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A Clash of Creeds

Apr 17, 2018 | Comments Off on A Clash of Creeds
clash of creeds

clash of creedsMark your calendar for the most unique fundraising banquet in the history of Iowans for Life!

You know how most fundraising banquets usually play out. They focus on a nice meal and some nice speeches. Nothing wrong with that, by the way!

Not this year.

On October 24th at the Meadows Events & Conference Center, you will be thrust into a vortex of viewpoints that will leave your head spinning.

Yes, you are going to enjoy a simply lovely meal, but for the first time in history, four of the 20th century’s most influential thinkers will be on the same stage together for what can only be described as a clash of creeds, dramatically presented in their own words. Issues such as contraception, God, charity, and yes, abortion, are all going to be on the table.

Whew!

Margaret Sanger

Our first guest is arguably the most influential of the bunch.

She was a pioneering feminist who labored long and hard to advance women’s rights.

Mrs. Sanger is the person who not only coined the term “birth control,” but who is largely credited with making it legal and accepted by the masses, regardless of religious affiliation.

And she was a sex educator who authored many books on the subjects of sex, motherhood, and eugenics, including “The Pivot of Civilization,” “What Every Girl Should Know,” and “Motherhood in Bondage.”

Time Magazine named her one of the 20 most influential Americans of all-time.

And finally, she is the founder of a sprawling medical empire that operates 650 health clinics in the U.S., Planned Parenthood.

Ayn Rand

Our second guest is a Russian immigrant to the United States at the age of twenty-six.

She staked out a unique career that blended writing and philosophy. Her two most famous novels were Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. She founded a philosophy she dubbed “Objectivism.”

For those who have never read any of her writings, you should know that she has had a profound impact on legions of prominent leaders in the United States, including Majority Leader of the House, Paul Ryan; Senator Rand Paul; John Stossel on Fox News; and Mark Cuban who you see on the television show, Shark Tank and who owns the Dallas Mavericks.

One of her most provocatively titled philosophical treatises is “The Virtue of Selfishness.” Get ready for Ayn Rand!

Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Our next guest hails from Albania. She committed herself to Catholic religious life and at the age of 21, she took her first vows. After living in a convent in India for many years and serving as a headmistress of a school, she received a call from God to live among and serve the very poorest of the poor in Calcutta, one of the most destitute places on the planet.

She founded the Missionaries of Charity with about a buck in her pocket. Imagine walking into one of the poorest places in the world with little more than the shirt on your back. Before she “retired” to more heavenly pursuits, she leveraged that buck into an international outreach to 133 countries served by some 4500 women.

She was recognized for her humanitarian outreach by receiving a Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, and in 2016, Pope Francis named her a saint. You know to whom I refer, the one and only Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

G.K. Chesterton

With three such strong women on stage exchanging such adversarial viewpoints, we felt we needed a strong moderator who had the ability to inject some wit into the proceedings in case the conversation heats up.

Who better than G.K. Chesterton?

Chesterton is an enigma. Is he a poet? A novelist? A philosopher? A theologian? A biographer? An orator or a debater? Yes, on all scores.

He famously debated the well-known attorney and atheist, Clarence Darrow. Rumor has it that he mopped the floor with his hapless adversary.

His book, “The Everlasting Man” was a significant influence on C.S. Lewis’s conversion to Christianity.

No less a figure than Archbishop Fulton Sheen identified our moderator as “the greatest influence on his own writing, because he never used a useless word, he saw the value of a paradox, and he avoided what was trite.”

Our esteemed moderator does not fit into a neat category. He is a once-upon-a-time atheist who became a Roman Catholic for the simple reason, he said, that Catholicism is true.

Mr. Chesterton is one of the most quoted men of the 20th century.

This is THE banquet of the year!

Do you see what I mean? This banquet will be unlike any other you’ve EVER attended

Get ready for an epic clash of creeds!

There’s more! Select audience members will even have an opportunity to ask questions of our guests during the Q & A section.

IFL welcomes the Natural Journey Alliance

And there’s still more! Iowans for Life is thrilled to offer this banquet under the umbrella of The Natural Journey Alliance (NJA), our new parent company. This exciting alliance includes our partners, Iowa Right to Life and Restored by Grace Ministries.

We slashed overhead thanks to NJA, leaving more resources for mission.

Five-hundred people attended last year’s banquet. We added a couple hundred more seats this year in anticipation of the buzz being created by the presence of Mrs. Sanger, Mrs. Rand, Mother Teresa, and G.K. Chesterton.

As you can see, the pro life movement is expanding and changing in anticipation to the new challenges of the 21st century.

We expect the Clash of Creeds to sell out very early. We encourage you to take advantage of our early bird registration and reserve your table of 8 today for $500.

The price will go up to $600 beginning June 16th, so don’t wait.

You are going to be talking about Clash of Creeds for a long time to come!


 

One of the great moral issues in Iowa history

Apr 11, 2018 | Comments Off on One of the great moral issues in Iowa history
great moral issues

great moral issuesIf you found a certain type of egg in your backyard and destroyed it, you would be in violation of federal law if the egg was that of a bald eagle. There are no legal consequences, though, for destroying a human fetus up to 20 weeks in the womb. This is one of the great moral issues of our age.

Most Iowans would admit that a human person is more important than any bird. So how can this be?

A unique perspective

Tadeusz Pacholczyk has a unique perspective on this disconnect. He is scientist with a PhD in Neuroscience from Yale University who is also a Catholic priest. Here is his reaction:

Tadeusz Pacholczyk, PhD

“One example I use a lot when giving testimony before lawmakers involves a 1940 American law protecting the bald eagle. The law states that if you come across a bald eagle’s nest containing eggs and you decide to destroy one of those eggs, you suffer the very same sanctions and penalties as if you had shot an adult bald eagle out of the air.

What is so special about that bald eagle’s egg?

What is inside that egg?

The answer is very simple. It is an embryonic eagle. It is the very same creature that flies gloriously in the sky. Even an atheist can appreciate the cogency of such a law. We are eager to protect all sorts of animal life.

Yet when it comes to our own humble embryonic origins as humans, we go through sophisticated mental gymnastics to tell ourselves that we were never embryos. We are all too willing to sacrifice young humans on the altar of stem-cell research. There is a profound double standard here that people really need to assess and confront.”

Bats are protected by law, why not pre-born babies?

I took a look at the Polk County website today regarding what you do if a bat invades your house. The answer is you can carefully remove the bat as long as you don’t hurt it:

“Bats are protected by Iowa state law, which means it is illegal to capture, harm, or kill any of the nine species of bats in Iowa. However, homeowners have the right to remove them from their property.”

This leads to the Heartbeat Bill in the Iowa legislature. The bill would outlaw human abortion at the point at which the heartbeat is detectable, which can occur as soon as the 5th or 6th week upon fertilization.

What a double standard!

Why are we debating a double standard that protects rodents and birds, but not the next Mozart, Einstein, or Mother Teresa?

Every single Democrat opposes the Heartbeat Bill. Every single Republican in the Senate supports the bill, but a number of critical votes among House Republicans are wavering.

They are fearful of losing their next election if they stand up for human life in the womb. Some of these men have stated that they are “undecided.” This brings to mind a quote from the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen:

“The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.”

One of the great moral issues of our time

The Heartbeat Bill is a great moral issue in the history of the state of Iowa.

If these men don’t have the courage to stand up for the little guy in the public square, maybe they need a boost from you. Contact them. Let them know they’re not alone, that they stand with thousands of Iowans who embrace the dignity of human life and insist that Iowa law honor our heritage. Contact them now. Send them a link to this blogpost. Let them know that we have an army of prayer warriors praying for them and this bill. If they don’t believe it, here is a small sampling.

Remind them that God is with them, as Isaiah so eloquently stated long ago:

“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

[Iowans for LIFE speaks, blogs, educates, and evangelizes on the dignity of human life from fertilization to natural death. We do it on a tight budget. Every DONATION is a big deal to us no matter how small. Support the cause today. Donate. Thank-you!]


 

The ‘Back Alley Abortion’ straw man argument

Apr 4, 2018 | Comments Off on The ‘Back Alley Abortion’ straw man argument
back alley abortion myth

back alley abortion mythAnti abortion’ legislation will create a return to the era of back alley abortions. How many times have you heard this straw man argument? The back alley abortion myth is trotted out on a regular basis as pro-life legislation continues to relentlessly advance at the state level.

Let’s debunk this straw man argument, just as we debunked several others in last week’s Iowans for Life blogpost, “How to annihilate an anti-Life straw man argument.”

Abortion kills a unique human being

Any pro life defense always begins with the fact that human abortion kills a unique human person. It recognizes that the overwhelming majority of abortions involve a healthy mother carrying a healthy baby in her womb.

In other words, most abortions are elective surgeries. Restricting these surgeries is certainly not immoral if it is protecting a human life. Abortion advocate, Mary Anne Warren, admitted as much:

“The fact that restricting access to abortion has tragic side effects does not, in itself, show that the restrictions are unjustified, since murder is wrong regardless of the consequences of forbidding it.”

The problem is that abortion advocates, such as Ms. Warren, simply don’t believe the fetus is a person.

So if we banned human abortion, would we see a return to thousands of ‘back alley’ abortions a year as proclaimed by abortion advocates?

No, not if the past is any indication.

How many women died from a botched abortion in 1972?

Ask any abortion advocate how many women died from abortion in 1972, the last year abortion was illegal throughout the country. They’ll probably shoot a pretty big number at you, because they’ve been listening to Planned Parenthood, NARAL, NOW, or a left-leaning politician.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Vital Statistics, though, there were only 39 women who died from a botched abortion in 1972. Each of these deaths is a tragedy, as is the death of their babies. But note that the number is in double digits, not tens of thousands.

Abortion advocates also suggest that these deaths came at the hands of “butchers” or, in other words, untrained medical personnel.

This is unlikely according the former medical director of Planned Parenthood, Dr. Mary Calderone. She wrote an article in 1960 for the American Journal of Health where she cited a 1958 study that indicated 84% to 87% of illegal abortions were performed by licensed physicians in good standing. By 1960, Dr. Calderone said that 90% of abortions, illegal though they may be, were performed by trained physicians, not by so-called back alley butchers.

Doctors disagree with the back alley abortion myth

The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology also disagrees with the back alley abortion myth. In 1978, they stated that Roe V Wade “has had no major impact on the number of women dying from abortion.”  They cited their own study which supported Dr. Calderone’s claim that 90% of illegal abortions had been performed by licensed physicians, not ‘back alley’ butchers.

The pro abortion Huffington Post runs columns that claim the number of annual abortions in the U.S. in the 1950s ranged from 200,000 to 1.2 million abortions per year. But that doesn’t make any sense in light of abortion statistics from the Centers for Disease Control after Roe v Wade legalized human abortion.

Logically, you would think that abortion would increase once it was made legal. The CDC reports that there were 615,831 abortions in 1973, increasing to 988,267 abortions by 1979. It is irrational to believe the abortion rate in the 1950s was higher than the 1970s.

In other words, the claims of Big Abortion and their disciples are straw men. They fabricated numbers out of thin air.

A history of deceit

Big Abortion has a long history of being less than forthright in their public utterances.

 Who can forget Ron Fitzimmons? The Executive Director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers went on ABC’s Nightline in 1995.  He said that partial birth abortion, the procedure where the fetus’ skull is crushed and its brains suctioned, was only performed in situations to save the mother’s life.  He said it was rare. Sixteen months later, he admitted “he lied through his teeth.”

It is almost refreshing when an abortion advocate is honest about lying. Cecile Richards had no such compunction, as you can see in the video below:

Cecile Richards and legions of her surrogates traveled the country proclaiming that Planned Parenthood is all about women’s health, including mammograms. This was the wedge they used to extract taxpayers’ money from the government. Live Action exposed the lie in this remarkable video.

More dishonest data

The co-founder of NARAL, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, also acknowledged the use of dishonest data to promote abortion legislation:

“We claimed that between five and ten thousand women a year died of botched abortions. The actual figure was closer to 200 to 300 and we also claimed that there were a million illegal abortions a year in the United States and the actual figure was close to 200,000. So, we were guilty of massive deception.”

Deceit drives the abortion trade.

Interestingly, with the advent of the ultrasound that clearly exposed the humanity of the fetus, Bernard Nathanson left Big Abortion, renouncing his former trade.

When confronted with a back alley abortion myth, remember, this is another straw man argument that is a lie. Iowans for Life is your resource for annihilating anti life straw man arguments.

[Iowans for LIFE depends on donations to continue educating Iowans on critical pro life issues. Support LIFE. Donate. Thank-you!]


 

Iowa abortions contribute to the Iowa worker shortage

Apr 3, 2018 | Comments Off on Iowa abortions contribute to the Iowa worker shortage
worker shortage

http://www.iowansforlife.org/2018/04/worker-shortage/Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal ran with the headline: “Iowa’s Labor Plight: Too Many Jobs.” They ran with the wrong lede. The correct headline should have been: “Iowa’s Labor Plight: Worker Shortage.”

The article points out that Iowa’s unemployment has dropped to an astounding 2.9%. Manufacturers in particular cannot find enough people to fill available jobs.

It is getting so dire that job training programs are irrelevant, because there aren’t enough people to train. The problem is acute throughout the Midwest. If every unemployed person in the Midwest were to find a job, there would still be 180,000 unfilled positions.

Why are we having this problem?

The WSJ cites Iowa challenges, such as an outflow of residents to warmer climates, and an inability to attract more immigrants.

But they’re missing another variable: abortion and Iowa’s low replacement birth rate, which are related.

Since 2009, Iowa’s birthrate has remained below replacement levels. What little population growth Iowa has enjoyed has come primarily through immigration.

Since 2004, Iowa’s abortion rate has ranged from 10% to 14% of all pregnancies. The rate appears to be dropping, but no one really knows by how much since data only accounts for surgical abortions, not chemical abortions which are skyrocketing in number.

Although pro life advocates bristle at looking at our aborted brothers and sisters as mere cogs in our economic system, we can’t escape the reality that Iowa has a labor shortage in part due to human abortion.

worker shortage

As you can see on the chart above, in the 13 years from 2002 through 2014, Iowans lost around 73,000 potential future workers through abortion. This doesn’t include those aborted via chemical abortions.

In the previous 13 years, Iowa data isn’t available, but we know that the numbers would have been even higher if Iowa’s abortion rate followed national trends.

Abortion is the first place to start

So when we discuss why Iowa is faced with a worker shortage, the first place to start is abortion. We have reduced the size of the Iowa workforce through human abortion.

The simplest way to solve the problem in the future is to reduce the abortion rate in Iowa. The Heartbeat Bill is the first place to start.

[Iowans for Life depends on donations to continue to grow its educational outreach to Iowans. Support the cause today with your donation. Thank-you.]


 

Human abortion increases the isolation rape victims feel

Mar 29, 2018 | Comments Off on Human abortion increases the isolation rape victims feel
rape victims

A woman is raped. It’s horrible. It gets worse, she’s pregnant from her rapist. Here is the life-altering question for rape victims: to abort or not to abort?

A website called Life Dynamics addresses the issue and reveals a viewpoint the mainstream media never covers: women who were raped, who gave birth, and were glad they chose life.

Conceived through rape

The site gives voice to women conceived through rape who thank their mothers for allowing them to live. You can watch a quick clip above and follow the link to hear more.

At the Iowa legislature last week, Jennifer Brierly flew in and testified on her experience on behalf of legislators weighing the Heartbeat Bill. (The Heartbeat Bill will outlaw abortion when a heartbeat is detected in the preborn person.)

Mrs. Brierly supports the Heartbeat Bill as a woman who was beaten, tortured, and raped, her body dumped in a stairwell to die.

She lived.

She suffered brain trauma which affects her to this day. And her rapist impregnated her. Despite all of this, she stands up publicly to protect the innocent victims of the crime, the unborn person in the womb, for whose eradication society cries out.

Watch her testimony below, every second of it.

How do rape victims find peace?

Here is what is amazing: rape victims who give birth to their rapist’s child are more at peace than those who aborted the child.

The source for this finding comes from a book called Victims and Victors: Speaking Out About Their Pregnancies, Abortions, and Children Resulting from Sexual Assault, edited by Dr. David C. Reardon, Julie Makimaa and Amy Sobie.

They surveyed rape victims to accumulate some raw data. But even more, far more, they listened to their stories.

IFL didn’t expect these results. Here’s what Dr. Reardon learned:

“Many of the women in our sample aborted only because they were pressured to do so, and most reported that the abortion only increased their experience of grief and trauma. In contrast, none of the women who carried to term said they wished they had not given birth or that they had chosen abortion instead. Many of these women said that their children had brought peace and healing to their lives.”

Abortion increases the woman’s sense of isolation and shame

Irrational, isn’t it? A baby should be a symbol of hate, not love, for victims of rape. That is what our intuition says. That is what our culture says. An entire political party bases their human abortion platform on this premise.

Dr. Reardon learned from victims themselves that the opposite was true:

“Abortion increases the woman’s sense of isolation and shame by allowing others to pretend the problem doesn’t exist. By getting rid of the pregnancy, which is a reminder of the sexual assault, it allows other people to ignore the woman’s need for understanding and honest exploration and resolution of what she has been through.”

Here’s what hits us like a ton of bricks. Advocates of abortion “rights” club us over the head with the need for abortion on behalf of victims of rape and incest. Dr. Reardon’s research reveals that they’re just plain wrong.

By the way, his study includes victims of incest.

Love trumps hate

Somehow, love for human life is ultimately more therapeutic, more powerful, than hate for the rapist.

Love trumps hate, something Jesus always said.

Dr. Reardon gives us a cautionary warning:

“Population controllers have exploited people’s compassion for rape and incest victims to weaken abortion laws and gain acceptance for abortion on demand. It’s time to give these women a chance to speak out for themselves and let the truth be known.”

Life Dynamics does just that.

In the very brief video below, you hear another important perspective: that of a woman who was conceived in rape prior to Roe V Wade. Rebecca Kiessling said her heroes are the pro life legislators who wouldn’t allow human abortion, even in the case of rape.

To the victims of rape and incest, those of us at Iowans for LIFE can simply say we are so very sorry for your pain.

We pray that this post serves a purpose.

[If this blogpost spoke to you, SHARE it on social media. And donate to Iowans for Life. IFL is 100% dependent on donations from pro life supporters.]


 

Be prepared to annihilate an anti-Life straw man argument

Mar 27, 2018 | Comments Off on Be prepared to annihilate an anti-Life straw man argument
anti-Life straw man argument
anti-Life straw man argument

Donate to IFL today!

Did you hear Iowans for LIFE’s director, Maggie DeWitte, on Iowa Public Radio yesterday? She beautifully defended the case for Life, while knocking down one anti-Life straw man argument after the other presented by the human abortion apologists on the show.

A ‘straw man’ is an:

“intentionally misrepresented proposition that is set up because it is easier to defeat than an opponent’s real argument.”

Proponents of human abortion, such as Planned Parenthood and most politicians on the Left, rely on these phony arguments in an attempt to deflect the unwary from an ugly Truth: every single Human Abortion ends the life of a unique human being.

Big Abortion trots out these typical straw men for their minions, and true to form, they came up yesterday on IPR’s River to River program:

Anti-Life straw man argument #1

You pro-lifers are imposing your religion on someone else. Actually, Maggie DeWitte didn’t even mention God, religion, or Catholicism on the show. She did invoke science. She exposed the lie presented by Big Abortion, that the object in the womb is merely a ‘clump of cells.’

What is a clump?

a “compacted mass or lump of something,” according to the dictionary.

On the other hand, the new person created at fertilization is far from a ‘lump of something.’

Mrs. DeWitte pointed out that science reveals the indisputable evidence that a unique human being is created at the instant of fertilization. As IFL’s Women’s Reproductive Health Resource Book states:

“FERTILIZATION is when a unique human life begins. This ‘conception’ process begins when a sperm penetrates an oocyte, creating a brand new human life.”

So when does human life begin? Embryologists are crystal clear:

“They say it is when the sperm and ovum, neither of which can sustain life or direct growth by itself, come together at fertilization.”

Why is this a human life?

“For the first time the new life has all chromosomes and all the directions (DNA) it needs for the rest of life. The sex of the baby, the color of the hair, everything is already fixed.”

Says who? Science. These quotes come from highly regarded embryologists, such as …

O’Rahilly R and Müller F, Human Embryology and Teratology (New York: Wiley-Liss, 1994).

Such as…

William J. Larsen, Human Embryology (New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1997).

Such as 

Carlson B, Human Embryology and Developmental Biology (St. Louis, MO: Mosby, 1994.)

The difference

The only difference between a human life at fertilization and a 99 year old man is the arc of life. The new human is perched at the beginning of the adventure that is his life, while the old man is at the tail end of the adventure.

Big Abortion claims science is the only acceptable tool for evaluating the dignity of life, even though the tools of theology and philosophy equally make the case.

So when a pro life proponent like Maggie Dewitte destroys the myth that the newly fertilized human being is a “mere clump of cells,” abortion advocates have little recourse other than to create a straw man and label her arguments ‘religious’ in nature.

They are not. They are grounded in science. Again, a unique human being is created at fertilization. Human abortion ends the life of a one-of-a-kind human being.

To believe anything else is anti-science.

Anti-Life straw man argument #2

Pro lifers don’t care about the baby after she is born. A caller to the River to River show made this tired claim yesterday. His beef rested on disagreements with Iowa Republican’s budget over their spending, or lack thereof, on various social safety net programs.

Again, this is a straw man argument. The pro life movement is not an arm of the Republican Party. Even more, honorable people can disagree over the scope of government programs.

However, if one wants to use political affiliation as a metric to gauge compassion, the liberal Huffington Post points out that Republicans (54%) are more likely than Democrats (45%) to donate money to charity. Even more, Republicans (33%) are more likely to volunteer their time for a cause than Democrats (24%).

The larger point, though, is that the pro life movement is a sprawling network of compassionate, non-profit organizations that conduct bottle and diaper drives for low-income moms. They help find them apartments and furniture. They connect them with churches and groups who take them under their wing.

The largest pro life group in the world

Here is a partial list of the active outreach provided by the largest pro life group in the world. They are …

√ Reducing infant mortality.

√ Boosting the number of kids with health coverage.

√ Increasing access to healthy food for the hungry.

√ Lessening the number of families and individuals forced to live in emergency shelters.

√ Expanding the quantity of affordable housing units.

√ Working to increase fathers’ involvement in families.

√ Expanding access to quality affordable early childhood education.

√ Increasing the rate of high school completion.

√ Raising the number of youth participating in postsecondary education or workforce training.

√ Adopting out more children than any other provider in the country.

I refer, of course, to Catholic Charities, a group for whom Maggie DeWitte once worked. And this is just the Catholics. It doesn’t even include the great work being down by the Lutherans, Evangelical Christians, and other outstanding faith-based and secular organizations. 

On what do abortion proponents base this straw man argument? Nothing. It is fabricated out of thin air to mask the moral shortcomings of their own position.

Anti-Life straw man argument #3

The same people who claim to be pro life are pro death penalty. This is the claim of a caller to the River to River show yesterday. He went on to suggest that a pro death penalty position negates one’s “so-called pro life position.”

In fact, he has created two straw men with these whoppers. For starters, many, maybe even most, who oppose human abortion also oppose human execution.

Even more, they are two different issues. He is not comparing apples to apples.

The difference between a million and 23 deaths

He fails to acknowledge the innocence of the human person in the womb, one million of whom were “executed” (aborted) for being unwanted in contrast to 23 people who were executed in 2017 for the crime of murder.

Does the caller not understand the difference between an innocent baby in the womb and a murderer?

Does the caller not understand the difference between a million innocent deaths and 23 just punishments?

Abortion proponents who raise this point DO know the difference. That is why this, like the previous arguments, is a straw man.

To reiterate:

a ‘straw man’ intentionally misrepresents a proposition that is set up because it is easier to defeat than an opponent’s real argument.

Big Abortion can’t win arguments based on science and fact. Misrepresentation is their only recourse.

[Iowans for LIFE depends on donations to continue educating Iowans on critical pro life issues. Support LIFE. Donate. Thank-you!]


 

Maggie DeWitte’s speech at the public hearing for the Heartbeat Bill

Mar 22, 2018 | Comments Off on Maggie DeWitte’s speech at the public hearing for the Heartbeat Bill
an issue of civil and human rights

an issue of civil and human rightsMy name is Maggie DeWitte and I am the Executive Director for Iowans for LIFE and a founding member of the pro-life coalition. Thank-you for this opportunity to speak.

I am here today to speak on behalf of those who cannot speak; to state what you all sitting here know to be true.  When there is a heartbeat, there is a life. If there is a life, that life deserves protection and the rights of all human beings.   

“This is an issue of civil and human rights”

This is not an issue of religion.  This is not an issue of circumstances of how a child was conceived or the world in which they will be born into.  This is an issue of civil and human rights. 

Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King states:

“Abortion and racism are both symptoms of a fundamental human error. The error is thinking that when someone stands in the way of our wants, we can justify getting that person out of our lives. Abortion and racism stem from the same poisonous root, selfishness.”

The human heart is the earliest functioning organ

Embryology textbooks tell us that the human heart is the earliest functioning organ; as a mother of four children, I can tell you the glorious sound of that first heartbeat.  And it wasn’t glorious because I wanted those children or planned for those children or that I had a husband and support.  It was glorious because it is the signal that new life is present.  New life with potential, with hope, with a soul and created for a purpose beyond all our imaginings. 

We have no right to snuff that life out because she may be inconvenient.  As a woman I believe strongly in having the right to make decisions regarding my own body; but my right to control my body ends when it infringes on another body: the life of the unborn child.  A child with her own beating heart, her own DNA, completely separate from her mother. 

Listen to science

Don’t disregard science in order to continue to spread a culture of death brought to us by the abortion industry.  In Iowa, death is determined when the respiratory or circulatory systems stop functioning.  It is logical to conclude that when those systems are functioning and there is a heartbeat, the person is alive.  And if alive, that baby, that unique human person, deserves the right to be protected.

Listen to your head

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you should listen to your heart. But even more, listen to your head. Do what you know to be the right thing- move this bill forward to the house floor and vote YES to a beating heart.    

Be a hero. Stand up for the little guy in the name of human rights. Stand up for the little guy in the name of justice.

[Maggie DeWitte is Executive Director of Iowans for LIFE. She spoke at the Capitol last night at the public hearing for The Heartbeat Bill. IFL’s defense of Life begins with your donation. Help us to continue the fight.]


 

Your support is needed immediately for a key piece of adult stem cell legislation

Mar 21, 2018 | 1 Comment
adult stem cell legislation

adult stem cell legislationIowans for Life supports the work being done by the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa City.

Unlike other researchers, they use only adult stem cells, not those harvested from destroyed embryos. A bill pending before the Iowa House can greatly advance their efforts.

Iowa House File 2228 creates an Iowa Regenerative Medicine Tax Credit to support adult stem cell research here in Iowa. It has passed the Subcommittee of the Ways and Means. 

How to support this adult stem cell legislation

Iowans need to contact representative Guy Vander Linden, Chair on the Iowa House Ways and Means Committee and ask him to bring HF2228 to the Full Committee for a vote.

His email address is–>  guy.vanderlinden@legis.iowa.gov

Tell Rep. Vander Linden the value of HF2228.

Benefits of adult stem cell legislation

1. HF 2228 represents a tax credit in Iowa for non-profits conducting regenerative medicine research using only adult stem cells.
2. The Institute has been on the leading edge in adult stem cell research.
3. JP2MRI created the largest portfolio of adult stem cells in the world.
4. JP2MRI created the first adult stem cell that makes human cloning and human embryonic stem cells obsolete.
5. HF2228 would facilitate a regenerative medicine economy.
6. HF2228 would increase tax revenue and high wage jobs.
7. HF2228 would help create clinical trial sites for patients and wounded soldiers.
8. HF2228 would reduce the future cost of healthcare.
9. HF2228 would provide clinical trials to treat cancer and neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, ALS, stroke, traumatic brain injury, CTE and spinal cord injury.

The JPII Medical Research Institute is a mission we need to support

Here is their mission:

“The John Paul II Medical Research Institute (JP2MRI) seeks to find cures and therapies exclusively using a variety of adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells.

The Institute does not engage in embryonic stem cell research of any kind.

JP2MRI develops preclinical research technologies that will broadly advance drug discovery and regenerative medicine for many diseases.

In addition, the Institute will engage in educational outreach to increase the number of scientists and future medical practitioners who will work with adult stem cells, always with an emphasis on medical bioethics that is consistent with the dignity of human life.”

Support adult stem cell legislation. Contact Representative Guy (guy.vanderlinden@legis.iowa.gov) and ask him to bring this bill to the full committee.

[Iowans for is everywhere, from the Statehouse to Facebook, standing up for the cause of Life. IFL’s defense of Life begins with your donation. Help us to continue the fight.]

 

Be a hero

Mar 20, 2018 | Comments Off on Be a hero
be a hero. Vote YES to the Heartbeat bill.

be a heroCalling men of faith

We’re at a watershed moment in history. A single piece of legislation, the Heartbeat Bill, has an opportunity to be a game-changer in our fight to save the lives of the pre-born.

Iowa has now moved into the spotlight with a proposed piece of legislation, affectionately called ‘The Heartbeat Bill,’ that ends human abortion at the moment a human heartbeat is detected.

The Heartbeat Bill will save 1515 lives a year

Adoption experts project this bill will save the lives of some 1515 Iowa babies a year, and that a glut of adoptive parents anxiously await a chance to adopt these babies.

Here’s why The Heartbeat Bill can be historic: there’s a good chance it will end up at the Supreme Court. Lower courts shot down similar bills in Arkansas and North Dakota.

The Iowa bill is different in a crucial respect: it does not require an invasive ultrasound. Rather, it simply requires a standard, non-invasive, ultrasound that an abortion clinic is going to perform anyway, a marked departure from the Arkansas and North Dakota bills.

Ultimately, Republicans will decide the fate of this bill. Democrats tend to oppose any regulation on human abortion. At the national level, they even opposed the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act with near unanimity.

Here in Iowa, the Heartbeat Bill passed the Senate with unanimous Republican support. In the House, some Republicans, all men, are wavering. On the other hand, Republican women are on board.

Stand up for the little guy, be a hero

We call on these men of faith to be a hero. We call on them to stand up for the little guy, the pre-born person in the womb.

Set politics aside and protect the innocent person. If you won’t protect them, then who will? Their lives, literally thousands of them over the years to come, are in your hands.

Objections

Let’s review some of the reasons some are wavering on whether or not to support The Heartbeat Bill.

The bill won’t pass judicial scrutiny. As mentioned above, this bill is different than the Arkansas bill and stands a much better chance of being upheld by the Court. We can be timid and wait until another day, year, or decade for this opportunity. Or we can be courageous, pass The Heartbeat Bill now and change history.

It will cost the Iowan taxpayers a ton of money to defend the bill in court. It won’t. Two groups, the Thomas More Center and the Liberty Council, have offered to take it pro bono.

Young women may commit suicide if they aren’t able to abort their child. A young women affiliated with Planned Parenthood testified that she would have killed herself if she hadn’t been able to secure an abortion. There’s no question that some women feel desperate when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. That’s why the pro life community has created an impressive safety net for these at-risk women before, during, and after the birth of their children.

Mental health considerations

Depriving women of abortion rights is deleterious to their mental health. Just the opposite. Abortion does tremendous harm to the mental health of post-abortive women, according to a comprehensive meta study of 163,831 post-abortive women. These women had 138% higher risk of mental health problems compared to women who gave birth, with a 155% increase in suicidal behavior. A vote against the Heartbeat Bill is a vote for more suicide among women.

Who will raise these unwanted babies? According to the “Adoption Option” Index, Iowa is the 4th most adoption-friendly state in the country. The National Council for Adoption says:

“This suggests that in these states women may have more extensive counseling, services, and facilities to orient pregnant women towards adoption—among other factors.”

On a national level, some 36 couples are on waiting lists to adopt for every single available baby.

Personhood considerations

The fetus isn’t a person. If a pregnant woman is killed, the Iowa Code (707.8) considers the fetus a person. Why should a little human being be deprived of her Constitutional rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness simply because she is unwanted or inconvenient? The abortion rights perspective takes a capricious view of personhood. As the author of Roe V Wade, Justice Harry Blackmun, wrote:

“If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [Fourteenth] Amendment.”

So which is it? The human being in the womb cannot be a non-person and a person at the same time. Denying the pre-born personhood status is an exercise in intellectual dishonesty and moral cowardice.

Recent elections indicate growing impatience with legislators who pass the buck and take the easy way out, especially on life and death issues.

This is a unique moment. This is an opportunity for good men of faith to stand in the gap for all those tiny, beating hearts in the womb.

Be a hero. Pull the lever for life.


 

Freedom of thought hangs in the balance

Mar 17, 2018 | Comments Off on Freedom of thought hangs in the balance
freedom of thought

freedom of thoughtQUESTION:  What is the most important right in America?

ANSWER:  Most would quickly point to the First Amendment. It specifies freedom of expression and religion as foundational freedoms. However, freedom of thought, or conscience, is the ultimate foundation upon which other freedoms rely, and it is under grave assault.

The assault on this freedom comes from a seemingly unlikely source: abortion and so-called women’s reproductive rights. More on that in a moment.

Everyone has a right to freedom of thought

The Supreme Court emphasized that freedom of thought is the very essence of all freedom in a 1937 case, Palko vs Connecticut:

“Freedom of thought… is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom. With rare aberrations a pervasive recognition of this truth can be traced in our history, political and legal.”

Even the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was signed by the United States, emphasizes this right:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

Abortion threatens foundational rights

Pro life advocates have long opposed human abortion as an obvious violation of each person’s “inalienable right to Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness,” as expressed in the Declaration of Independence.

In their zeal to protect court-imposed abortion rights, abortion advocates have set their sights on freedom of thought. Freedom of thought represents the greatest threat to the long term “health” of Big Abortion, upon which billions of dollars in profits hang in the balance.

Reproductive FACT Act

The most recent assault on freedom of thought comes in the guise of a piece of California legislation called the ‘Reproductive FACT Act.’ The bill compels pro life crisis pregnancy centers to violate their freedom of conscience by posting signage advertising where their clients can obtain “taxpayer-subsidized abortions.” Here is the wording they must display by law:

“California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [phone number].”

Imagine a law that compels a Ford dealership to promote the Honda dealership down the road who carries taxpayer-subsidized electric cars.

Pro life pregnancy centers face a fine of between $500 and $1000 PER violation if they refuse to comply by promoting human abortion.

Free advertising for the abortion industry

The Alliance Defending Freedom is representing the pro life clinics. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case. Their attorney, Kevin Theriot, said:

“It’s unthinkable for the government to force anyone to provide free advertising for the abortion industry. This is especially true of pregnancy care centers, which exist to care for women who want to have their babies. The state shouldn’t have the power to punish anyone for being pro-life. Instead, it should protect freedom of speech and freedom from coerced speech.”

New York and Maryland passed similar legislation, although circuit courts struck them down. The liberal 9th circuit court upheld the California law. Freedom of thought hangs in the balance depending upon the Supreme Court’s decision.

Freedom of thought is threatened in other ways

In a seemingly unrelated case, the Supreme Court just heard a case that will also affect freedom of thought.

The case is called Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The issue is whether labor unions representing public employees can compel you to pay union dues, whether you want them to represent you or not.

One of the problems with forced union dues is it requires you to fund political causes with which you may not agree, such as abortion. Labor unions consistently donate money to politicians who oppose any regulation on the human abortion industry.

Thomas Jefferson believed that “to compel a man to furnish contributions … for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves … is sinful and tyrannical.”

The Court heard the case a few weeks ago. Look for a decision in June.

The HHS Mandate violated freedom of thought

President Obama’s 2012 HHS Mandate launched the recent assault on freedom of thought. Following the passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare), the president instructed the Department of Health and Human Services to mandate that insurance plans include contraception and abortifacients.

Obamacare would never have passed had this mandate been included in the original piece of legislation. It compelled groups like Little Sisters of the Poor to violate their conscience. It required that they provide services that they believed were mortal sins, and pointedly did not exempt Catholic charities, schools, universities, or hospitals.

Although the Trump administration carved out broad exemptions to undo these violations of our freedom of thought, the rules are still in place. With the stroke of a pen, the next pro abortion president can quickly undo these exemptions.

The carnage of Roe v Wade is incalculable. Four decades later, we’re seeing that the very lifeblood of the American experience, freedom of thought, hangs in the balance due to abortion.

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