The top Republicans in Congress have tapped pro-life Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa to deliver the GOP response to pro-abortion President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address next week.
“Sen. Ernst brings a unique perspective to the Senate. She is a mother, a soldier and an independent leader who serves in Washington because Americans voted for change in the last election, and Joni understands that middle-class Americans want Congress to get back to work and that they want Washington to get refocused on their concerns, instead of those of the political class,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement Thursday.
Ernst is a strong pro-life advocate who, last November, won her bid for election in Iowa against a pro-abortion stalwart. During her election, leading pro-life groups showered Ernst with praise for standing up for unborn children during her time in the Iowa state legislature.
“As a state senator, Joni Ernst has been an outspoken leader in the fight to protect innocent human life in Iowa,” said Carol Tobias, National Right to Life president. “Joni Ernst will bring her record of strong pro-life leadership to the U.S. Senate. The most vulnerable members of our human family will be well served by Joni Ernst’s election to the U.S. Senate.”
Ernst – the first woman elected to the Senate from Iowa grew up in small-town America, and still lives there today:
I was born and raised in Montgomery County. I grew up walking beans and feeding hogs. My mom made all of my clothes. We went to church every week, helped our neighbors when they needed it, and they did the same for us. These were the values I was raised with, and they’re the same values I have fought my entire life to promote and protect.
We didn’t have much money, so I was fortunate to be able to attend college at Iowa State University with the help of academic and leadership scholarships, and earned tuition money by working construction jobs with my dad during the summer months. I met my husband Gail while in Ames. After Gail retired as a Command Sergeant Major and Army Ranger, it came time for us to settle down, and raise our own family, we knew there was only one place to go: Back home to Iowa. Today I teach Sunday school in the same church I was baptized and married in. I live in the very house where one of my best friends grew up. And when I mow our lawn, I look out at the same sidewalks and yards where we used to play.
Ernst is married to a retired Army Ranger and, as a member of the Iowa Army National Guard, she personally served in Iraq and Kuwait.
Planned Parenthood of Iowa was so strongly opposed to Ernst’s election that it spent almost half a million in advertising against her.
Planned Parenthood was attacking Ernst because of her support of the Supreme Courts decision to allow Hobby Lobby, a Christian-run store, to refuse to pay for abortifacient drugs in their employee health care plans. The Hobby Lobby decision did not ban employees from purchasing all birth control, just ones that may kill babies in the womb.