Shaw says he supports abortion amendment

A proposed amendment to the state constitution which would essentially ban abortion in Iowa is supported by a lawmaker representing Webster County.

State Rep. Tom Shaw, R-Laurens, said Wednesday that he is in favor of the proposal.

”I do agree with the language,” he said. ”I do believe life begins at conception and that we have an obligation to protect all innocent life.”

The proposal from state Rep. Dwayne Alons, R-Hull, would amend the Iowa Constitution to define life as beginning at conception.

”I certainly would vote for it if it did get to the floor,” Shaw said.

However, he is skeptical that the measure will make it to the full House of Representatives for a vote.

The Legislature is facing a Friday deadline commonly called the funnel that pares down the number of bills lawmakers can consider. Most bills that have not been approved by a committee in the chamber in which they originated by Friday’s deadline are ineligible for consideration for the rest of the legislative session.

Shaw said the abortion measure has been assigned to the House Human Resources Committee, but as of Wednesday afternoon that panel had not scheduled any action on it.

”It just does not look like it’s going to make it,” he said.

State Rep. Helen Miller, D-Fort Dodge, indicated that she thinks it’s possible the bill could advance because Republicans control the House of Representatives. In an email to The Messenger, she did not offer any opinion on the bill.

State Rep. Rob Bacon, R-Slater, did not respond to a request for comment.

To become a part of the state’s constitution, the proposed amendment would have to be approved by the Legislature this year and be approved by the Legislature elected in 2014 before being submitted to the voters for approval.