Friday, May 4, 2018

Iowa Heartbeat Bill: The Exceptions Speak for Themselves by Sarah St. Onge

Iowa Heartbeat Bill: The Exceptions Speak for Themselves, by Sarah St. Onge

Last month Ben Shapiro shared a video clip showing a mother speaking passionately about the value of her son’s life. Having conceived her son during a violent sexual assault, Jennifer Christie has bravely stood up to defend his right to life a number of times at rallies and before a variety of state legislatures.

Her words were well received by most pro-life believers. But her passion was evidently not enough to persuade Iowa lawmakers, and the Iowa Heartbeat Bill was passed with exceptions for rape and serious fetal anomaly. 

If we can ignore the glaring discrimination, the passage of Iowa’s heartbeat bill was a watershed moment in pro-life advocacy. While the bill still hasn’t been signed into law, it sent a strong message out to the rest of the country: we can pass restrictive pro-life legislation in a state which is not necessarily conservative. It would seem to be a shining achievement for the pro-life movement. 

But with the exceptions, the bill sent another message: A message of exclusion for those conceived in rape or who have been diagnosed with a serious birth defect, and there have been some who’ve spoken out against that message, including Ms. Christie herself.

Watch HERE.

Viewing the very personal video, seeing the visceral reaction the news has provoked in her, leaves the watcher feeling a bit less certain about whether the Iowa bill is as great as it seems. 

We move on to a statement from Rebecca Kiessling who, with tears in her eyes and audible distress in her voice, explains the emotional toll these
Sarah St. Onge with Rebecca Kiessling and Darlene Pawlik
exceptions take on her.

Watch HERE.

As a strong and outspoken representative of those conceived in rape, her words add an element of intimacy to the proceedings which highlight the fact we’re speaking of real people: children conceived during a sexual assault aren’t just a philosophical concept -- they’re our friends, neighbors, and loved ones. They deserve equal protection under the law -- the same protections you or I deserve.

Last, we hear from me, Sarah St. Onge.

Watch HERE.

My daughter was diagnosed with a lethal birth defect before birth. Exceptionally frustrated with the liberties lawmakers take in excluding children like mine from protection, I want to know why we continue to place these exceptions into laws we are writing. Why not leave the picking and choosing to the pro-choice side? Why ruin our reputation with an inconsistent message regarding the value of an unborn child? 

With the wealth of information available about the life of the unborn, it’s foolish for us to continue on the discriminatory path we are headed down. Rarely, if ever, do these exceptions get removed once they’re in place. We are sentencing valuable, wanted, and fragile innocents to death. There is no excuse for this -- the time for political maneuvering should come when we meet those who oppose us on the floor, and not before we've even put an offer on the table.

We beg you to continue to help us fight for our rights, and the rights of our children, to have equal protection under the law, like all other American citizens. 

BIO:  Sarah St. Onge is a mother and pro-life blogger for Save The 1.  She blogs on faith, grief, loss, and pro-life issues pertaining to continuing a pregnancy after a lethal anomaly has been diagnosed, at