Marshalltown State House Rep Running to Lead Iowa Democratic Party

Feb 13, 2020

State Representative Mark Smith of Marshalltown (D)
Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price, who resigned this week

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State Representative Mark Smith of Marshalltown is the first candidate to announce he’s running to be the next chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party. Current chair Troy Price announced his resignation yesterday, after more than a week of confusion about the process and results of the Iowa caucuses. 

Smith announced in September he would not seek reelection to a tenth term in the Iowa House. Smith served as Democratic Leader for five and a half years, leading the effort to recruit and raise money for legislative candidates.

The Democratic Party State Central Committee will meet Saturday afternoon to elect a new party chair.

Women who have a miscarriage, abortion or stillbirth would be required to choose burial or cremation for the fetal remains under a bill advancing in the Iowa House of Representatives. It would also require a death certificate for pregnancies that end at 12 weeks or later.  

Some Republican lawmakers and Christian groups say the bill is necessary to ensure fetal remains are treated with respect. 

But Independent Physician Group lobbyist Karla Fultz McHenry says obstetricians worry about the potential impact on their patients, who would have to name fetal remains and decide what to do with them. She also talked about her own experience with miscarriage. 

“This is offensive actually. I don’t think I want a stack of death certificates sitting in my drawer that I can look back on and think about those pregnancies. I think about them all the time.”

A children’s hospital lobbyist says the state’s largest hospital network already offers options to women concerned about the disposition of fetal remains.