In Iowa, voters elected a historic Republican majority into the General Assembly, breaking decades of two-party rule.
So, with an effective 30-20 majority in the Senate, a 59-41 majority in the House, and a Republican governor who asked for a life-at-conception bill, you would think getting that kind of legislation would be a slam dunk.
And you would also be very wrong.
After failing to get the bill out of committee before the deadline two weeks ago, due to lack of support among Republicans, the author of the legislation, Sen. Jake Chapman (R-Adel), attempted to have the bill added as an amendment to an existing 20-week abortion ban bill that did advance out of committee. The amendment (see video of Chapman introducing it below) was ruled to not be germane to the original bill—which originally included a statement that life begins at conception—by Senate President Jack Whitver (R-Ankeny), prompting Chapman to ask that the Senate consider suspending its rules to allow a vote.
Only 16 Republicans voted to allow the amendment to come up for a vote. Asking for such a vote is allowed under the rules of the Senate and is often used to force a recorded vote to create a record to be attacked during the next election cycle.
But to one Democrat, Sen. Tony Bisignano (D-Des Moines), the request was a slap in the face. In the video above, watch as he blasts the request to suspend the rules, suggesting they are "very, very sacred" and, ultimately, more sacred than the lives of the innocent unborn.
Ultimately, the 20-week abortion bill passed the Senate by a 33-17 vote.
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