States making strides for life

Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Chris Woodward, Charlie Butts (

21-week babyKentuckians are pleased that their governor has allowed a so-called "born-alive" bill to become law, and pro-lifers in Iowa are working to undo the damage the state's highest court has done to their cause.

Though Kent Ostrander of The Family Foundation of Kentucky tells One News Now his organization was disappointed that the governor vetoed the measure last year and this year allowed it to go into law without signing it, the Foundation is still "delighted" that after three years, the measure is finally law.

Governor Andy Beshear (D-Kentucky) and his father before him, former Governor Steve Beshear (D-Kentucky), are pro-choice individuals.

"Politically speaking, he needed to let this bill become law, because what kind of governor does not want to give medical care to a child born alive?" Ostrander continues. "So in order to stay on the fence, he allowed it to become law, satisfying pro-life people. But he didn't sign it to satisfy his pro-choice base."

Ostrander, Kent (Family Foundation of KY)The Associated Press reports that under the bill, a doctor performing an abortion must "take all medically appropriate and reasonable steps to preserve the life and health of a born-alive infant." It requires a "born-alive infant" be given nourishment along with medical care, treatment, and surgical care deemed medically appropriate.

While many, if not all, of today's pro-life bills or laws end up in court, Ostrander does not think the born-alive law will be challenged.

"We think it's sound," he explains. "It's actually common sense. Doctors, nurses -- all medical folks are supposed to give aid to anyone in a crisis. And regardless of the age of gestation, the newly-born [need] help, and this requires that they give the appropriate help."

Meanwhile, the Iowa Legislature is moving on a proposal to salvage the state's abortion laws.

The state Supreme Court in 2018 tossed the requirement for abortion-minded women to wait 72 hours before going forward with their decision, ruling that the Constitution provides a right to the life-ending procedure. Now, Iowans for Life (IFL) is part of an effort to undo what the judges did.

"We believe the people of Iowa and not unelected judges of the state Supreme Court should decide how Iowa regulates abortion," Maggie DeWitte, IFL's executive director, tells One News Now.


The 2018 decision put all of the state's pro-life legislation at risk, including the ban on the practice of dismemberment abortions.

"This ruling … is what undid our Heartbeat Bill that we passed," DeWitte adds. "Because of this ruling, the district judge in Polk County ruled that the Heartbeat Bill was unconstitutional because we have a fundamental right to abortion in our Iowa Constitution."

Pro-life groups are asking the Iowa Legislature to pass the Protect Life Amendment and put a stop to radical judges making such decisions in the future. The measure must pass in two consecutive sessions of the legislature before it can be placed on the ballot for the people to decide. Approval would mean Iowa will not become the next New York, where abortion is wide open and mostly unregulated.


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