Opinion: Iowa should pass abortion ban to advance the fight for life

July 12, 2023

Paul Teller, Executive Director of Advancing American Freedom

Iowa state lawmakers have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to give the people of Iowa a new beginning for life.

Today, Iowa legislators can vote ban abortion once fetal cardiac activity is detected in the womb, which often occurs during the sixth week of pregnancy. This bill is substantially similar to the law passed in 2018, which was unfortunately blocked by a single district judge. Now, lawmakers have the chance to right that wrong and send a clear message that judicial activism will never be allowed to silence the will of the people and their duly elected representatives.

Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, dozens of states have adopted new common-sense limits on abortion. While some critics complain that these restrictions are “too harsh,” the fact is that tens of thousands of unborn children have been saved since the fall of Roe. Iowa now has the chance to join the growing chorus of states that have taken an unmistakable stand on the side of life.

The bill’s 6-week limit would be entirely reasonable and mainstream. Every reasonable person knows that a heartbeat is the dividing line between life and death. Currently in Iowa, abortion is legal until late in the second trimester. Most European nations ban abortion at the end of the first trimester. That means Iowa’s current abortion policy has more in common with China and North Korea than it does with the nations of Europe. By passing the heartbeat bill, lawmakers can move Iowa away from the fringe and squarely back into the mainstream of Western thought and jurisprudence.

And it is important for lawmakers to act as soon as possible. With little chance of winning in the Legislature, the radical left will no doubt pin their hopes on judicial activism once again. That will likely mean a long and drawn-out court battle before the law can actually take effect. That’s why it is important for lawmakers to act now — the sooner the bill is passed, the more lives it will save.

The end of Roe did not mark the end of the battle for life. It only signaled the end of the beginning. The Supreme Court has stated that abortion policy must be set by lawmakers, not unelected judges. That means our task is nothing less than to win the fight for life — not only at the federal level, but also in every statehouse in America, until the scourge of abortion is eliminated from our society once and for all.

For all those who believe that every life is created in the image of God, the pro-life movement will remain the great moral cause of our time, and we must never rest or relent until the sanctity of life is returned to the center of American law.

Read more at The Des Moines Register.