Iowa State Representative Tom Shaw (R-Laurens) said during the “Celebrate Life” event hosted by the Republican Party of Iowa last Saturday that “we are not to regulate abortion, we are not to fight abortion. What we need to do is to fight for the person. We need to change our entire way of thinking. Stop playing defense and go on offense.”

I agree with him that we shouldn’t regulate abortion, but then again that isn’t how I view what the pro-life community is trying to do. I agree with State Representative Shaw on fighting for the person. Personhood is the ultimate goal. I pray for the day when abortion is outlawed and the womb is once again safe for every baby.

Personhood is a debate that must take place. Because the only question that matters is the question of when life begins. If life begins at conception, which I believe that it does, then no pro-abortion argument can stand since it can’t be applied to any other stage of life.

I believe, however, that I must and we who are pro-life must fight against abortion AND fight for the person. I reject how State Representative Shaw frames my (and the majority of the pro-life community’s) position. I’m not working for “abortion regulation,” I’m working towards saving lives.

I agree that we are to go on offense and not just play defense. We are doing that. I would just like to not have to play defense against those on my own side.

When I want to see telemed abortions banned in Iowa, that doesn’t mean I’m ok with every other abortion technique that exists. I want to save lives by making an abortion that much harder to receive. I want to protect the mother’s life by ensuring that she isn’t able to receive an abortion without a physician present.

When I want to see abortions banned for babies over 20 weeks. It doesn’t mean that I’m ok with abortions that take place prior to 20 weeks. I’m in favor of saving more babies.

Status quo, which is what would exist before a personhood law or amendment is passed, would mean mean abortion is allowed at any stage. I’m not ok with that. That is unacceptable to me.

If we want to discuss the loopholes that have been allowed to remain in place with some legislation, I’m with you. That frustrates me too. We need solid pro-life legislation that is effective.

I just can’t join the all or nothing crowd. I will fight for the person while working to save as many babies as I can until all are safe.

It doesn’t have to be an “either or” when it should be a “both and.” Until we grasp this we’ll continue to participate in circular firing squads while babies die.

Photo credit: Iowa Hospital Association via Flickr

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