Steve Reeder is running for Congress in Iowa’s Fourth District.
Describe your position on the abortion issue: Well, I am definitely pro-life and I believe that life starts at conception. There’s no gray area there. It’s just, I’m a firm believer in life. I think that there’s plenty of reasons for it. I think there’s more of an issue where we need to have better counseling for young women who have pregnancies and so they get the proper therapy for dealing with a pregnancy. We know there’s plenty of adoption options out there available for them. That’s what I believe.
Why are you pro-life: I’m a Christian, but that shouldn’t make a difference with life. I just believe that it’s not up to us to determine whether or not a life, at any age — whether it’s in the womb or a senior who is suffering from severe terminal illness — it is not up to us to make decisions on someone else’s life. I know some states have passed laws for ending one’s own life, and I don’t believe that. Even if it’s that individual’s decision, I don’t think it’s up to anybody else to participate in ending someone’s life. I believe that God created us all in His image and it’s not up to us to think that any individual can terminate another individual’s life, whether it’s in the womb or in their last stages of life.
When do you believe life begins: I believe as soon as there’s a fetus in the womb that that baby deserves an opportunity at life and I don’t think that we need to be trying to determine when it’s a viable fetus. I believe that all life is precious and it needs to be protected.
What protections should be given to defend an unborn baby’s constitutional rights: From a legislative standpoint of view that abortion is wrong, and once again, here’s a situation where most states have legislated that, and that’s why I also believe that it should be left up to the states and it’s really not an issue for the federal government. Here’s another case where the courts of tried to legislate rather than our state legislators. I’m a firm believer in the U.S. Constitution. And that Constitution is the framework for our country. We need to follow that Constitution in our country. It basically lays out that we have legislators who write the laws. The courts are only supposed to interpret the law. So once again, I think it’s more of a state issue and not a federal issue. The federal government has taken way too much control of the state and of our lives. When I get there, I want to put more control back in the states and less in the federal government.
How have you lived out and expressed your pro-life position in the past: I was born and raised in the Roman Catholic church. Both my parents were devout Christians. They taught me at an early age that life is precious and you do not treat another human being or discriminate or talk negatively about any other human, no matter what their race or ethnicity or anything. It’s cliche, but my dad had a famous saying when we were growing up — if us kids were talking about somebody else, he’d always say if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. And we’d just end it right there. We were brought up in a home where you didn’t talk negatively about other people. I’ve lived that life. My father just passed away at 92 years old and he was a man of his word and I’ve honored that. I’ve actually expanded my awareness of Christianity. I like going to more Bible-based churches now. I’ve gotten more out of the Bible. I believe that (the Bible) was a document used at the founding of our country as well as the United States Constitution. The more that we move away from the Bible and our Constitution, the worse it gets for our society.
Should the courts have the final say on abortion: No. I think it is up to the states and the people and their legislators to have the final say.
Do you support any exceptions that allow for abortions: Only if the mother’s life is at jeopardy would I support an abortion. If the mother’s life is at risk, I would say that would be a reason for a doctor to make the decision on that.
Would you support exceptions for rape or incest: What I’d like to say there is, I think the mother who has gone through any type of trauma or abuse or assault like that, that’s where we need to focus — is that woman who has had some type of trauma in her life. We need to have that woman get in front of a professional who can handle the counseling and the therapy to help her through something like that.