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May 27th, 2011

Letter to Senator Seng Regarding Late Term Abortion Regulations

Dear Senator Seng:

I will be direct because lives are indeed at stake and pro-lifer’s belief in your commitment to follow through in support of pro-life efforts has been severely shaken.


In this note I will as briefly as possible address several matters regarding the status of the late term abortion regulatory bill (HF 657) and your floor support of Senator Bolkcom’s bill (SF 534) instead. It is my belief that SF 534 was designed only as political cover for Senator Gronstal and possibly to enshrine late term abortion in Iowa.

Frankly Senator the history is clear enough, and the implications of voting for SF 534 and not passing HF 657, the true late term abortion regulatory bill, are foreboding. SF 534 was not the best you could do and as long as the legislature is still in session there is still a chance to actually achieve meaningful protection for certain pre-born children. I beg you to support all efforts to do so and position HF 657 for a direct vote and then vote it into law.

The points I outline now are somewhat commingled later but involve: 1) the matter of the background to and the efficacy of the Bolkcom bill vis-à-vis HF 657 (and Bolkcom’s use of certain terms as a ruse)  2) that the “certificate of need” process provides no likely or reliable protection to the unborn, and  3) the issue of the parliamentary subterfuge of “germaneness” used to defeat pro-life efforts, which I am told you went along with.

SF 534 as opposed to HF 657

Senator Bolkcom’s bill (SF 534)  is a contrived bill by conspirators devoted to protecting the abortion regime, the main purpose of which is to provide political protection for Senator Gronstal and NOT to limit late term abortion in Iowa. The bill you supported would do nothing actually preventative or permanent to protect any unborn lives or keep a late term abortion center out of Iowa.

How do I “know” that?  Well the language of the bill and the mere procedural “limitations” are most damming but the first clues are the author, his cohorts,  and the beneficiary. Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion syndicate in the country and helped draft the bill. Senator Bolkcom is an ardent pro-abortion state senator who according to Project Vote Smart supported the interests of Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa 100 per cent of the time in the periods their Web site covered (see He supported the interests of Iowa Right to Life Committee 0 (zero) per cent of the time.  Their tallies go back to 1997. Senator Gronstal of course has a commensurate record.

Both Senators are recipients of largess either from Planned Parenthood’s Freedom Fund (political action committee) or Planned Parenthood Voters of Iowa PAC.  Planned Parenthood’s political largess also extensively goes to the Iowa Democratic Party, whose platform ardently protects unfettered abortion. Senator Gronstal is a member of the Democratic Party’s state leadership.

Of course you know that Senator Bolkcom was married to the Executive Director of the Emma Goldman abortuary in Iowa City (and only recently divorced). I am sorry but one would ask too much from credulity to believe that such a combination has the interests of unborn members of the human family at heart.

Senator Bolkcom’s is hardly the person a sincere Gronstal would pick, or the extremely few ostensibly pro-life members of the Democrat legislative caucus should so easily permit, to write or floor manage a bill to limit abortion under Roe v Wade. Planned Parenthood’s lobbyists consulted on the drafting of the Bolkcom bill which you voted for yet there was no consultation with Iowa Right to Life lobbyists in the drafting nor did you support amendments to the bill by pro-life legislators after it was revealed to them.

Senator Bolkcom’s bill which you are now tied to unless you can recognize that Party loyalty demands too much, not only keeps Iowa in the running for the location of a center for late term abortion, but narrows the number of towns to so few so as to potentially target Davenport. How could you in good conscience put Davenport or the state of Iowa at any risk whatsoever in order to facilitate partisan political maneuvers?

A bill such as Bolkcom’s bill would have never resulted in notorious abortionist Leroy Carhart leaving Nebraska because Carhart was already located near a metropolitan area with access to tertiary and “neonatal care” as alluded to SF 534. In fact it was a bill such as HF 657 that instigated Carhart to leave and that is the minimum that will keep him or his ilk out of Davenport and the rest of Iowa. Other Midwestern states have or are in the process of protecting themselves from Carhart, you have supported a bill that can potentially be used to enshrine late term abortion here or elsewhere in the state.

Bolkcom’s bill by design does nothing to protect unborn babies at 20 weeks or 24 weeks or 40 weeks for that matter. The use of the term “neonatal care center” in Bolkcom’s bill is pure deception as NOTHING in the bill requires an abortionist to use any technique that might result in the actual survival of the unborn child (HF 657 tries to). Under Bolkcom’s bill with your vote an  abortionist can with impunity make every effort to insure the demise of the child in utero and no doubt will. The term is used for window-dressing and you must know that.

