On January 14, 2019 Iowa’s 88th General Assembly convened and legislators began rolling out legislation to protect the preborn. They vote on that legislation this week.
Both chambers were quick to roll out similar legislation including amending the Iowa constitution and defining life from conception. The call to action begins this week though, as the Iowa Congress enters “Funnel Week.”
Funnel week is the self-imposed deadline in the Iowa Congress giving bills and amendments deadlines to pass into the full congress if they pass through committee by the end of the funnel week. Deadlines are imposed to help expedite the legislative process, which makes this week crucial. Bills and amendments already proposed need to be passed through committee by the end of this week in order to remain on the table through the rest of this legislative session. Failure to meet the deadline will result in such bills or amendments not being revisited for the remainder of the legislative session.
Recall back to May 4, 2018, the Iowa Heartbeat Bill was originally signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds (R) and protected the preborn by prohibiting doctors from performing an abortion on a preborn child if there was a detectable heartbeat. At the time it was considered one of the most prohibitive abortion laws in the United States.
Fast forward to January 22, 2019, the 46th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade United States Supreme Court decision which made abortion legal in all 50 states. Judge Michael Huppert of Iowa District Court 5 overturned the Iowa Heartbeat Bill, declaring it unconstitutional and unenforceable.
At the time it was thought Governor Reynolds would continue to fight for the bill, however Reynolds declined to appeal this decision, declaring it an “uphill fight.” Unfortunately, the governor’s failure to appeal the Iowa District Court’s ruling has become its own uphill battle for legislation currently being proposed to protect babies in the womb.
Since then, Iowa’s Congress has been working to amend Iowa’s State Constitution. The 26th Amendment, proposed by both Senate Joint Resolution 9 and conversely House Joint Resolution 5, Iowa does not secure or protect a right to, or require the funding of, abortion, along with Senate File 259, an act relating to the definition of person from the moment of conception until natural death under the criminal code.
This legislation is very important to help protect the sanctity of life in Iowa, providing protections, not previously known in Iowa. All of these bills have passed through their respective sub-committees with recommendations of passage.
However, given the reluctance of Governor Reynolds to continue to fight for the Heartbeat Bill, legislators will be more reluctant to try to pass life-protecting legislation.
Given the reluctance of some legislators it is imperative that we contact the members of the Iowa Senate Judiciary, Senate State Government, and House State Government committees and stress the passage of these bills through committee and get them in front of their respective chambers.
Iowa legislators need reassurance from the people that we stand with protecting life, defending the defenseless, and being a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.
As an Iowan and a pro-life advocate I can see how crucial these pieces of legislation are, but it also takes everyone spreading the word and contacting their legislators in order to advocate for change in Iowa.
Life is beautiful and no innocent person deserves to be deprived of the opportunities which life has to offer. We all need to stand up and be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.
You can contact your Iowa legislator or find committee members at the Iowa Legislative website.
Please take a minute to be a voice for precious children in the womb and make sure Iowa state legislators understand we will stand and fight for these beautiful lives.