DES MOINES, Iowa--Iowa looks set to follow a national trend by approving more restrictions for the state's abortion laws. Hundreds celebrated those efforts Thursday but many wish Republican legislators would have pushed for more.
"This is the most pro-life piece of legislation that will get to the governor's desk in the state's history," House Speaker Linda Upmeyer, a Clear Lake Republican, told the crowd.
"Saving babies every single day," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix, a Shell Rock Republican said of legislators' efforts.
"How proud I am to be part of the most pro-life administration in the history of Iowa," cheered Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, who is getting set to take over as governor when Terry Branstad resigns to become the next U.S. Ambassador to China.
All touted Republican efforts to pass a 20 week abortion ban. The House Human Resources committee passed a bill to do that Wednesday night. The senate already approved a similar measure.
But some hoped Republicans, since they have majorities in both legislative chambers and hold the governor's office, would work for more restrictions: either a six-week abortion ban just introduced this week or a life at conception bill which could eliminate all abortions. But lawmakers doubted the court system would approve either idea, since it would be, by far, the most restrictive in the nation.
(Supporters gathered shoes at the rally to represent the future of unborn children.)
Kendra Bowser, of Pleasant Hill, brought along her six-week-old son Benjamin to the Statehouse rally. She was disappointed lawmakers didn't push for a life at conception bill. But she still considers this year's efforts progress. "Obviously, we want every single life protected. Small steps, right?" Bowser said, "Every life we save is worth saving. Twenty weeks? If that saves a few more babies? Absolutely."
The full house still needs to vote on the 20 week ban before it could go to the governor for his signature.