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Rep. Zach Dieken decided to take the righteous action of filing HF2256, a bill that aims to abolish abortion in the state of Iowa. Although HF2256 hasn’t received much attention, it was crafted by a host of Representatives—Dieken, Carlson, Stoltenberg, Cisneros, Bradley, and Sherman—to accomplish what other bills merely skirt around, which is to actually end abortion.

You would think that with a Republican trifecta, near-Republican supermajorities in the legislature, a Republican-appointed majority on the Supreme Court, and with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, abolishing abortion altogether would be a straightforward task. However, this has not been the case. To my knowledge, this is the first bill that seeks to abolish abortion in Iowa since Rep. Tom Shaw challenged Democrats and RINOs alike in our state capitol. You read that correctly: despite all the Republican voting in our state, we have not had someone genuinely attempt to end abortion in our state—until now.

Here are a few key points that make HF2256 superior to other so-called life bills:

  • HF2256 recognizes the personhood of a child in the womb starting at fertilization. There is no doublespeak of “life begins at conception” and “if a heart is beating, it is alive.” Simple science tells us that there is a 6-8 week span from conception to heartbeat. You can’t have it both ways; either life begins at conception or it begins at heartbeat, but it can’t be both. HF2256 clears up this confusion by stating the truth—life begins at conception.
  • Equal protection under the law for the pre-born is recognized in HF2256. We often hear the rhetoric of “abortion is murder,” but it would be challenging to find a legislator who acts as if abortion is murder by looking at the bills they write. This bill would treat abortion for what it is: murder. In doing so, it would equally protect the pre-born under the law. There would be no special murder exceptions or weak slaps on the wrist for taking the innocent life of a precious child.
  • The exceptions are not included in HF2256. This bill would not punish a child because their mother was raped. While there is no doubt that painful and tragic circumstances can arise in this sin-cursed earth, HF2256 is clear that a child should not pay for the crimes of their father. In the midst of these painful and tragic situations, HF2256 establishes that killing your baby is not the remedy for the crime that was committed against you.

I believe these three reasons place HF2256 far above the plethora of life bills that have been filed over the past decade or so. It is clear that this bill seeks to establish true justice by recognizing the moral reality that it is not only wrong to murder a child in the womb; it is a crime, regardless of the age, stage of development, or circumstances under which the child was conceived. Legislators have decided to do what is right by writing and filing this bill!

The only problem is that HF2256 is in danger of not making the funnel and, like overripe fruit, dying on the vine. While it is an incredible step for legislators to put this bill forward, it needs to get to a subcommittee and a full committee before February 16th, or it will have to wait until next year. What is the hang-up with the bill? According to Representative Steven Holt, chair of the Judiciary Committee, the bill is “duplicative.” The reality is there are no other bills that recognize equal protection under the law for the pre-born, nor are there any other bills that would end abortion in Iowa with no exception. HF2256 is different; it is superior to the others that have been presented.

How can you help advance HF2256? By emailing Rep. Holt at [email protected] and letting him know that HF2256 needs to get to a subcommittee because it does something that the other “life bill” won’t, and that is to end abortion in Iowa.

Author: Sam Jones

Pastor Sam completed an intense pastoral internship at Hagerman Baptist Church and served as a chaplain at Heritage Care Center in Iowa Falls, Iowa before accepting the call to pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Hudson, Iowa. He loves people and his goal is to make disciples of Christ by personally, prayerfully, and persistently investing the Word of God into others.


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