Iowa House

Like last session the Republican-led Iowa House will not advance any pro-life legislation past funnel week.  None.  Nada. Zip.  This would include the following bills, most of which would likely be dead on arrival in the Iowa Senate not that it really matters.

  • A personhood bill, House File 138, introduced by State Representative Tom Shaw (R-Laurens)
  • A personhood bill (doesn’t penalize mothers), House File 171, introduced by State Representative Matt Windschitl (R-Missouri Valley)
  • A ban against webcam abortions, House File 173, introduced by Windschitl.
  • A personhood state constitutional amendment, House Joint Resolution 12, introduced by State Representative Dwayne Alons (R-Hull).

If I’m missing any other bills please let me know in the comments below.

I’m tired of the circular firing squad.  There’s plenty of blame to go around.  The simple fact is none of these bills would make it past a floor vote even though Republicans have a 53 seat majority.  This is one of the reasons why we don’t have a 60 seat majority anymore, not that we were able to get anything passed then either.

Let’s review what the Republican Party of Iowa platform says on the Right to Life shall we?  Here it is in its entirety:

1.1 We believe in the sacred gift of life from conception to natural death. On day one a baby’s genetic code and DNA are formed. That is the beginning of life. We affirm that the unborn child is a living human being, with rights separate from those of its mother regardless of gestational age or dependency. We advocate that the State of Iowa pass laws protecting all life from the moment of conception to non-intervened natural death, excluding acts of capital punishment.
1.2 We oppose infanticide, euthanasia, and assisted suicide.
1.3 We advocate the appointment of judges who respect the sanctity of life and who understand their limited role in government.
1.4 We disagree with Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton as “settled law.”
1.5 We support a personhood amendment to the US Constitution that states, “Personhood and life begins at Conception” and that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, and property, according to the 14th amendment with-out due Process of Law and shall hold all officials accountable to enforce it.
1.6 We oppose the use of public revenues for abortion, and call for elimination of government funding for all organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, which advocate or support abortion.
1.7 We support a ban of RU-486 (morning after pill) and all abortion-inducing drugs.
1.8 We support legislation requiring a parent or legal guardian’s consent before an abortion or any reproductive surgery is performed on a minor child.
1.9 We believe in “conscience-clause” legislation so that no physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider can be penalized for refusing to prescribe, dispense, or participate in the procurement of abortion or anything contrary to the conscience of the health care provider.
1.10 We support an Iowa “Woman’s Right to Know Law” requiring informed consent — including a three day waiting period with a mandatory ultrasound — before any elective abortion services may be provided. “Informed Consent” means that abortionists must offer to the pregnant woman, prior to the abortion, complete factual information about the complications of abortion, the biological development of the unborn, fetal pain, and the availability of alternatives to abortion.
1.11 We call for confidential statistical reporting of abortion procedures to the State Health Department by all doctors and health facilities performing abortions.
1.12 Facilities performing abortions should be subject to the same health and safety standards as hospitals.
1.13 We call for the end of “tele-med” abortions.
1.14 We support legislation that would prohibit organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, from entering public school facilities for the purpose of promoting abortion.
1.15 We call for banning partial birth abortions.
1.16 We support agencies that do not refer for or perform abortions and encourage “Positive Alternatives,” for pregnancy counseling. We support adoption and aid to unwed mothers during pregnancy. All funding must come from the private sector.
1.17 We support the use of non-embryonic stem cells to advance modern medical research. We oppose somatic cell nuclear transfer (human cloning), embryonic stem cell research, human fetal-tissue research from induced abortions, and the commercial use or sale of fetal parts.
1.18 We oppose the selling, brokering, or marketing of fetal and aborted tissue. We oppose the use of aborted fetal tissue in vaccines. This should be illegal.

Right in the platform we recognize that life begins at conception, specifically stating, “we advocate that the State of Iowa pass laws protecting all life from the moment of conception to non-intervened natural death, excluding acts of capital punishment.”

So we couldn’t get a majority on at least one of the personhood bills?  Ridiculous and unacceptable.  The primary difference between the two personhood bills was the penalizing mothers.  We couldn’t find any compromise there?  Also there was at least one unnamed state representative that couldn’t go for HF 138 or 171.  Unacceptable that a Republican would be against any type of personhood bill.  I also find it unacceptable that some State Representatives who favored Shaw’s bill couldn’t favor Windschitl’s.  Get personhood passed and then revisit penalizing moms after the law has been implemented in awhile.  With our current culture there’s no way that would get passed, but you’d think everybody (who claims to be pro-life anyway) would support going after abortionists.

When I find out which State Representative is against personhood in any form, I’ll be sure to let you know who they are.

Now the party platform in 1.13 says, “we call for the end of ‘tele-med’ abortions.”  So because we can’t eliminate every abortion in a single swoops let’s continue to let Planned Parenthood expand their operations which increases the number of abortions done?  Also let’s continue to allow women to have their health and even lives jeopardized by not even having medical care present?  The simple fact is this – telemed abortions allow Planned Parenthood to offer abortions throughout the state in a less expensive fashion.  We are going to allow this?  The Republican Party of Iowa platform doesn’t say “advance personhood bills only.”

Outside State Representatives Shaw and Greg Heartsill (R-Melcher-Dallas) who oppose this bill for principled reasons.   I understand where they are coming from, but I disagree with that position.  It stymies any advancement which makes their vote, in effect, no different than somebody who is pro-choice with the exception of (some) personhood bills.  However, I was told that there were not enough votes to get a majority.  That means there has got to be some Republicans who believe tele-med abortions should be protected.  I don’t know who they are for certain because there was never any vote tally done.  If I find out, I’ll be happy to let you know.

I’m also frustrated that these bills were not introduced sooner which may have helped and that is an issue with the leadership.  Also while it may have been considered a black eye on House Republicans if these billed failed on a floor vote it would still allow us to see where everybody is at.  Also some of these people who may hem and haw about particular bills may vote different when forced to go on record.

I’m also frustrated by groups like Iowa Pro-Life Action who send out an reprehensible emails like this one.  You may not like Iowa Right to Life, but they aren’t demonizing other pro-life groups or stand in the way of any prolife legislation like Iowa Pro-Life Action does (they never sent out an email telling anyone to vote no on HF 138).  It seems like all they know how to do is shoot down legislation and fundraise.

No thank you.

Anyway plenty of blame to around and as a result pre-born babies continue to die, but hey let’s continue to let our pride stymie progress.

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