A resolution has been drafted in response to Republican Party money going to Republicans in the Iowa House who voted against the Heartbeat bill AND refused to support the Protect Life Amendment.
Representatives Lee Hein and David Maxwell are both seeking re-election. Both voted against the Heartbeat bill and also refused to support the Protect Life Amendment. Representative Louie Zumbach, who is not seeking re-election to the Iowa House, was the third Republican who kept the amendment from passing through the GOP-controlled chamber.
The Iowa Standard reported last year that the Republican Party of Iowa contributed more than $285,000 to Republicans who voted against the Heartbeat bill after those Republicans voted against the life issue.
To better understand how this works, Republicans in the Iowa House raise money. They then pool their money raised together and it goes to the Republican Party of Iowa. The Republican Party of Iowa then gives the money to candidates who are in competitive elections, pretty much as directed by the House Majority Fund.
So, if someone has a pro-life legislator and they give that money to that legislator, but that legislator doesn’t have a competitive campaign, it could likely end up re-electing a pro-choice Republican.
Some Republicans want that to change.
The resolution, drafted by Jeremy Taylor, petitions leadership of the House Majority Fund, the Republican Party of Iowa and all Republican candidates running for the Iowa House, Iowa Senate and statewide office to ensure any money contributed will NOT support any Republican candidate who has refused to support both the Heartbeat bill and the Constitutional amendment.
“We respectfully ask for assurances in writing from the Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley, Majority Leader Matt Windschitl, President of the Iowa Senate Jack Whitver, and Republican Party of Iowa chairman Jeff Kaufmann and co-chair Cody Hoefert on this matter and offer our sincere thankfulness for their anticipated continued support for the cause of life,” the resolution reads.
The Republican Party of Iowa has already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for Hein and Maxwell’s seats. Yet both representatives refuse to support the life issue.
Three Republican legislators – Hein, Maxwell and Zumbach – will keep more than 3 million Iowans from having their voice heard on the issue.
“There are three guys we know who wouldn’t vote for it,” said Tim Overlin, executive director of Personhood Iowa. “There’s also leadership who told us to hang back, they’d get it taken care of. So, you know, part of this hangs around leadership’s neck and the weight gets added to that if they start giving money or any other kind of support to any of these guys who would not vote for this constitutional amendment. This wasn’t even a hard lift for them.”
Taylor called the inability to get the 51 votes needed a disappointment.
“It is disappointing that with a 53-seat majority in the Iowa House, the House could not let Iowans decide on the issue of abortion neutrality,” Taylor told The Iowa Standard. “Eighty-two out of 85 Representatives and Senators voted for the most critical life legislation in the last decade that would have enabled a fair reading by the judiciary of legislation like the Heartbeat Bill. Ironically, three Republicans subverted the will of more than three million Iowans to decide for themselves in a major setback to those of us who champion the sanctity of human life.”
Life, as it turns out, is the top priority listed under legislative priorities in the Republican Party of Iowa platform. The first two planks state:
- We move the Iowa Republican party aggressively support a “life begins at conception” bill without exceptions. We believe that all human beings, from conception to natural death, have a God given and constitutionally protected right to life, which cannot be infringed we believe all such issues belong under the constitutional authority of the state, not federal government.
- We oppose using public revenues for abortion or funding organizations which advocate it. We commend those who provide alternatives to abortion by meeting the needs of mothers and offering adoption services.
The 2020 GOP platform also expresses support for the constitutional amendment.
Both Maxwell and Hein have voted AGAINST the first two legislative priorities listed in the Republican Party of Iowa platform.
Ultimately, Republicans must ask what matters most – party or principle.
For those who put party above principle, I ask one simple question – what good is a Republican Party that doesn’t uphold Republican Party principles?
Taylor called the Life issue the “greatest human rights issue of our time.”
“Life begins at conception and with an understanding that every unborn child does not have a voice,” Taylor said. “It is simply put the greatest human rights issue of our time. This transcends majorities, pragmatic politics, and so-called purity tests–it’s about right and wrong and the fundamental belief of who we are as a people: we either value the dignity of every God-given life or we just speak as if we do.
“As part of the pro-life community, I’m appalled that we could not get there. If we cannot stand for life as Republicans, what good is a majority? It is time for us to coalesce and make clear that conservatives who stand for the unborn have expectations that their dollars will only go to pro-life candidates, and this resolution will help to do just that.”
Maggie DeWitte, director of Iowans For LIFE, applauded the resolution.
“It’s time for transparency in our state legislature and political bodies, and the people of Iowa deserve to know that their financial support and their vote are going to candidates that are pro-life and will vote pro-life,” she said. “We should be getting behind candidates that believe in the sanctity of human life!”
The resolution is expected to be brought forth at various GOP county central committee meetings.