Coalition of Pro-Life Leaders Make Waves


By: Tim Overlin

Last Wednesday was an historic event in the life community that cannot be overstated. Anyone who has been involved in the pro-life movement in Iowa (and, to be fair, nationwide) knows there has traditionally been an undercurrent of disunity and even out-and-out disagreement among advocacy groups.

Well, no more; at least here in Iowa. There has been something in the works behind the scenes for over a year that culminated at the Capitol this session.

Right before the election season began a major step quietly took place at a diner a few miles south of Des Moines. Life advocacy groups talked ways to synchronize their efforts. And then November 8th happened!

Not only did the Republican Party take control of the Iowa Senate; they were able to gain a massive majority AND remove Sen. Gronstal. The powerful State Senator that was able to stop virtually all socially conservative legislation for years was no longer an obstacle!

Our advocacy helped give the legislative leadership of the party of life what they all said they wanted!  They had control.  We finally caught the car, now what would we do with it?

You see, on Wednesday, January 11, several of the most influential pro-life groups and individuals came together to publicly sign a pledge of unity as the Coalition of Pro-Life Leaders (CoPLL).


These were folks and organizations who had some serious disagreements over aspects of life issues.  But they focused on their common ground and in an act of unity showcased an agreement to respect and support each other.

They were wiping the slate clean and putting bygones behind them in order to seize this unprecedented opportunity. And boy, did it throw the media and onlookers off.

It also created an emotional meltdown judging from the reactions of the left. There have been reports of thousands of pieces of hate letters and threatening email making their way into our elected officials’ state mailboxes.
What is it that has everyone so up in arms?

These groups are presenting a unified front. The message this session is “we have each other’s backs and are unified in what we want.”

First, the expansion of health coverage for more women in more parts of the state. We are backing the Governor and Republicans in both chambers of the legislature in calling for the reallocation of money.  Funds will move away from abortion providers and into the numerous healthcare providers that actually provide women’s health services.

Second, we are saying that now is the time to assert that all innocent human lives deserve equal protection under the law.  We are calling for a Life at Conception Act to simply say legally what we know is scientifically true. While we have heard all of the arguments and positions on this very controversial issue, we cannot escape the plain and simple fact that the little one in her mother’s womb…She’s a baby.

Contact Participating Groups at:
Jenifer Bowen, Iowa Right to Life
515.244.1012 or

Maggie DeWitte, Iowans for LIFE
515.201.8281 or

Bob Vander Plaats, The FAMiLY LEADER
515.263.3495 or

Tim Overlin is the Executive  Director of Personhood IOWA