Controversy over Planned Parenthood draws opinions locally - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Controversy over Planned Parenthood draws mix of opinions from local candidates

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DENISON, Iowa (KTIV) -

Social issues took center stage in Denison, Iowa, for the American Association of University Women's candidate forum, moderated by KTIV's Kristen Johnson.

Candidates were asked about efforts to defund organizations that offer health services to low-income women, including Planned Parenthood.

Although federal funds are only used for check-ups and cancer screenings, anti-abortion advocates say the government support inadvertently aids abortion clinics.

It's an issue that drew passionate responses from the candidates.

"It frees up money within their own checking account, they use the same employees. The tax dollars help keep the infrastructure so that they can do what Planned Parenthood is really there for, which is to kill babies," Rep. Jason Schutlz told the crowd.

"I do not support anything that would affect abortion, I do not believe in abortion," added Paul Wilderdyke, a Harrison County Supervisor Candidate

"I may not have an abortion, but that does not give me the right to take that right away from somebody else. I believe that women should have their free choice, and I would support anything that would allow that, because I am a woman, I am a rape victim, and I am a mother," said Patricia Ritchie, who is running for a seat on the Crawford County Board of Supervisors.

Planned Parenthood says their main goal is not abortion, but to offer life-saving services to women.

Other topics up for discussion in Denison Saturday, equal pay for women and gender balance on county boards and commissions.

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