The Heartbeat Bill faces a make or break moment on December 7th

By Maggie DeWitte

Maggie DeWitte gives a Heartbeat Bill update at the IFL banquet. PHOTO CREDIT:  Lisa Bourne

[Here is an excerpt from IFL Executive Director Maggie DeWitte’s remarks at the recent Iowans for LIFE fundraising banquet]:

IFL spent a considerable amount of time at the Capitol this last session, along with our friends from the Coalition of Pro-life Leaders.  We had an amazing session.  We were successful in passing a bill that bans the sale of baby body parts in our state! 

Legislative successes

As we learned from the horrific videos from The Center for Medical Progress, selling baby body parts was a huge money-maker for Planned Parenthood across the country.  We in Iowa have now confirmed that won’t happen here. 

In more good news, the legislature passed the ‘wrongful birth’ bill. This would have allowed couples to sue doctors for a birth that they deemed unworthy of life.  Such a sad commentary of our society, but one we were able to stop. 

Biggest success

And the most notable bill that passed, and Governor Reynold’s signed into law in May, was the Heartbeat Legislation.  I can’t tell you the JOY the pro-life leaders felt at the signing of that bill! 

Heartbeat Bill update

We knew that Planned Parenthood would not let a minute pass before filing a lawsuit stopping the bill.  So here is the Heartbeat Bill update: They filed an injunction to halt the bill from becoming law in July.  They were able to secure an injunction and now the bill is not able to be enforced until the case moves through the judicial system. 

The prestigious Thomas More Society represents the Heartbeat Bill in our upcoming court battles. They have successfully litigated pro-life and pro-family legislation across the country.

Planned Parenthood has filed for a summary judgement in an effort to stop a full trial, which will be heard by a judge on December 7th at 10:30AM in the Polk County Courthouse. Some background is in order.

Judicial setback

Earlier this summer, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the 72 hour waiting period unduly burdened women, as we predicted they would. But they did something much more diabolical.  In one fell swoop of a pen, they created a law that currently didn’t exist in our Iowa Constitution. 

In the worst-case of judicial overreach in the country, 5 unelected judges stated that we now have a fundamental right to abortion in Iowa.  They did the job of our elected legislators in creating law.  And, unfortunately, this ruling has the potential to impact our heartbeat bill and all the other pro-life legislation that has been passed in Iowa. 

Devastating impact

I cannot overstate the devastating impact this ruling could have in our state.  Our moment of joy turned to anger, frustration, hopelessness, and despair. 

The Court based this motion on the 72 hour ruling as the reason. 

While the upcoming December 7th hearing is not a trial, our attorney, Martin Cannon and team, will be able to argue on behalf of the state and provide testimony in an effort to convince the judge that the case merits a full trial. And his arguments are brilliant.

So despite the setbacks of this summer, the pro-life movement licked our wounds, we put our big-girl and big-boy pants on and said, lets get ‘er done. 

To quote GK Chesterton:

GK Chesterton

“The one perfectly divine thing, the one glimpse of God’s paradise given on earth, is to fight a losing battle and not lose it.”

We are not going to lose this battle! 

We are going to fight for life with every breath we have in us, and we are not going to stop, or let up, or give up or give in.  IFL and our pro-life allies are going to push, and pull, and talk, and pray, occasionally yell, and we are going to finish this race.  We are not going to let this go, and you can’t either.  WE NEED YOU!

You can start by giving your life as a ransom.  I am going to share with you some wise words from St. Louis De Montfort, because quoting other people makes me look smart, and I can use all the help I can get.  And secondly, as usual, someone has already said what I want to say, only better.  He says:

St. Louis De Montfort

“You are having to bear a large, weighty cross.  But what a great happiness for you! 

Have confidence.  For if God, who is all goodness, continues to make you suffer, he will not test you more than you can bear.”

“The cross is a sure sign that he loves you.”

“I can assure you of this, that the greatest proof that we are loved by God is when we are despised by the world and burdened with crosses, i.e., when we are made to endure, when our holiest wishes meet with opposition; when we are afflicted with distressing and hurtful insults; when we are subjected to persecution, to having our actions misinterpreted by good people and by those are our best friends. 

If Christians only knew the value of the cross, they would walk a hundred miles to obtain it, because enclosed in the beloved cross is true wisdom, and that is what I am looking for night and day more eagerly than ever. 

O good cross come to us for God’s greater glory!  This should be our frequent prayer of our heart- despite our weakness.” 

[ATTN Pro-Lifers: We need you to pack the Polk County Courthouse on December 7th at 10:30AM. Mark your calendars!]


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