Hiding behind the claim that HF 657 is unconstitutional is dodging responsibility because HF 657 is essentially the same as the Nebraska bill which hasn’t even been  challenged by the abortion industry in court and is in effect. The result was that Carhart shut his late term abortion business there and announced plans to locate in Iowa and Maryland. Planned Parenthood usually sues at the drop of a hat even before implementation of a law that might in any way be significantly protective of unborn life but they have not. Nevertheless national pro-life legal experts welcome a lawsuit.  Senator, Planned Parenthood knows that they will take a deserved beating certainly in the court of public opinion and that ultimately it is likely we will prevail as we ultimately did on the matter of partial birth abortion because we never give up. Why have you thrown in the towel on HF 657 so easily?

Certificate of Need

Regarding the issue of the “certificate of need” process as somehow keeping an abortion clinic out,  it is my understanding that you have received a legal analysis of Bolkcom’s bill by Martin Cannon a Council Bluffs based attorney which makes a number of points about the certificate of need process. It is appended again here for your reference.

His conclusion is that the bill does not protect Iowa’s unborn children through that process or their mothers. Do you have a legal analysis by Planned Parenthood or perhaps the ICLU that Bolkcom’s bill by purporting to inject the certificate of need process will unquestionably prevent a Carhart type of facility in Iowa? What exegesis of the certificate of need process en re abortion has ever been successful in Iowa or anywhere in the country, late term, early term, you name it?

Indeed by “virtue” of focusing on facilitating late term abortion an applicant need merely claim an unmet need which in typical and predictable bureaucratic “public health” mindset and interpretation there are never enough abortions.  Think back. Did the certificate of need process stop Planned Parenthood from opening an abortion clinic in Bettendorf? Hospitals and individual doctors here already performing them. We couldn’t even get a zoning restriction upheld and you seriously think this process is more than folderol.

To seriously mount a challenge as to “need” another facility has to expose itself as wanting that business  desirous of the volume, and already in business and capable of that volume and at competitive cost. Besides the fact that there is not another business like what Carhart proposes in the state, with his expansive target market, what facilities reportedly that do a few late term abortions will be interested in exposing themselves and risking boycotts of their total business? They will gladly sit on their hands, not challenge the “need” and offload the few they do do to him or his ilk.  Indeed can you seriously imagine Genesis or Trinity Health Systems rushing to a certificate of need board and insisting they want that business, that such a center will hurt their abortion business, exposing themselves as desirous of such “controversial” business?

Furthermore the certificate of need process is not an arena for determining what abortions are “necessary.” In the absence of a lawful restriction such as HF 657 such an adverse administrative determination would be struck down in a fetal heartbeat. The process is really an arena for inter-hospital rivalries and forums for physician groups to do battle with hospitals, (the former usually winning) over existing business. Carhart’s purpose is to bring in outside business.  Unless Trinity or Genesis or some physician or whoever wants to say they want to be the center for late term abortion, they will not challenge. And if they did . . . well what have you achieved but to have helped identify a lucrative baby killing market for them and the procedures to ensconce the activity?


As regards the alleged parliamentary problem of germaneness of Republican efforts to amend a bill dealing with “specialized outpatient surgical facilities” (specialized as in abortion) whose amendments also dealt with abortion and fines and regulations, well Senator that does not pass the straight face test as anything other than a raw political power play with unborn babies as the victims.

Civics 101 alone would serve as a rejoinder to the offering of such a defense of the proceedings but beyond that I also rely on the testimony of our lobbyist Norm Pawlewski. Besides decades of experience with the legislative process Mr. Pawlewski is the former Commissioner of the Iowa Department of Public Health. Now as our chief lobbyist his comments are relevant both to the arbitrariness exhibited in the parliamentary “process” and to the certificate of need issue. As the former Chief administrator of the Iowa Health Department his familiarity with issues surrounding the certificate of need concept is may I say, deeper than most including yours.

Senator I do acknowledge that you did vote to pull HF 657 out of committee and onto the floor. But the votes necessary for passage were extremely tight and we needed and continue to need every vote on the floor to pass HF 657.  Your most recent actions however were akin to getting on base for the team with one run down in the last inning.  It sounds commendable but not if you slow walk around the bases making the whole effort for naught.

In an interview you made reference to the necessity for the pro-life movement to crawl. We have been crawling, begging as we have crawled for 38 years since Roe v Wade. We crawl and beg for legislative and judicial morsels we have received to protect some unborn lives and protect women’s health.  HF 657 does both and we continue to crawl and beg for your full support for this important legislation.

No biblical scholar am I but in discussing this matter with another better versed as to  what we need from politicians who we must depend on who find themselves thrust into key positions at historic moments I was referred to the Book of Esther.
Esther 4:14b  “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this.”  It is more profound than my prosaic analogy above and it struck me that I should pray that you receive guidance from it the whole book of which I commend to you.


Roger Mall
Iowa Legislative Coordinator
Quad City Right to Life

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