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Planned Parenthood to protest ceremony honoring Iowa’s first female governor, senator

Sen. Joni Ernst embraces Kim Reynolds after Ernst won the U.S. Senate race on election night in November 2014 in West Des Moines, Iowa. Planned Parenthood plans to protest a ceremony Saturday, honoring the two women. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) and Sen. Joni Ernst (R) will be inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame — and Planned Parenthood activists plan to be there to protest.

According to the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women, four women are inducted each year into the state’s Women's Hall of Fame, “paying tribute to them and setting them forth as role models for others.”

Reynolds, formerly the state’s lieutenant governor, became the first female governor of Iowa earlier this year when her predecessor, former Gov. Terry Branstad (R), was appointed as the United States Ambassador to China.

Ernst was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014. She is Iowa’s first female U.S. senator — and the first female combat veteran to serve in the Senate.

The two women will be inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in a Saturday ceremony. The late Jane Boyd, an Iowa civil rights leader, and Des Moines Councilwoman Christine Hensley will also be inducted.

A coalition of left-leaning organizations — including Planned Parenthood Voters of Iowa — are planning to protest the inclusion of Reynolds and Ernst in the event. In a Facebook post, organizers of the protest described Reynolds and Ernst as “the enemies of Iowa women.”

“Reynolds and Ernst are being honored primarily for being first, but when it comes down to representing Iowans, they've blown it by engaging in reckless politics that have endangered the lives and well-being of millions of Iowa women,” organizers wrote. “They've succeeded in reducing women's health care services, attacked working women and cut funding for education. They've benefitted from Iowa's progressive stance on women's issues and then pulled the ladder up behind them, denying the next generation of Iowa women the same opportunities. There's value in being first, but Iowa needs women in office who can do better.”

Mallory Quigley, communications director for the pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List, told TheBlaze that "Unlike Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby, Gov. Reynolds and Sen. Ernst believe in empowering women and loving both mother and child."

"To call them 'enemies of Iowa women' couldn’t be further from the truth," Quigley said. "As Iowa’s first female governor and first female senator, respectively, Kim Reynolds and Joni Ernst are trailblazers. Like Susan B. Anthony herself, they understand that to choose between a mother and her child is a false choice. We can support life and build up women as leaders in our communities."

Spokespersons for Ernst and Reynolds did not immediately return TheBlaze's request for comment.

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