The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Bohannan angles campaign toward young Iowa voters

Democrat Christina Bohannan spoke with University
Christina+Bohannan+speaks+at+a+roundtable+event+at+the+Medical+Education+Building+in+Iowa+City+on+Monday+Feb.+5%2C+2024.
Emma Calabro
Christina Bohannan speaks at a roundtable event at the Medical Education Building in Iowa City on Monday Feb. 5, 2024.

Democratic Congressional Candidate Christina Bohannan hosted a roundtable with University of Iowa medical students on Monday night where she discussed her support of access to abortion services and her messaging to young voters.

A former state representative and current University of Iowa law professor, Bohannan is angling campaign efforts to college students in hopes of beating out the incumbent U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa.

In her 2022 campaign run, Bohannan lost by over 7 percent of the vote against Miller-Meeks, who currently holds the 1st Congressional District seat Bohannan is vying for.

In a roundtable discussion with UI medical students, Bohannan maintained her strong stance on abortion rights and encouraged students to advocate and speak out against misinformation about abortion services.

Bohannan said people do not understand what’s at stake regarding access to abortion, specifically its impact on maternal care in the state. She cited Iowa’s lackluster ranking in terms of the number of OB-GYNs practicing in the state and the jump in Iowa’s maternal mortality rate.

The Congressional hopeful said passing legislation such as the fetal heartbeat bill could make recruiting and retaining students to the OB-GYN department in Iowa difficult.

“If you have skills and you know what’s good for your patients, you want to be able to provide that care,” Bohannan said. “This is just going to make the maternal health care situation in Iowa much worse at a time when we’re already seeing it have some of the highest mortality rates that we’ve seen in a long time.”

Bohannan discussed Miller-Meeks co-sponsorship of a bill called the Life at Conception Act which holds that the Constitution protects a right to life at the moment of fertilization.

In an interview with The Daily Iowan, Bohannan said she plans to increase her campaign events with young Iowans, including additional events with UI students.

“I believe that people running for office really need to listen to young people more, and I mean really listen, not pretend to listen, not ask for their vote, but to really listen to what they want and need because you really are our future,” she said. “And tonight, we were just here talking to a group of medical students. These are the students who are going to go out and be our next generation of physicians. We need them in Iowa, we need them in our country.”

RELATED: Bohannan aims message at young voters in second campaign for 1st Congressional District

Bohannan plans to up her outreach to young voters throughout her 2024 campaign.

“We need to make sure that we are providing things in the state that will make people want to stay and live here,” she said. “We’re losing our young people. We need to turn that around.” 

She announced her second bid for the 1st Congressional District in August. In the 2022 race, Bohannan lost to incumbent Miller-Meeks in 2022 by over 20,000 votes. Miller-Meeks scraped by with a win of only six votes in 2020 in her contest against current Iowa Democratic Party Chair Rita Hart.

Bohannan attributed the close margins because of the district’s mix of political parties and variety of people.

“It’s got everything and that’s what I love about this district,” Bohannan said. “I am doing this to represent every single person in this district no matter where they come from, no matter what they do for a living, no matter how much money they have, no matter what political party they are, whether they even vote for me.”

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About the Contributor
Roxy Ekberg, News Reporter
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Roxy Ekberg is a first year at the University of Iowa. In the Honors Program, she is double majoring in journalism and political science with a minor in Spanish. Prior to her role as a politics reporter, she worked news reporter at the Daily Iowan and worked at her local newspaper The Wakefield Republican.