The current legislative session presents an opportunity to take action on pro-life issues and ICC and our allies are lobbying to advance three bills that have survived the first funnel date. Each bill addresses an important element of ending the assault on life and dignity that abortion represents, and together would represent the most substantial gain in pro-life legislation in Iowa in decades.
Public funding of abortion providers
Beginning the process to end public funding of abortion providers was one of the few specific priorities identified by Governor Terry Branstad in his last Condition of the State address in January. SF 2 will redirect a portion of public funding away from abortion providers to a statewide healthcare network that serves the same clients with the same services. Link to MAP
Organizations such as Planned Parenthood of the Heartland already refer to the network for testing and services beyond the very basics they provide. We believe women and men’s health outcomes will improve if they begin with a provider that offers comprehensive health services instead of relying on diagnostics and possible referral from an abortion clinic.
ICC does not believe public money should support the business of abortion, and SF 2 takes a substantial first step.
20-week abortion ban
The purpose of Senate File 471 is to make a change in Iowa code that will place meaningful restrictions on abortions performed after 20 weeks post-fertilization.
The bill reflects advances made in saving the lives of pre-term infants over the past 40 years. Unborn children at 20 weeks post-fertilization, once considered too young to survive, now do so at an increasing rate. An abortion will no longer be performed at or beyond that point unless there is a serious threat to the long-term health or life of the mother.
Current Iowa law is so broadly interpreted it makes restrictions on late-term unenforceable, and SF 471 would allow Iowa to join the many Midwestern states that have successfully adopted the ban.
Ending the trade and exchange of fetal tissue and body parts
The details of the system that provides fetal tissue for public and private research and commercial applications are not well-known, but like so many features of the abortion industry, lead to the routine abuse and destruction of innocent human life. SF 359 would end the practice of exchanging or trading fetal parts and tissue procured from abortion, and offer the alternative of tissue procured from morally-licit sources, much as the current system for adult tissue donation.
Iowa has a reputation as a state that is permissive in its abortion policy, and the efforts of other states to restrict abortion over the past decade have made that distinction more extreme. Current law is outdated and doesn’t reflect advances in technology, research and healthcare delivery. The bills currently before the Iowa legislature represent a unique opportunity to re-direct state policy to protect the life and dignity of woman and children from the violence of abortion.