An Update on Pro-Life Legislation in Iowa This Year

Midwest March for Life at Iowa State Capitol

Midwest March for Life at Iowa State Capitol

Pro-Life legislation in Iowa this year is, frankly, a depressing subject. With a Senate uninterested in taking the issue up and a House with a Republican majority too slim to pass anything without a small part of the pro-life movement derailing it because it doesn’t end every abortion, it’s going to be an uphill battle to save lives this year.

Last Spring, most every pro-life group in Iowa convened for a two-day summit, including over 40 leaders from dozens of pro-life organizations, large and small. The consensus (unanimously!) was that the number one priority of the movement needed to be to end the awful practice of webcam abortions in Iowa. There was a bill this year. It got a subcommittee. 11th hour threats of “no” votes without amendments left no time and precipitated the decision to pull the plug. The bill had been sitting for many weeks. Objections to wording by some came way too late. To complicate the matter, many legislators are weary of voting for pro-life bills that face an uncertain future in the Senate when every vote they take on the issue gets them labeled “pro-death,” pro-abort,” or “evil” by one small but loud pro-life group in the State. It’s a sad state of affairs.

Here are two summaries of where we are at. Maybe not how I would have written them but you get a taste for where public perception is at on this:

Republican-Led Iowa House Advance Zero Pro-Life Bills

Kevin’s Korner (March 10)

What’s next?

There may be avenues to move pro-life legislation forward yet this year. We’ll have to wait and see whether Iowa House Republicans can convince a few colleagues to go along. I hope the rest of the pro-life community and legislators will work to overcome this respectfully but overwhelmingly. When considering which pro-life organizations to support, please consider these two things:

1. Being right on the issue isn’t enough: We must conduct ourselves lovingly, with the fruits of the Spirit, being known more for our joy, gentleness, and meekness than our anger or aggressiveness. Denying our natural desire to indulge in bitterness, anger, hatefulness, and slander is the only way our efforts will be honored. The Scriptures are clear. Don’t support organizations that refuse to err on the side of these Scriptural commands!

2. Step out of your comfort zone. Most pro-life Iowans don’t want to talk about this subject. Talk about it. Donate to Iowa Right to Life or any other group that advocates and educates Biblically (see #1). Volunteer.

Also upcoming this session are battles on Medicaid funding, Medicaid expansion, and possible debate about the nature of our health insurance exchange under ObamaCare. All issues that will probably keep the legislature in session in ’till June…or later.

In more positive news, Marlys Popma, President of Iowa Right to Life, did a wonderful job at the Iowa GOP’s recent fundraiser, “Celebrate Life.” You can watch it below:

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