(Des Moines, IA) Hundreds of pro-life activists rallied at the Iowa Capitol on Thursday morning hearing from a line-up of pro-life activists and legislators, as well as, remarks from Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds.
The event happened on the heels of Iowa House Republicans passing a 20-week abortion ban out of committee allowing it to survive the second funnel week. An amendment to add heartbeat language to the bill failed, but House Republicans succeeded in stripping out exceptions language from Senate version of the bill. The Iowa House is also poised to pass a bill that reallocates taxpayer money for women’s health and family planning away from abortion providers toward federally qualified community health centers.
Simon Conway of WHO Radio was the emcee for the two hour event hosted by the Iowa Coalition of Pro-Life leaders, a coalition that has grown to include 35 different organizations across the state.
Watch the videos of the speeches below:
Bob Vander Plaats, President and CEO of The FAMiLY Leader was the first to speak.
Father Chris Riesling, president of Iowans for LIFE, spoke next.
Iowa Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix (R-Shell Rock) was the third to speak.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad spoke at what will be his last pro-life rally as Governor as he is expected to be confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to China this Spring.
Jenifer Bowen of Iowa Right to Life took time to honor Branstad for his commit to the pro-life cause throughout his time as Governor and as a state legislator.
Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa’s next Governor, thanked pro-life activists for their work and announced that during her next 99 county tour she plans to visit crisis pregnancy centers in order to encourage those doing the work, as well as, to raise awareness of these ministries in the state.
State Senator Brad Zaun (R-Urbandale), the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, challenged the group to call abortion for what it is – murder.
State Senator Jake Chapman (R-Adel), who championed the life at conception bill in the Iowa Senate, spoke and encouraged activists to keep fighting for life.
State Senator Amy Sinclair (R-Allerton) floor managed SF 2, the bill that reallocates taxpayer money away from abortion providers, said that it was her ethical duty to protect the unborn and her job as a legislator to protect all Iowans’ life, liberty and property.
State Representative Steven Holt (R-Denison) expressed his disappointment that life at conception did not pass this session. He reiterated that is the end goal.
State Senator Sandy Salmon (R-Janesville) discussed House efforts to pass life at conception and a heartbeat bill.
Speaker Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) described House Republican efforts to pass pro-life legislation.
State Representative Walt Rogers (R-Cedar Falls) described the replica of a 12-week pre-born baby he carries with him. As a former youth pastor he also encouraged pro-life activists to not neglect reaching out to churches, especially youth.
State Representative Skyler Wheeler (R-Orange City) explained that his constituents expect pro-life legislation out of the Iowa House.
Jenifer Bowen of Iowa Right to Life and Life Right Action explained reminded those in attendance that Iowans sent a message in November setting up the most pro-life legislature Iowa has seen in years.