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Newscast 07.28.23: Vice President Kamala Harris visits Des Moines ahead of tonight's GOP presidential candidate event

US Vice President Kamala Harris
US Vice President Kamala Harris

Vice President Kamala Harris spoke about reproductive rights at a forum in Des Moines today. Her remarks came before thirteen Republican presidential candidates are set to take the stage tonight also in Des Moines.

The Vice President did not mention any of the 2024 Republican presidential candidates during her remarks at Drake University.

Instead, she focused on how Americans are navigating abortion care following the overturning of Roe V Wade last year. And called for young people to register to vote and show up at the polls.

Last week, Gov. Kim Reynolds asked the Iowa Supreme Court to review a district judge’s ruling who temporarily blocked a new law that bans abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy.

Those bans have become a key issue among Republicans seeking the 2024 presidential nomination in the road leading up to Iowa’s caucuses in January.

Secretary of State Paul Pate is out raising attention about human trafficking ahead of Monday’s World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. He says human trafficking like forced labor or sexual exploitation is on the rise in states like Iowa.

Pate says it’s not just a problem for cities. He says it is particularly hard for law enforcement to target given its access through the internet. He says greater awareness of the problem and training on how to report are keys for reduction.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety says there was a 61 percent increase in human trafficking-related tips between 2021 and 2022. Statewide statistics on human trafficking can be difficult to disaggregate from drug possession or sex work arrest data.

Research from the United Nations shows that More than half of child trafficking victims are trafficked within their own country. The report further reveals that in cases of international trafficking children are mostly trafficked to neighboring, wealthier countries.  

Sanford Health announced Thursday it's stopping the merger process with Minnesota-based Fairview Health Services, according to the Argus Leader.

Sanford’s President and CEO Bill Gassen say without support for this transaction from certain Minnesota stakeholders, it was in the best interest of Sanford Health to discontinue the merger process.

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