This year the pro-life movement in Iowa was presented with an ideal situation. You could even call it a perfect storm. In November we elected a Republican majority in the Iowa House, coupled with a Republican Governor. All of them were self described pro-lifers. Then came the announcement that a renowned abortionist was planning on opening an abortion clinic in the home district of Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal. This led to tremendous calls from his constituents to prevent this monster from moving into the state. In this climate it is entirely reasonable to assume that we could pass virtually any pro-life legislation that we wanted through the legislature.
And early in the session it appeared that this would be the case. The ultimate piece of pro-life legislation was introduced into the Iowa House by State Representative Kim Pearson. House File 153 would have enshrined into the Iowa Code that life began at conception. The legislation appeared to have the support to bring it to the House floor for debate. Twenty-eight members of the Iowa House signed on with Representative Pearson as cosponsors of the legislation, usually a clear indication of support for the bill. Unfortunately this piece of legislation has yet to be brought to the House Floor for debate. Instead a weaker piece of legislation, HF 657 was advanced.
I appreciate the fact that these legislators were willing to cosponsor HF 153. With that said, I am more than a little disappointed with the fact that this is all they did. With a few exceptions, I have not heard many of this cosponsors stand up to demand that the personhood bill be brought to the House Floor for debate. I have to wonder what kind of legislators we have when they have the courage to make a stand by placing their name on a piece of paper, but not the courage to stand up and let their voice be heard.
I applaud the Republican leadership in the Iowa House for taking a stand against abortion, however at the same time I am disappointed in their lack of foresight. I am disappointed that they did not take advantage of the opportunity that has presented itself to rid the State of Iowa of the blemish that is abortion. As I have stated, legislative leadership has found itself in the perfect opportunity to actually succeed in saving the lives unborn children across this state and ending an industry that thrives on the deaths of the defenseless.
I can’t help but wonder if House leadership refused to advance personhood legislation for political reasons. I can’t help but ponder the possibility that Republican leadership in the Iowa House is holding back so that come the next election they can say to us that we need to vote for them because the agenda isn’t complete. Or is it simply that Iowa House Republicans did not have the courage to the right thing.
For years pro-life Iowan’s have been fighting to enact legislation that would protect the life of Iowa’s most vulnerable citizens. We have fought tooth and nail against the culture of death to scrape together meager concessions from the supporters of death on demand. Now all of that hard may be on the verge of paying off. As I sat in on a hearing in another subcommittee I learned that House File 153, the personhood bill introduced by Kim Pearson, had been passed out of subcommittee.
The beauty of House File 153 is its simplicity. The bill doesn’t delve into the realm of law enforcement. Instead is simply and boldly proclaims that Iowa believes that all life is sacred, that we believe that all life needs to be protected from conception to natural death. And the impact of this legislation would be quick and profound. Once we motivate this legislation through the full House Human Resources Committee, the full House of Representatives, and the full Iowa Senate then to be signed into law by Governor Terry Branstad; the bill would immediately go into effect. At that point any and all abortions would become illegal within the State of Iowa.
While this possible victory may be extraordinary in nature I think that it is important to point out that our work is not over. Even once this legislation is enacted the supporters of death on demand can and will be working to reverse the tide. They will decry any effort to spare the life of a child with no voice. They will work to undo the work we have accomplished.
For this reason we need to continue to be vigilant. We need to continuously contact our state legislators, thanking those that brought the legislature to this point and convince those that opposed us that they were wrong. We must thank Representative Kim Pearson for having the moral clarity and the courage to bring House File 153 to fruition in the face of the opposition. We must thank Representative David Heaton for supporting the measure and helping to bring the bill out of subcommittee. Now we need to contact the Representatives on the full House of Representatives Human Resources Committee.
Also we must pray for those that do not value life. We must pray that Beth Wessel-Kroeschell will come to see the importance of this legislation. We must pray that the supporters of death on demand will hear the testimony of those that have undergone the dreadful process of ending an innocent life only to regret their act for the rest of their lives. Ultimately we still need to try to change the hearts and minds of those that oppose protecting the innocent. The best way for us to do that would be through personal contact. If you cannot personally make it to the Iowa Statehouse to speak with the legislators the next best thing that you could do is to call and email them. Let them know why you support ending the process of death on demand.