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Well, I never thought I’d be saying thanks to Nebraska abortionist LeRoy Carhart for attempting to expand his late-term abortion cartel, but that’s exactly what I’m here to do.
Iowa’s incoming pro-life Republican speaker of the House, Kraig Paulsen, noted on Iowa Public Television Nov. 20 that while abortion was not much of a topic on the campaign trail, Carhart’s Nov. 9 announcement that he was planning to open up shop in Council Bluffs “really elevated the whole discussion.”
Or, as the Des Moines Register put it, Carhart “pushed the issue, Paulsen said.”
Paulsen noted that consequently there were “several” legislative options under discussion.
One he mentioned was a law that would force abortionists to offer abortion-minded mothers the option of viewing an ultrasound of their babies.
Another was tightening a loophole in state law that currently allows late-term abortions for “health” of the mother, which basically amounts to abortion on demand, given the U.S. Supreme Court’s broad definition of “health.”
Another possibility would be enacting an abortion ban similar to Nebraska’s, which is what drove Carhart over the border to begin with. Nebraska’s Pain Capable Child Protection Act blocks abortionists from killing babies older than 20 weeks because they feel pain by that age.
Iowa Republican Gov.-elect Terry Branstad is pro-life, having defeated pro-abortion Democrat incumbent Chet Culver Nov. 2. He has promised to sign pro-life legislation.
Paulsen confirmed that the state House is overwhelmingly pro-life.
So the only branch of Iowa state government still controlled by pro-abort Democrats is the Senate, although just barely at 26-24.
Therefore, Iowans for Life is urging constituents to call Democrat Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal at 515-281-3901, prodding him to pass legislation in his chamber to stop Carhart. Ironically, Carhart’s new location would be in his district.
I expect Gronstal and Iowa Democrats are none too happy with Carhart for bringing them this public-relations nightmare.
I also expect abortion advocates are irritated with Carhart for triggering this call for more abortion restrictions. Currently NARAL gives Iowa a C+ on abortion, which is high by its standards. Pro-lifers would love for NARAL to bestow Iowa a flaming red F in the none too distant future.
Both Democrats and the abortion industry learned from the decade-long battle over the Partial Birth Abortion Ban that notoriety of second- and third-trimester abortions drives the public our way. Americans find the thought of killing older babies repugnant. Another irony: Carhart steered the PBA conversation, too.
There is also the issue of abortion-industry turf, which doesn’t get much publicity. But Planned Parenthood of the Heartland must certainly be livid with Carhart for impinging on its territory.
PPH already operates one clinic in Council Bluffs and two more in nearby Omaha, with a brand new PPH clinic scheduled to open in Omaha next month to replace one of the others. These are all less than 20 miles from Carhart’s current dump in Bellevue, Neb.
While PPH’s Omaha clinics don’t commit abortions, the Council Bluffs mill commits medical RU-486 abortions. And all three, plus an additional two more PPH clinics in the vicinity, refer to PPH’s Lincoln, Neb., mill only 50 miles away for surgical abortions.
So the area was already saturated by the blood of abortion even before Carhart’s planned expansion into Council Bluffs.
Speaking of RU-486, PPH and the industry are also undoubtedly unhappy with Carhart on that issue as well. When Carhart galvanized Iowan pro-life activists and legislators to block his late-term abortion expansion plans, he apparently also greased the skids to pass a law banning telemed RU-486 abortions. PPH secretly began committing these abortions via computer screen over two years ago. Paulsen said on Iowa Public Television his people were considering doing something about them as well.
Then there is Indiana, where Carhart has also promised to open a late-term mill. His announcement gave Indiana Right to Life the opening to call on legislators to pass a Nebraska-modeled fetal pain law.
And since Republicans cemented control of all three branches of government in Indiana Nov. 2, there is reason to believe such a bill will pass.
And Indiana pro-lifers, like pro-lifers in Iowa – and the rest of us – have none other than LeRoy Carhart to thank for opening the door.