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March 31st, 2011

Vander Plaats Differs with Freshman Republicans on Late Term Abortion Bill

By Kevin Hall

Bob Vander Plaats takes a different view on House File 657, formally known as House File 5, than the three freshman Republican legislators who oppose it.  Representatives Glen Massie, Kim Pearson, and Tom Shaw all supported Vander Plaats in his most recent gubernatorial campaign.  They stand firmly against the HF657 because they do not feel it goes far enough to protect life.  However, Vander Plaats says his organization, The FAMiLY Leader, will do whatever it can to prevent late term abortionist LeRoy Carhart from setting up shop in Council Bluffs.

House File 657 makes abortions illegal in Iowa after the 20th week of gestation.  The bill is specifically designed to keep Carhart out of Iowa.  The reason he wants to move to Iowa is because Nebraska passed similar legislation, essentially putting Carhart’s late term abortion mill near Omaha out of business.  Massie and Pearson teamed with Iowa Democrats to prevent HF5 from passing out the Human Resources Committee.  It was kept alive when Speaker of the House Kraig Paulsen moved it to the Government Oversight Committee.  It cleared that hurdle.

Pearson has proposed a “Personhood” bill, which would make all abortions illegal in Iowa.  Vander Plaats and his organization would like that to become law.  They also want to get every legislator on the record regarding where they stand on the sanctity of life.  However, unlike the freshman legislators, Vander Plaats is willing to get behind HF657 if the Personhood bill fails.  “If for whatever reason that doesn’t pass, we want to do whatever we can to keep Carhart out of the state of Iowa,” Vander Plaats said Wednesday in Iowa City.

Massie, Pearson and Shaw refuse to back any legislation that does not prevent all abortions.  Representative Shaw sent a press release out this week explaining his opposition to HF657.  It says, in part, “The language of House File 5 (now HF 657) condemns itself.  This is ill-conceived legislation that is both immoral and internally self-contradictory.  It is clearly unconstitutional.  However well-meaning, it can only lead to the further destruction of thousands more innocent, currently defenseless, Iowa children and the further erosion of the sacred principles upon which we premise republican self-government and our claim to liberty in our state and in our country.”

Vander Plaats is unsure why Massie, Pearson and Shaw are against HF657.  “I haven’t asked them that,” he said.  “I don’t know the process.  That’d be a better question for Chuck (Hurley) or Danny (Carroll), because I’m not at the Capitol every day.  I wish I’d be more updated with them today, but I’m just not.”

The Family Leader is officially listed as “undecided” on whether or not they support HF657.  Vander Plaats spoke out against the bill several times during the first few weeks of his 99-county tour across Iowa.  He said they prefer the “gold standard”, meaning the Personhood bill.   Vander Plaats’ voiced concerns that the language in the bill could backfire someday.  “Does that give precedence, if we pass that bill, to say ‘For the first 20 weeks we OK it’?” he said on January 20th in Pella.

However, Bob Vander Plaats realizes their “gold standard” will be difficult to pass through the Iowa Senate.  So, unlike Massie, Pearson and Shaw, he is willing to compromise in order to save lives.  “We don’t want to see Carhart or any crony like him come into the state of Iowa for late term abortions,” Vander Plaats said Wednesday.  House File 657 is the best method to insure that does not happen.

Photo by Dave Davidson


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About the Author

Kevin Hall

Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor’s office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad’s 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for

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