Operation Rescue encourages continued public pressure on Legislature to protect life

Des Moines, Iowa – An Iowa House tactic could create a long-shot chance to pass legislation that protects pre-born babies from abortion after 20 weeks gestation when they are known to feel pain.

The House had earlier passed the Iowa Fetal Pain Bill (HF 657) by a handy 60-39 vote and sent it to the Senate where it languished in a hostile Democrat-controlled committee, to the angst of Iowans who overwhelmingly supported the bill to keep late-term abortions out of Iowa.

In a rarely used maneuver, the majority of Senators, including two Democrats, signed a petition to force the bill to the Senate floor for debate and a vote. However, at the behest of Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, extremist pro-abortion activist Sen. Joe Bolkcom, who is married to Karen Kubby, a former abortion clinic administrator, refused to call the bill to the floor. Instead, he introduced his own, weak version in an effort to preserve late-term abortions in Iowa while placating those who oppose LeRoy Carhart’s announced plans to open a late-term abortion clinic in Council Bluffs. Gronstal and Bolkcom were able to convince Senate Democrats who supported the Fetal Pain bill to vote along party lines and narrowly pass SF 534, Bolkcom’s bogus late-term bill, with vote of 26-23.

However, members of the House are incensed that HF 657 was scuttled by such an openly deceptive move, and have refused to consider Bolkcom’s SF 534, which would codify a process wherein an abortionist could open a late-term abortion clinic in Des Moines, Iowa City, Davenport, or Cedar Rapids — but not Council Bluffs — where hospitals with perinatal programs currently operate. It would also open the door to an already expansion-minded Planned Parenthood of the Heartland to move into the lucrative late-term abortion market.

“Now there is talk among House leaders about adding amendments to Bolkcom’s bill that would restore the late-term abortion ban, which has heavy support among Iowa citizens,” said Operation Rescue spokesperson Cheryl Sullenger. “They could send the amended bill back to the Senate and along with it a strong message that it is the intent of Iowans to ban late-term abortions in that state, and they will settle for nothing less. It would put the pressure back onto the Senate to do the right thing. It is a long shot, but late-term babies deserve every effort the legislature can make to protect their lives.”

The Iowa Legislature was slated to adjourn April 29, but continues to work in overtime without pay due mainly to an unrelated budget impasse. The budget crisis has given extra time for pro-life supporters to press for the Fetal Pain late-term abortion ban. Six states have already passed similar abortion bans. A total of 17 states have considered such legislation this year. As states continue to ban abortions after 20 weeks, Iowa becomes a more likely destination state for late-term abortions.

“Time is running out. The lives of hundreds of late-term babies that will die if abortionists in Iowa are allowed to expand into this grisly abortion market hang in the balance,” said Sullenger. “If there was ever a time for pro-life legislators to step up to the plate and make a bold move to protect innocent life, it is now.”
We have asked you to write several times on this matter, but please do so again. The Iowa Legislature needs to know that we have not given up on the lives of precious late-term babies!