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March 20th, 2011

Does Purity Only Apply to Social Issues?

By Craig Robinson

Yesterday, House File 5, a bill that would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks, cleared its first hurdle in the House Government Oversight Committee when the three-person subcommittee voted to move the bill forward.  The bill is likely to be debated by the entire committee next week before moving to the full house for approval.

The bill is designed to prevent a brazen late-term abortionist, Dr. LeRoy Carhart, from establishing a practice that would provide abortions after 20 weeks.  Surprisingly, the bill has divided the pro-life community. Just yesterday, three Republican legislators sent out a press release saying that they oppose the bill.

Representatives Tom Shaw, Glen Massie, and Kim Pearson sent out the following statement:

“This morning House File 5 was voted out of the House Government Oversight Subcommittee. The bill is aimed at stopping abortions after 20 weeks. HF 5 does not protect innocent life from conception. This violates Article 1 of Iowa’s Constitution and we do not have the authority to legislate away an inalienable right. We do not support HF 5.”

Nebraska was the first state to pass fetal pain-based abortion bill last year.  The Nebraska bill has prevented Dr. Carhart from performing late-term abortions in that state, which has forced him to try and set up clinic across the river in Council Bluffs.  Recently, the Missouri and Oklahoma Houses of Representatives passed similar bills.

While Shaw, Massie, Pearson and The FAMiLY Leader strive for purity on the issue of abortion, some well-known and respected conservatives have voiced opposition to their tactics.

When talking about the issue on his morning radio program, WHO Radio’s Jan Mickelson said, “I can’t imagine people not supporting this [House File 5].  We are not talking about philosophy.  If this doesn’t get passed, the clock is ticking.  Kids will start to die.  We can stop this.  It’s not a question of should we stop it, it’s how fast should we stop it.”

Shaw, Massie, and Pearson refuse to support House File 5 because it doesn’t prohibit all abortions, yet when it comes to other issues, such as taxes, they have no problem with taking incremental steps.  Last month, the three voted for a 20 percent personal income tax cut despite the Republican Party of Iowa’s platform, which clearly calls the elimination of the present state income tax in favor for a flat tax.

If they oppose incrementalism on social issues, then why are they supporting an incrementalism approach when it comes to fiscal issues?

Shaw, Massie, Pearson and The FAMiLY Leader’s position on House File 5 isn’t admirable, it’s selfish.

Voting for the bill does not backhandedly endorse abortion like they claim.  The bill is a necessary response to a clear and present danger.  Other states have figured it out, but in Iowa, thanks to Pearson and Massie, we have wasted months fighting amongst ourselves instead of passing the bill and applying pressure on the Democrat controlled Senate.

Rep. Pearson was a supporter of Mike Huckabee in the 2008 Iowa caucuses.  While campaigning for president in Iowa, Huckabee said, “I’m pro-life because I believe life begins at conception, and I believe that we should do everything possible to protect that life because as it is the centerpiece of what makes us unique as an American people. We value the life of one as if it’s the life of all, and that’s why we go out for the 12-year-old Boy Scout in North Carolina when he’s lost; that’s why we look for the 13 miners in Sago, West Virginia, when the mine explodes; that’s why we go looking for the hikers in Mount Hood, because we value life, and it’s what separates us from the Islamic jihadists who are out to kill us. They celebrate death. They have a culture of death. Ours is a culture of life.”

I especially liked the line, “We value the life of one as if it’s the life of all.”  That is why I, and many others support House File 5.  Huckabee also often said, “I always am going to err on the side of life.”  We can prevent late-term abortions for taking place in Iowa if the legislature acts.  Is the bill perfect? Does it outlaw all abortions?  No, but it’s a necessary step, and it’s obnoxious an irrational to oppose it.

Photos of Pearson, Massie, and Vander Plaats by Dave Davidson

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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