By Tessa Berenson
January 21, 2016

When a group of school children in Iowa went on a field trip to a botanical garden Wednesday, they ended up learning about a lot more than just plants.

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina was at the Greater Des Moines botanical garden at the same time to host a pro-life event, the Guardian reports. Fiorina reportedly directed some of the children to sit in front of her on the stage as she talked graphically about abortion, without getting permission from some parents.

“The kids went there to see the plants,” Chris Beck, the father of a four-year-old child who appeared with Fiorina, told the newspaper. “She ambushed my son’s field trip.”

Fiorina’s campaign emailed out a response to the controversy, saying the children and their caretakers appeared with her by choice.

“Carly has kids at her speeches on a regular basis,” the statement reads. “In Des Moines yesterday, a group of preschoolers along with their parents and teachers followed Carly right into the event she was speaking at for Iowa Right to Life. Earlier, she’d run into the kids in the Botanical Gardens and watched the Koi with them for a while. I guess the kids must have thought she was pretty neat because then their teachers and parents and the kids all followed Carly into the event complete with Carly stickers.”

Write to Tessa Berenson at


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