Mt Pleasant News

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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 23, 2018

Ernst praises Cradle of Hope for “friendly” atmosphere

Aug 21, 2017
Photo by: Grace King Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) sat down with a nurse at Cradle of Hope and looked at a sonogram that was taken earlier last week. Ernst visited the pregnancy resource center as a part of her 99 county tour across Iowa.

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News


Sen. Joni Ernst found a “jewel” when she stopped by Mt. Pleasant’s Cradle of Hope Friday, Aug. 18, as part of her 99 county tour across Iowa. The Republican senator chatted with community leaders, inviting them to share their stories about how the pregnancy resource center has made a difference in their lives.

“When I share those stories with senators in Washington, D.C., they can put an actual person to a situation that might even be happening in their own home state,” Ernst said, inviting audience members to talk about their experiences.

Nurse at Cradle, Melisa McConnell shared that volunteering with the center showed her that women need to be educated more in their options. She said the center empowers women through their pregnancy and provides them with community resources.

“Yes, we are spiritually-based, but it’s about saving the women, the baby, the family and society at large,” McConnell said. “If a woman does choose abortion, there is still going to be support here. There’s not condemnation.”

Ernst praised McConnell for her passion and for being a great pro-life advocate. Ernst, who is actively working towards defunding Planned Parenthood, said that the legislation she proposes instead would shift the dollars designated to Planned Parenthood to other federally-qualified health options.

In April, President Donald Trump signed into law the Title X bill Ernst introduced in January. Title X of the United States Public Health Service Act, which covers family planning, now gives states the ability to decide where family-planning dollars go.

“We have talked with the association that works with those federally qualified health clinics and they have told us here in Iowa that there is no problem,” Ernst said. “They can easily pick up all of the women that seek healthcare.”

Ernst thanked everyone for serving their community, saying it’s “pretty darn powerful” to be able to share with other senators about the successes of organizations like Cradle of Hope.

Ernst shared her own experience with unplanned pregnancy, when her step-daughter had a baby when she was 17-years-old. It was difficult for her to be a teenage mother in high school, but Ernst firmly believes it was the support of family that helped her through it. Today, she can’t imagine life without her grandson, Cody. Ernst said she realizes not everyone is fortunante enough to have the resources of family, which is why it is so necessary for women to know they have other options besides Planned Parenthood.

When the U.S. Senate reconvenes in September, Ernst is ready to hit the ground running discussing healthcare. She said we have to find a way to correct healthcare in a bipartisan way. The repeal and replace method is not working and instead she wants to “peacemeal and move forward.”

Ernst also addressed the unrest in Charlottesville, saying, “A lot of people are concerned about the tone that is out there. Terror is not okay. Violence is not okay. Racism is not okay. There is no room for that in the U.S.”

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