2012 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

Tuesday, June 05 2012

By Norm Pawlewski, Lobbyist for Iowa Right to Life

A number of pro-life bills were offered in both Houses. The Senate killed every one that the House passed as well as any that were introduced in the Senate.

At the end of the session, we made one last attempt to get something pro-life enacted. The Annette Sweeney (R) amendment to the Dept. of Human Services Appropriation would have denied family planning funds to clinics that provide or refer for abortions. The amendment passed the House, but was rejected by the Senate. Pro-life legislation killers, Sen. Jack Hatch and Sen. Joe Bolkcom, were on the conference committee that would decide the fate of Sweeney’s amendment. We had one Democrat senator, Joe Seng from Davenport, who agreed to support the amendment. We needed one more and numerous attempts were made by pro-life lobbyists and activists to get that one critical vote. We failed.

Defunding abortion providers like Planned Parenthood and others would have been a major accomplishment and saved some unborn babies’ lives. This issue will be back when the Legislature reconvenes next January. My prayer is that God will allow me to see that happen.

The pro-life movement lost a faithful and ardent supporter recently. Bob Dopf, Chairman of the Iowa Right to Life Committee, went home. When he met his King face to face, I’m confident he was greeted with, “Well done good and faithful servant.” Bob struggled with some health issues for many years, but they did not prevent him from fighting for the unborn effectively and with fervor. I will miss his counsel and his support. My wife and I were out of town at the time of his funeral, but I heard it was an appropriate tribute to this man of honor and dignity. The pro-life movement in Iowa has lost a warrior for the unborn. He will not be forgotten.