Bolkcom, husband of former abortion clinic director, protects potential profits of abortion cronies in blatant act that smacks of corruption
By Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor, Operation Rescue

Des Moines, Iowa – In spite of overwhelming support for HF 657, a bill that would ban late-term abortions after 20 weeks when a pre-born babies are known to feel pain, two Iowa Democrats have instead attempted to pass a phony measure that they say would restrict late-term abortions, but would actually do nothing of the kind.
Democrat Joe Bolkcom of Iowa City introduced the new bill in a spurious effort to appease those who want to prevent LeRoy Carhart from establishing a late-term abortion business in Council Bluffs. However Bolkcom’s bill would allow late-term abortions in four Iowa cities, including his home town, where hospital are located that provide Level II or Level III perinatal care. Council Bluffs has no such facility.
Abortion Connections
Bolkcom is the husband of Karen Kubby, the former director of the Emma Goldman abortion clinic in Iowa City. Kubby is known for being a high-ranking member of the Socialist Party and, like her husband, an activist for radical liberal causes. In addition, Bolkcom has received campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood, which actively opposed HF 657, but has given tacit approval for Bolkcom’s smoke-and-mirrors abortion scheme.
Late-term abortion market share at stake
Bolkcom’s bill would make it more difficult, but not impossible for Carhart to establish a late-term abortion business in Iowa. However, the language actually protects and encourages a late-term abortion business, especially in Iowa City where late-term abortions are already being done on a small scale. Planned Parenthood’s Jill Meadows provides abortion training at their clinic in Iowa City. Meadows is known for aggressively defending late-term abortions. When going by her maiden name of Vibhaker, she sued with LeRoy Carhart to defend the grisly late-term Partial Birth Abortion method that has since been banned in the U.S.
Bolkom’s bill would open the door to Planned Parenthood to expand their late-term abortion operation without competition from Carhart.
This is really about who gets to claim the lucrative late-term abortion market share, where abortion fees have been known to range from around $5,000 to over $20,000. Bolkcom is attempting to deny that market share to Carhart while protecting it for his cronies at the Emma Goldman clinic and his campaign contributors at Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, which is on currently on an abortion expansion binge. In fact, Bolkcom’s bill has nothing to do with protecting women but rather endangers them.
To save a life or take a life?
In referencing six late-term abortions that took place in Iowa in 2009, Bolkcom misled reporters by claiming the reason for the abortions as to save the lives of the mothers. Not true, said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, and he should know. Operation Rescue spent years documenting abuses at the late-term abortion business in Kansas where LeRoy Carhart was employed.
“Bolkcom is misleading the people as to the true reasons why women have late-term abortions. In the long history of such abortions in Kansas, there has never been a single incident where a woman received a late-term abortion to save her life. Not one,” said Newman. “Women get abortions late because of denial of their pregnancy, for convenience, or because they do not want to cope with a complicated pregnancy. Abortion is not a cure to any medical condition. In my opinion, Bolkcom is a corrupt politician that is trying to dupe a person into believing something that is just not true.”
In fact, it is late-term abortions that present significant risks to the mothers that undergo them, including documented maternal deaths. Ambulances rushing women to emergency rooms were a routine sight in Wichita, Kansas, prior to the closing of a late-term abortion clinic there. Operation Rescue documented those incidents along with the third-trimester abortion death of 19-year old Christin Gilbert. One Kansas abortionist told a House legislative committee earlier this year that he thought five women had died from abortions in the last five years in Kansas.
Disenfranchised voices
Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, (D-Council Bluffs), also a supporter of abortion, has been under intense public pressure from his own constituents to pass HF 657 after abortionist LeRoy Carhart announced plans to open a late-term abortion facility in Gronstal’s home town.
Hundreds of people have flooded city council meetings and rallies in opposition to late-term abortions in Council Bluffs. The mayor and local paper have publicly questioned Gronstal’s motives for blocking the abortion ban from an up or down vote on the Senate floor after the majority of Senators signed a petition to force the bill to a vote. The bill passed easily in the House.
Fox in the henhouse
Gronstal appointed Bolkcom as the floor manager over HF 657, an act equivalent to letting a fox guard the henhouse. Even though it qualifies for debate, Bolkcom has refused to call it up. Instead he introduced his own bill and ram-rodded it through the process.
Bolkcom’s language is vague and poorly written. It allows late-term abortions to be done “in proximity” to five qualifying hospitals. During committee debate on his bill late last night, Bolkcom was questioned about the definition of “proximity” and the name of the person in the Health Department that would decide what that term actually meant. Bolkcom has been unable or unwilling to give specific answers.
A parliamentary procedure evoked by Republican Sen. Kent Sorenson denied Bolkcom’s bill passage. An indignant Gronstal then adjourned the Senate but promised to take up Bolkcom’s pro-abortion proposal on Monday.
Will abortion corruption win the day?
“What is going on in Iowa is a travesty and represents an extreme case of pandering to special interests in the abortion cartel while completely disregarding the will of the people,” said Newman. “Our government is supposed to be a representative Republic where the people elect men and women to represent their voices in government. Gronstal and Bolkcom operate under another system that places their personal ideology and that of their political cronies above the will of the people. They have effectively stolen the people’s right to have a voice in government and turned the Iowa Senate into a dictatorship where the people are treated as if they are too stupid to understand that they are being duped. It’s insulting, unethical, and just plain wrong.”
Even if it passes the Senate, which is unlikely, Bolkcom’s duplicitous abortion bill will not be considered by the House, making the entire situation an exercise in futility.
Everyone from the man on the street to the Iowa Governor has expressed support for HF 657, including the majority of Iowa legislators. The fact that two men can strip the people of their ability to have their will represented in government with special treatment given campaign contributors who stand to profit brings new meaning to the term “conflict of interest.” It is grossly corrupt and unethical conduct that must not be tolerated and should be investigated.
Please contact Bolkcom and Gronstal and demand an up or down vote on HF 657, the 20 week abortion ban based on the fact that pre-born babies can feel pain.

Sen. Mike Gronstal
Legislative Email:
Home Phone: 712.328.2808
Sen. Joe Bolkcom
Legislative Email:
Home Phone: 319.337.6280