Iowa House Chamber
Photo Credit: Jason Mrachina via Flickr (CC-By-NC-ND 2.0)
Iowa House Chamber
Photo Credit: Jason Mrachina via Flickr (CC-By-NC-ND 2.0)

Pro-lifers in Iowa and all across the country rejoiced on February 28th when Senate File 2281, The Fetal Heartbeat Bill, was passed through the Iowa State Senate. Approaching the funnel deadline on Friday, the ban received new life with new language and a new strategy to pass it through the Iowa House.

Instead of sending Senate File 2281 (a bill that would prevent the abortion of all unborn babies with a heartbeat) out of committee, heartbeat language will now be attached to Senate File 359, a bill that prohibits a person from knowingly acquiring, providing, receiving, otherwise transferring, or using fetal body parts in the state of Iowa..

“SF2281 had some flaws that would make it nearly impossible to pass through our caucus,” stated Representative Shannon Lundgren (R-Peosta). Lundgren chaired the subcommittee that made this amendment to SF359.

“We have instead, taken up SF359, the Fetal Body Parts bill, and added an amendment adjusting the heartbeat language,” she continued. “Essentially, we removed criminal penalties for physicians, removed the repeal of our 20-week abortion ban and ensured that there was language that meet[s] the muster in regards to the life and health of the mother.”

SF359 passed out of subcommittee and is expected to be passed out of the Human Services committee on Thursday, with Representative Joel Fry, chair, confident that he has the votes to back it.

All I have to say are these words of caution: Iowa House Republicans, do NOT fail the unborn. 

The very fact that SF2281 was not able to be passed out of committee in a Republican-held chamber is ridiculous in and of itself. The fact the amendment to SF359 has ZERO bite to it is even more troubling. What good is criminalizing actions through legislation if there are no consequences for such criminal acts?

Although some legislation is better than no legislation, Iowa House Republicans have work to do before SF359 should ever land on Governor Reynolds’ desk. Whether this means amending the bill in committee or adding a floor amendment while it is running to actually make it carry weight, change must occur.

This bill must be worked on, fought for, and passed through the Iowa House. Republicans, do not give up on this and do NOT fail the unborn. People across Iowa and America are watching expectantly.

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