“We’re excited to start shaking things up a little bit,” says Rebekah Maxwell, the communications director for Personhood Iowa.
Maxwell says Personhood Iowa plans first to focus on changing the culture in Iowa churches and communities.
“We want to mobilize people who philosophically say, ‘Hey, I’m pro-life. I believe that every human being is created with purpose and worth and that deserves to be protected,” Maxwell says.
Political action is a “downstream” goal, according to Maxwell, who stresses that her group wants to change the “terminology” so the debate ultimately shifts to banning abortion rather than restricting abortion.
“When is a person a person? When does a human deserve human rights? When can they be protected by government, for example, since it’s government’s job to protect our human rights?” Maxwell asks. “I think that’s a very important question and one that tends to get lost in the larger debate about technique or restriction.”
In addition, Maxwell says Personhood Iowa plans to support “real, tangible alternatives” to abortion, like the ongoing care of the mothers and the children who are the products of unplanned pregnancies. She says all of these components amount to a “paradigm shift” for the movement.
“A more laser focus on what it is that we really believe,” Maxwell says. “It is the strategy for success, especially for the next generation.”
The launch of Personhood Iowa is scheduled for this Saturday, July 19 at Grace West Church in West Des Moines. Pastor Cary Gordon of Cornerstone World Outreach in Sioux City and the Reverend Ken Ratliff, the founder and leader of a Christian school in Des Moines, are among the scheduled speakers for the event.