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Sioux City Republican proposes life-at-conception legislation

State Sen. Rick Bertrand said today he will push for a life-at-conception bill during the 86th General Assembly. With the help of Iowa Pro-Life Action, he plans to get members of both chambers on the record on the abortion issue.

State Sen. Rick Bertrand said today he will push for a life-at-conception bill during the 86th General Assembly. With the help of Iowa Pro-Life Action, he plans to get members of both chambers on the record on the abortion issue.

With the 42nd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision coming next week, a number of pro-life groups will be focusing attention on efforts to end the practice of abortion, both nationally and in Iowa.

One such effort was announced today by state Sen. Rick Bertrand (R-Sioux City) would declare life begins at the moment of conception, creating the means by which to permanently end abortion in Iowa. His proposed legislation, called The Iowa Life at Conception Act, would provide a legal recognition of something Bertrand says is already a scientific fact.

“Well, whether the pro-abortion crowd wants to admit it or not, from the moment of conception, unborn babies are genetically human, scientifically alive and have DNA distinct from their mothers,” he wrote in an email to members of the Iowa Pro-Life Action email list this morning. “From that moment forward, their hair and eye color – and all the way down to the shape of their little toes – has already been determined. So science proves what you and I have always known to be true – unborn babies are living humans with the same right to life as you and me.”

Bertrand, who works as an entrepreneur and commercial developer when he isn’t in the legislature, said the abortion issue was one of the primary reasons why he chose to run for office. He has made it his goal to end the practice that has become a billion-dollar industry that tragically ends 12 percent of all pregnancies in Iowa.

“[M]y love for my kids didn’t start at the hospital, after my wife gave birth,” he said. “I saw those ultrasounds. I heard the heartbeats. I remember the anticipation and the joy I felt before my wife Tammy and I welcomed our firstborn, Addison, into the world. So I can hardly imagine how anyone could hurt a child – born or unborn. But the abortion industry doesn’t care about unborn life. They don’t care about women and the emotional scars that stay with them for life either. They care only about the blood money flowing into their bank accounts.”

Bertrand said the Roe v. Wade ruling stipulates that if life was ever declared to begin at conception, then unborn children must be afforded protection by the U.S. Constitution. He said passage of his bill would end abortion in Iowa. And, he said it is time to put every member of the General Assembly on record on the issue.

“Virtually no one would hem and haw and make excuses while they watched a child drown in the middle of a lake,” he wrote to Iowa Pro-Life Action members. “ But when it comes to fighting to end the travesty of abortion in this country – or even here in Iowa – it seems all you and I get from many politicians is a list of excuses. Well, I don’t know about you, but I believe it’s high time for the excuses to come to an end.”

While there isn’t an actual bill on file in the Senate Bill Book as of this writing, Bertrand’s email is asking recipients to contact their legislators in the House and Senate in support of the proposed measure. He said many of his colleagues “just want to mouth pro-life rhetoric to get elected,” and then turn their attention to other issues once elected.

“It’s a game to them,” he said. “It’s nothing more than a cheap political game. Well, I believe it’s time we stopped playing games and started saving lives.”

In addition to the letters, emails, and phone calls to legislators, Bertrand is asking those who want to see abortion banned in Iowa to fill out Iowa Pro-Life Action’s online petition. The full text of the petition states:

Whereas: One million unborn babies have their lives violently snuffed out by the barbaric practice of abortion every year, with close to 4,000 of those occurring right here in Iowa; and

Whereas: In the horrific Roe v. Wade ruling itself, the Supreme Court noted that if life was ever declared to begin at conception, then unborn babies must be protected by the U.S. Constitution; and

Whereas: If passed, the Life at Conception Act would legally recognize that life begins at conception and finally put an end to abortion in Iowa; and

Whereas: Passage of the Life at Conception Act would only make legally binding what everyone already knows, that a baby in the womb is as worthy of life as a baby out of the womb; and

Whereas: It’s time self-proclaimed pro-life members of the Iowa General Assembly do more than just campaign on putting an end to abortion;

Therefore: I urge you to end the horror of abortion by cosponsoring and seeking roll-call votes on the Life at Conception Act.

Iowa Pro-Life Action, according to Bertrand, has a goal of generating 100,000 petitions. You can see the petition website by clicking here.

There are additional plans to launch a statewide advertising campaign on television, radio, and in print publications. The goal, Bertrand said, is to “turn up the heat” on the General Assembly to act on the proposed legislation.

“It’s time to find out who in the General Assembly is really pro-life – and who is just mouthing pro-life rhetoric to get elected every two years,” he said. “You and I can do that by forcing a vote in both houses of the General Assembly on the Iowa Life at Conception Act, which is designed to finally put an end to abortion here in Iowa.”