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Jeremy Taylor is running for Congress in Iowa’s Fourth District.

Describe your position on the abortion issue: So, for me and my stance, it is that life begins at conception and is a God-given, inalienable right that has to be fought for, protected and preserved in this fallen world. So, I think that all instances, and in every instance, we ought to champion the cause and fight for a culture that upholds and protects human life. I’ve had a track record of doing so in the Iowa House as well as in my personal life and with my stewardship — whether that is supporting Personhood, or whether that is the defunding of any taxpayer dollars for abortion providers — even when that went against the majority of my caucus — or whether that’s in my personal giving to centers like Her Health Women’s Center that I support in Sioux City and for which I MC’d their annual banquet. I’m also someone who is very prayerful and believes that this is not only a political issue but a spiritual issue as well and one that I think anyone who is called to public service should make central to his or her message and to the way which that representative will ultimately govern.

Why are you pro-life: I’m pro-life because I’m a Christian and a believer that knows that our rights don’t come from government but they come from God. And that we are created in God’s image as Psalm 139 talks about us being knitted together in our mother’s womb. Our God-given rights are not just based on our class or certain position, but they’re something that each of us is given as inalienable. That’s something that I believe and will be a fearless and passionate voice on. I know that as well as a father and as a chaplain and just reading our Founding fathers — they talked about life as being the essential thing that we’re given and that ought to be fought for. I also know that it is darkness that has blinded people from understanding that basic tenant. So, it’s a matter not only of understanding that from a spiritual perspective and from a political, foundational perspective, but also just the very essence of empathy and compassion — that we as a culture and society ought to be about those who cannot protect themselves and a baby in the womb is the most innocent in terms of status and being unable to protect one’s self. That is the reason, from a moral perspective, that I believe life starts at conception. But, also from an ethical perspective and knowing the difference between right and wrong and that we ought to stand for those who cannot stand for themselves and be a voice for those who do not have a voice, and this is certainly the case with our unborn babies who need that protection.

When do you believe life begins: I believe life begins at conception.

What protections should be given to defend an unborn baby’s constitutional rights: So, in terms of policy, Personhood is the ultimate goal, but an immediate goal of mine would be the Heartbeat. One of the arguments I’m going to make, and I hope people can appreciate, is sitting on the Judiciary committee is critical. The events of the last few days (impeachment) have proven that very well. So one of my goals would be to sit on Judiciary and Personhood formalized by statute is a long-term goal. An immediate goal of introducing the federal Heartbeat bill would be something that I would take as a top priority. I think we need to, and I will, sponsor and support a federal Heartbeat bill, which would outlaw abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat. That, to me, is the immediate goal. Another goal is to make sure that abortion is something that is a part of our past and part of our history, albeit during a dark period of time. So, going forward, that would be my ultimate goal. I also support other means to make sure that we see until that time, no federal dollars and taxpayer funding going overseas providers or international groups that perform abortions. I also am supportive of legislation to make President Trump’s rule prohibiting clinics from referring patients to abortion providers through Title X, I want to make that the law. I support prohibiting abortion on unborn babies with Down Syndrome. And then finally, to fight to insure that the Department of Health and Human Services allows people to opt out of Affordable Care Act surcharges for abortion charges. Those are all means in terms of making sure that we have the protection up front. But, as we work toward that, these are all steps that I would take in order to make sure that we are having a full-court press on the cause of life at the federal level.

How have you lived out and expressed your pro-life position in the past: I’ve lived it out by publicly stating that there is no greater cause in any election than the cause of life. I said that when I first ran for office and I’ve been consistent and absolutely clear in my governance of the Iowa House and it’s been a personal passion of mine as a Christian, a father and a chaplain in order to make that a reality. It’s something that we teach our children. It’s something that we are committed to within our family finances — every month we support centers that come alongside those who are choosing life. And it’s something that I’m committed to in this race. I’m being very clear about that. So, that’s one of the reasons that we put forward 10 different commitments as a federal representative in a way that no one else in the race has in order to make sure that people are absolutely clear on where I stand on life. The other thing I would say is, in my family at large, we have supported adoption and have done so as my brother and his wife have adopted five children. My wife’s family has adopted and we have supported and loved those children and that’s one of the reasons that part of my 10-fold platform includes, as a federal representative, increasing the federal tax credit for adoption to $20,000 and to pass the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act, which makes current adoption tax credits fully refundable. Not only is it incumbent on us as representatives to have those protections in place, but to also do what the pro-life movement has for the last 46 years, which is to answer the objections of the Left of ‘Well, then who will care for these children.’ Well, we have stepped up and we have committed financially to doing so and we have, I think, a strong message that we will do so by supporting those who would otherwise adopt, by coming alongside mothers in crises, making sure families facing a hard decision know that there are other options. I believe that personally, professionally and politically I have been absolutely clear and I will continue to do so.”

Should the courts have the final say on abortion: No. I believe that ultimately what should be our strongest branch of government is the duly elected representatives. They ought to be able to make sure that this issue is decided law and if that ultimately takes a Constitutional amendment at the state level or at the federal level to make sure that courts can’t some how abrogate the right of every life, then so be it. I think ultimately it shouldn’t belong to the judiciary to try to interpret the plain meaning of the Constitution and that we are afforded the right to life. Any other interpretation is one that is searching for an answer that is not found there.

Do you support any exceptions that allow for abortion: I don’t support exceptions, except for in the case where it’s the life of the mother and it’s an actual, real and present danger. I think that is very rare. But that would be the only exception. And the reason I say that is that in the cases of where there are other tragedies, such as rape, that sin of the father does not belong to the child. So, I have known personally people within my larger family and otherwise who have been created in the image of God and who have led quite extraordinary lives. Their right to life should not be ended or decided based on what another individual did, as sorrowful as those circumstances are. That would be my position. It’s one I’ve clearly taken.

Would you support exceptions for rape or incest: I would support pro-life legislation that did not allow for exceptions for rape or incest because I believe that every life is exceptional and every life is created in the image of God. The bottom line for me is that all lives matter, period. That being said, if the legislation before me that was put forward by another and the only way to advance such legislation at that time is to have those exceptions, I would support that until such a time as we could enact legislation that did not make any exceptions. In other words, I’m willing to advance pro-life legislation as far as we possibly can. And whether that is to protect 94-97 percent of all lives until such a time as we can protect 100 percent of life, I will do whatever I can to advance the cause of life.

Author: Jacob Hall