Iowa State House Proposes Religious Anti-Choice Monument

Iowa State House Proposes Religious Anti-Choice Monument February 5, 2019

Dean Fisher, a State Representative in Iowa for House District 72 has proposed a privately-funded monument to be placed on the Iowa Capitol grounds in commemoration of aborted fetuses.

Mr. Fisher, it must be said, boasts the esteemed academic credentials of having graduated from the DeVry Institute of Technology in 1978 (several years before the school became fully accredited, and several decades before it became DeVry University). So I don’t think I’m going out on a limb saying he probably lacks the requisite scientific credentials to understand why it’s inaccurate to conflate abortion with killing.

“We build memorials for so many other things, Holocaust victims, the victims of slavery. And I think it’s only fitting that we also remember ‘she’s a baby’ (and) that these are also lives lost,” said Fisher.

H.F. 153 Seeks to Backdoor Religion Into Politics

The bill (H.F. 153) is very similar in structure to the kind of tricky wordplay we’ve seen from the Arkansas 10 Commandments monument. It calls for the monument to be privately funded (which unless I’m wrong does create a limited public forum …), and “requires the department of administrative services, in consultation with the capitol planning commission, to authorize the placement of an abortion victims monument on the capitol complex grounds”. Which mimics language we’ve seen before that tries to state things as a matter of fact that are not. Much like Stanley Rapert’s argument in favor of a 10 commandment monuments that it isn’t ‘religious’ it’s a monument to “the historical and moral foundations of law”.

Here too we see Mr. Fisher, without any obvious or clear understanding of the issues, suggest that ‘these are lives lost’, which is a religious opinion based on the idea of ensoulment at conception, with the actual ground truth that at worst an abortion is a potential life that was never realized.

I Keep Making this Point, ‘Play it again Sam’

Until such time that anyone can demonstrate that consciousness begins before the actual physical components of consciousness exist then the belief that a fetus is a person is just that, a belief, a religious belief.

To quote Scientific American:

“Its physical substrate, the thalamo-cortical complex that provides consciousness with its highly elaborate content, begins to be in place between the 24th and 28th week of gestation. Roughly two months later synchrony of the electroencephalographic (EEG) rhythm across both cortical hemispheres signals the onset of global neuronal integration.”

So, to establish a monument to abortion ‘victims’ makes as much logical sense as establishing a monument to the child that was never born because someone swiped left on your Tinder profile.

But more than that, what about the implications of this monument being on the Capitol lawn of Iowa? Iowans going to the capitol because they have business before the state who have had abortions would essentially be greeted by having the State call them a murderer. Iowans who have suffered through the loss of a pregnancy to save their own lives will be faced with the notion that their government thinks they’re morally deficient.

This Bill is an Insult

Recently the Iowa Supreme Court struck down a 2017 law in the state which mandated a 72-hour abortion waiting period. In the decision Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court Mark Cady said, ”Autonomy and dominion over one’s body go to the very heart of what it means to be free”.

Along with this bill attempting to make an emotional attack on the issue by establishing a monument to the never-a-person-in-the-first-place, the Iowa Senate has proposed Senate Joint Resolution 9, which would seek to change the Iowa Constitution to say that “the State of Iowa does not secure or protect a right to abortion”. At the moment, such a change to a State constitution would be superseded by Roe v. Wade so one wonders why they would want to pass an already neutered law now. However, it has become clear that the strategy of anti-rights theocratic activists is to chip away and hope that a more conservative Supreme Court of the United States ruling will allow them to start enforcing laws that currently don’t matter. This is Project Blitz.

About Jack Matirko
Jack Matirko is an activist, blogger, and podcaster focussing on issues of church and state separation. He runs Patheos' Satanic Blog For Infernal Use Only (patheos.com/blogs/infernal), co-hosts the Naked Diner Podcast (patreon.com/nakeddiner), and is a member of The Satanic Temple-Arizona Chapter. His opinions are his own. To contribute to his work please consider becoming a patron of his podcast. You can read more about the author here.

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  • Raging Bee

    That’s okay, we can just raise some money for a monument to all the women (and their babies) killed by vindictive, bullying policies aimed at denying decent healthcare to women, pregnant or not; and perhaps also to already-born children who lost their mothers to such hateful policies.

  • Franciscan

    They’re constantly testing the waters, the political Zeitgeist, in hopes of imposing their religious agenda one state at a time. Sometimes, unfortunately, they’re going to score. I think they’re delusional, however, if they think they’re going to get widespread acceptance for reimposing religious prohibitions on society at large, which even in the United States is turning ever more secular.

  • Robert Baden

    How about a monument celebrating those who managed to survive their unmarried parents attempts at abstinence.

  • That does raise an interesting point that they’d rather spend money on stuff like this than actual healthcare

  • The arc of history may be long, and may bend towards justice … but there are things like the dark ages that make it look less like an arc and more like a volatile stock chart

  • Raging Bee

    Or an erzatz sine-wave…

  • Phil

    How about a monument to all the people killed buy guns?