Planned Parenthood protesters pelt Carly Fiorina with condoms at Iowa tailgate
Carly Fiorina received a rude welcome at the University of Iowa Saturday as Planned Parenthood protesters sought to disrupt a campaign event, at one point throwing unopened condom wrappers at the Republican presidential candidate.
Fiorina was holding a pre-game tailgate before the Hawkeyes football game when she was confronted by about 30 protesters wearing pink and chanting “I-O-W-A, women's rights are here to stay!” and other slogans, according to NBC News.
“They can't deny what's going on, so they shout slogans instead.”
A short video shows an apparently unfazed Fiorina continuing to meet with supporters while the protesters demonstrate a few feet away, accusing her of “telling lies” and asserting, “women are watching … and we vote!”
The protesters were also distributing condoms to passersby, and in an incident that was not included in the video, NBC reports that several unopened condom wrappers were thrown in Fiorina’s direction, though it was unclear whether the demonstrators were responsible.
Fiorina surmised to nearby reporters that the protest was a reflection on the success of her campaign, and in particular her efforts to raise concerns about Planned Parenthood.
“They can't deny what's going on, so they shout slogans instead,” she asserted. “I think they're scared that the people of America are starting to look at what's really going on in a Planned Parenthood clinic.”
Cindy Shireman, a Planned Parenthood patient who participated in the demonstration, at one point confronted Fiorina directly, leading to an exchange captured by CNN.
“How can you as a woman not support our healthcare?” Shireman asks.
“Oh, I support your healthcare,” Fiorina responds. “I don’t support the butchery of babies.”
Fiorina then encouraged Shireman to view the videos, which Shireman said she had already done, and after a bit more sparring the two separated without reaching any points of agreement.
“I said, ‘you know, you ought to do a little fact-checking’,” Fiorina recounted to reporters after the conversation with Shireman. “One of the facts I asked her to examine is how many millions of dollars Planned Parenthood gives to Democrat candidates. It’s a big political shell game; taxpayers fund Planned Parenthood, and Planned Parenthood funds pro-abortion Democrat candidates.”
Shireman, however, told NBC that she believes Fiorina’s claims are “based on lies,” and says she brought that issue up with the candidate.
“I believe [her response] is total Republican rhetoric and she's pushing the abortion agenda to get votes," Shireman said. "And she's not telling the truth.”
The protesters were apparently incensed by comments Fiorina made at the most recent Republican presidential candidate debate, in which she referred to one of the videos released by the pro-life group Center for Medical Progress. Fiorina claimed that the video showed “a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says, 'We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain’,” and that the footage came from a Planned Parenthood clinic.
Planned Parenthood supporters have countered that the footage in question came from a different clinic, but Fiorina dismissed such complaints as a “technicality” during a campaign stop last week, pointing out that “no one has denied that babies are being butchered for their body parts in Planned Parenthood clinics and elsewhere.”
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