An attemp to force consideration of a proposal that would ban nearly all abortions in Iowa failed in the Iowa House tonight. 

Representative Kim Pearson, a Republican from Pleasant Hill, used a parliamentary move to try to bring up the abortion ban for debate, but fell 26 votes short of the 51 “yes” votes needed to begin debate of an abortion-related bill.

“I actually thought we’d have a little bit more,” Pearson told reporters after the vote. “But I’m encouraged by that many that were willing to step up and say, ‘You know what? We need to have an open and honest debate about life at conception. Do we value life or (not)? Do we really want to change this culture of death to a culture of life or not?'”

Twenty-four Republicans and one Democrat in the House joined to vote in favor of bringing up an abortion-related bill for debate, but 51 votes were needed.   Pearson had hoped to substitute the outright ban on abortion once debate began.

“Is this a principle that the  Republicans want to stand up for or not?” Pearson asked. “…The issue never goes away. For 38 years we’ve been killing babies and until we rectify that, it’ll still be an issue.”

Pearson’s proposal would have provided one exception to an outright abortion ban, allowing abortions to save the life of the mother. Pearson and like-minded legislators may make other attempts yet this year to force a debate on legislation to ban nearly all abortions in Iowa. 

“This is an act of faith,” Pearson said. “This is what we’re supposed to be doing and so we step out and do it and see what happens.”

Some Democrats have criticized the abortion ban Pearson proposes, saying it might make contraception, including “The Pill”, illegal in Iowa.

The Iowa House has voted to ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, but that bill is stalled in the Democratically-led Iowa Senate.  A key senator said this morning that he would introduce a different bill that would specifically prevent a Nebraska doctor from opening a late-term abortion clinic in Council Bluffs.

The following House members voted in favor of bringing the abortion issue up for debate this evening: Alons, Anderson, Brandenburg, Chambers, De Boef, Dolecheck, Fry, Grassley, Hagenow, Hager, Jorgensen, Klein, Koester, Massie, Moore, Muhlbauer, Pearson, Pettengill, Rogers, Schultz, Shaw, Jeff Smith, Soderberg, Sweeney and Jeremy Taylor.  All are Republicans except for Dan Muhlbauer, who is a Democrat from Manilla.