performances and voting record that she is out-of-touch with Iowa families.

Planned Parenthood Votes is an independent expenditure political committee registered with the Federal Election Commission.