Three of the most conservative members of the Iowa House are preparing for a final showdown on the abortion issue. Tom Shaw of Laurens, Glen Massie of Des Moines and Kim Pearson of Pleasant Hill were first elected to the House in 2010.
The three will seek to prohibit state tax dollars from being used to provide abortions to Medicaid patients who are victims of rape or incest or whose lives are endangered by the pregnancy. Democrats in the Senate have rejected this proposal, saying it conflicts with federal policy on Medicaid spending.
“I know the liberal media has called us some pretty unspeakable things and the Republican moderates have called us ‘The Terrible Trio’ or simply ‘The Trinity’,” Pearson said last week, “but you are mighty men of God, righteous and courageous.”
Pearson gave a brief “farewell speech” last week and during a pause in her remarks, Massie whistled the theme song to the movie “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” which is another nickname the three have heard bandied about. Pearson referred to her time in the House as “short and bittersweet.”
“Compelled by my love for God, family and country, I entered public service,” Pearson said. “I was deeply concerned for the very survival of our constitutional republic and I’m now more concerned than ever and will continue to fight for life and liberty long after I leave the House.”
Both Pearson and Massie have decided not to seek reelection.
“Why would a fellow work so hard to run for office and then give it up after just two years?” Massie asked rhetorically during his farewell speech earlier this month. “All I can tell you is I’m deeply concerned for my country and I’m deeply concerned for the state of Iowa.”
Massie described serving in the legislature as one of the most frustrating experiences of his life, and he suggested his wife has been getting an earful at home.
“I feel like I know what it means to get ready to ‘go postal’ because I’ve been there,” Massie said, “…The only difference is I’ve been able to talk to you with composure…but what she got was #$%!”
Last year Massie, Pearson and Shaw supported a bill that would ban all abortions in Iowa, but it didn’t pass the House where they and their fellow Republicans hold 60 of the 100 seats. As the 2012 legislative session draws to a close, the three conservatives intend to make one last stand together. They’ll try to place an abortion ban in a key budget bill. Massie mentioned the issue in his farewell speech.
“All life needs to be protected,” he said. “Who are we to decide that we are God and we determine whose innocent life deserves to be preserved or whose should be taken?”
Pearson cited a quotation painted on one of the walls of the capitol to make her point on the issue. “Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong,” Pearson said to conclude her farewell speech.
AUDIO of Pearson’s speech.
AUDIO of Massie’s speech.