Iowa's Democratic senatorial candidate Bruce Braley said during a debate Thursday: "I have always stated, contrary to what Senator Ernst said, that I oppose all late-term abortions that aren't necessary to save the life or health of a mother."
But in 2013, Congressman Braley voted against a bill that would have banned abortions later than 20 weeks after conception, with exceptions for the cases of rape, incest, and when a physical health issue endangered the life of the mother.
Braley also cosponsored a new bill in 2013--the "Women's Health Protection Act"--that would strike down almost all limits on abortion, including the 1989 Pennsylvania law used to convict the notorious murderer Kermit Gosnell:
[The bill] would invalidate state laws passed in more than a dozen states, most recently in Texas, that would ban most abortions after the fifth month of pregnancy--laws that garner strong support in national polling. It would abolish laws requiring a 24-hour waiting period prior to obtaining an abortion--measures that Americans back nationally by a 41-point margin, according to Gallup. It would strike down laws requiring that abortionists inform women of alternatives to abortion, measures that Americans support by a 77-point margin, according to Gallup.
In fact, the Democrats' new abortion bill is so radical it would lead to the invalidation of the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act--a law, which has been on the books since 1989, that was used to convict Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell earlier this year. In addition to being convicted on three counts of murder for killing infants after they had been born, Gosnell was convicted under the Abortion Control Act for successfully killing 21 infants in utero past Pennsylvania’s gestational limit on abortion (a limit that's just two weeks later in pregnancy than the limit established recently by Texas).
Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee told THE WEEKLY STANDARD in an email that Blumenthal's bill "would invalidate nearly every provision of the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act, including the prohibition on performing abortion after 24 weeks except in acute medical circumstances, which was used to prosecute Gosnell. Abortion until birth would be explicitly protected, as long as a single physician asserts that it would protect 'health,' including emotional health."
This bill that Braley supports is so extreme that even Colorado senator Mark Udall has declined to co-sponsor the Senate version of it.
Republican state senator Joni Ernst leads Braley by two percentage points in the race for Iowa's open U.S. Senate seat, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls.