[Here is a transcript of Kim Laube’s testimony before the Iowa Senate’s subcommittee on the Heartbeat Bill, SSB 3143, on February 8th.]
I am Kimberly Laube, Director of Life Ministries for Lutheran Family Service. I direct the adoption agency and pregnancy counseling program that began in 1901 in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
I would like to address the question:
Does Iowa have the infrastructure to handle the number of children born to women who would have otherwise sought an abortion if were not for a law prohibiting them from an abortion after a heart beat is detected?
Currently Iowa reports abortion statistics in terms of those prior to 13 weeks gestation and those after 13-week gestation. In 2014, according to The State of Iowa’s Vital Statistic Report, 283 children were aborted either surgically or medically that were over the age of 13 weeks. All other abortions, which totaled 3732, were performed at gestational age 0-13 weeks.
We do not know the exact number, because but we can use national statistics to help us reach a good estimated number.
According to Guttmacher Institute, two thirds of women have an abortion prior to 8 weeks gestation. Using that statistic 1232 of the 3732 women who were reported to have abortions before 13 weeks would have had their abortion after a heart beat could be detected and would have been prevented from doing so.
The adoption option
Using those assumptions, In the state of Iowa there may be 1,515 children being born to mothers who otherwise would have had an abortion.
The National Council for Adoption has complied quite a bit of data surrounding adoption and abortion. There is a national adoption rate of 7 babies to every 1000 babies aborted or born to unwed mothers in the United States. This is called the Adoption Option Index.
The National Council for Adoption broke out their numbers further and reported on the Adoption Option Index state by state.
Iowa is an adoption friendly state
There were some very important findings… important enough that I would like to quote The National Council for Adoption about their findings. Here is what they had to say.
In 2014, four states had Adoption Option Indexes three or more times higher than the national average—Utah (36.3), Arkansas (26.8), Montana (23.1), and Iowa (21.4). There were two to four adoptions for every 100 abortions plus births to unmarried women in these states. This suggests that in these states women may have more extensive counseling, services, and facilities to orient pregnant women towards adoption—among other factors.
That’s good news!
Iowa’s Adoption Option Index appears to show that we currently have an infrastructure that helps us succeed at least three or four times the national average!
According to various sites, including the Federalists, American Adoptions and other websites, it is common to use the statistic of 2 Million American Couples are waiting to adopt.
That is approximately 36 couples waiting for every one infant adoption.
It is not realistic to believe that all 1,515 extra births in Iowa annually would be placed for adoption. Our Adoption Index would indicate it is somewhere around an additional 30 children who would be placed for adoption. There are multiple adoption agencies throughout Iowa besides Lutheran Family Service who could easily absorb an additional 30 placements.
Some of course will be parented and may rely on welfare or other state aid. But, Vital Statistics indicate that about 60% of the women seeking abortions in Iowa have some college education which will make them less likely to need welfare assistance throughout their life time.
It will remain to be seen the impact this bill will have on our infrastructures, welfare, Medicaid and adoption, but there are some indicators here that lead me to believe we have a good foundation for support.
I rise in favor of SSB 3143 and rejoice in the 1515 lives it will save annually.
[The Heartbeat Bill needs YOUR help this Monday. Can you attend a crucial hearing Senate subcommittee hearing Monday, February 12th, 5PM, in room 116? Planned Parenthood will be out in force. Pro life proponents need to show their support. Be sure to read/watch Maggie Dewitte’s testimony.]