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.