Iowa Personhood Bill “Just Simplifies Everything”

Undoubtedly, the two Republican front-runners for  the GOP presidential nomination in 2016 are Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio, both practicing Catholics.

Here is how Michelle Goldberg accurately described Ryan’s position on abortion:

He believes ending a pregnancy should be illegal even when it results from rape or incest, or endangers a woman’s health. He was a cosponsor of the Sanctity of Human Life Act, a federal bill defining fertilized eggs as human beings, which, if passed, would criminalize some forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization.

In the context of the Republican Party platform’s complete ban of abortion—with no exceptions for rape or incest or to save the life of the mother—here is how Marco Rubio answered a question:

Rubio told “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer that for those opposed to abortion, “this is not an issue about denying anyone rights. This is an issue about protecting the rights of a human being to live – irrespective of what stage in development they may be. And so I think that’s what Mitt Romney and the Republican Party stand for…It’s about protecting the rights of human beings that have not yet been born.

That’s pretty clear, no? For both Ryan and Rubio, at the earliest stage of development humans have “rights” that trump the rights of their mothers in all circumstances.

Which brings us to this:

Iowa Bill Would Jail Raped Women for ‘Murder’ of Single-Cell Zygotes

A bill introduced by nine Republican state lawmakers in Iowa on Wednesday would define abortion as “murder,” sending doctors and raped women who terminate pregnancies to jail.

State Rep. Tom Shaw says that he authored House File 138 to protect human life, whether “you’re a zygote, an infant, a teenager or an adult.”

The bill defines a “person” as “an individual human being, without regard to age of development, from the moment of conception, when a zygote is formed, until natural death.”

“Murder includes killing another person through any means that terminates the life of the other person including but not limited to the use of abortion-inducing drugs,” the measure states without making any exceptions for rape or incest.

Republican state Rep. Rob Bacon, who is co-sponsoring the bill, told the Ames Tribune that he wanted to “protect the life of the unborn” because “[t]here’s still some of us that believe life begins at conception.”

During a Wednesday interview with Denver Bible Church pastor Bob Enyart, Shaw explained that defining a fertilized egg as a “person” in Iowa’s murder statute “just simplifies everything.” 

“So when anyone has any questions towards us — the war on women, are you doing this, are you doing that? — no, it’s a simple response,” he insisted. “We are only defining who a person is.”

“There was a lot of concern with former bills about who would be charged, what would they be charged with… This puts it in the hands of county attorneys, just like any other murder investigation. A person is a person.”

We must thank these Iowa Republicans for following anti-choice logic and making plain what two leaders of the Republican Party, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio, actually believe the law should be for the entire country, not just Iowa.

And we must thank Democrats in Iowa—who still control the state senate—that this bill has zero chance of becoming law.



  1. I personally don’t think Paul Ryan has a chance in 2016 or 2020. He swallowed way too much foot during the recent election and his views did nothing to help Romney. Rubio might consider a run but he’ll have to stop drinking spiked Tea, and make the most of his Cuban heritage to court the Hispanic vote. I would personally watch out for Jeb Bush, who is popular among republicans. He won a second term in Florida with a landslide, and his wife is Mexican born. His view on immigration reform hurt him in the past but it is exactly what republicans now need. The only thing going against him is his last name, Bush. Republicans are gong to pay close attention to the Hispanic vote in 2016. Jeb Bush could successfully court or split the Hispanic, and he would also stand a good chance to give Florida to the Republicans in 2016.


    • HLG,

      I share your skepticism about Paul Ryan, but I think Rubio will have a real chance of getting the nomination (I just can’t imagine Jeb Bush being successful, especially if Rubio is in the race).

      I don’t know if you noticed Fox’s Roger Ailes saying that Fox will become a more friendly network to Hispanics, which should give some of the hosts there ideological whiplash.



  2. I agree with Rep. Shaw, defining a fertilized egg as a person does simplify the issue, but having protestants embrace the notion makes me wonder if they are drifting into alignment with the Catholic Church, an organizational entity that has used similar reasoning to simplify issues. For example:

    1. To “clarify” scripture they postulate that God is actually three persons, but they are also one at the same time.
    2. At every mass conducted, the bread and wine are not merely symbolic but physically transformed into the flesh and blood of Christ (but not of the Holy Spirit or God).
    3. When the Pope is inspired to speak “ex Cathedra”, he is speaking for God themselves.

    Sure clears it up for me.


    • Jim,

      The Scholastics are alleged to have argued over “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” The answer, of course, is clear.



    • King Beauregard

       /  February 14, 2013

      About Papal infallibility … there’s nothing unique about the Pope and his expressing divine intention; every single religious adherent on any scale who claims divine inspiration is saying more or less the same thing. The Catholics just Latin it up because it sounds cooler that way.


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