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One of the people to speak against the proposed life amendment was David Sickelka, the senior pastor at Urbandale United Church of Christ.

“I keep hearing language about this bill, that suggests that it is up to the legislature to determine what our rights are, and we also have a long history of saying that our rights are not up for a vote,” Sickelka said.

He said when the Founders of the country circulated the Constitution, people bristled at the lack of protection for rights. And, throughout history, the courts have determined what that means.

“You do not have a primary role in that,” he told the legislators.

Sickelka said he represents a church that doesn’t have unanimity on the issue of abortion, but the church has provided “fact-based, faith-based sexual education” for middle school students since before he arrived.

He said he has never been told of a high school girl being pregnant from his church.

“Now, if we’re going to argue about this, if we’re going to have these kinds of discussions, let’s focus on things that really work, that really do make a difference in peoples’ lives,” he said. “I think that it is wrong-headed to focus on what rights are not in our Constitution. We have rights, and they are not granted to us by the legislature, they are granted by the Constitution. To begin to chip away at those is a dangerous precedent.”

Jacob Hall

Author: Jacob Hall