Republican Lawmaker Says Women Should Be Forced To Carry A Dead Fetus To Term

by Christine Organ
Image via Shutterstock

“This bill wasn’t written for the intent to protect or govern on the side of the woman,” Lundgren said

During a hearing on Senate File 471 — a law that would pave the way for a state-wide ban on abortions after 20 weeks — Republican Rep. Shannon Lundgren made it clear that she is far more concerned with protecting unborn fetuses than the lives of women.

At a March 30 hearing on the bill, Democrat Rep. John Forbes, whose daughter is 20 weeks pregnant, asked whether she should be forced to carry a fetus to term even if there wasn’t a heartbeat.

“Is that good medicine?” Forbes asked. Lundgren responded by saying that the bill isn’t meant to protect women.

“This bill wasn’t written for the intent to protect or govern on the side of the woman,” she said. “It was written to save babies’ lives, giving the choice and being the voice of those babies… that don’t have one. I understand what you’re saying—this fetus, this baby, is not alive. I would concur that in that instance, if your daughter’s life is not in danger, that yes, she would have to carry that baby.”

An unsurprising shitstorm of criticism ensued and conservatives tried to backpedal. Shortly after the hearing, House Republicans tried to clean up Lundgren’s mess, even though according to Newsweek, no other lawmakers appeared to take issue with her statements or correct her during the debate. Colin Tadlock, communications director for Iowa House Republicans, told Newsweek in an email that the conversation was taken “out of context,” and Iowa House Republicans said in a tweet that Lundgren “misspoke.” The following day Lundgren said she “answered a question incorrectly and then corrected myself shortly after.”

Nonetheless, conservatives in Iowa – and throughout the country, for that matter – seem hell bent on limiting a woman’s right to choose and making “The Handmaid’s Tale” a reality. Iowa lawmakers initially proposed a “fetal heartbeat bill” that would’ve banned abortion at any point after a heartbeat is detected, which could be as early as six weeks of pregnancy. Fortunately, this downright inhumane piece of legislative garbage was scrapped, but Senate File 471 remains.

The bill is now under consideration by the Iowa House of Representatives. If it becomes law, Iowa would be the 18th state to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. A year ago, a Texas couple made headlines after going public with the heartbreaking story of how the woman was forced to deliver a stillborn baby rather than be induced to deliver a non-viable fetus because of a horrific Texas law that prohibits abortion after 20 weeks.

Though 471 isn’t as awful as the original proposed legislation, it’s still a dangerous and vile destruction of a woman’s right to make informed choices about her health and her body. The simple truth is that pro-choice legislation reduces the number of abortions. Period.

These laws are designed to shame women and strip away autonomy over our own bodies and often have unintended and heartbreaking consequences, like the devastation that Texas couple was forced to endure or, you know, making a woman carrying a dead fetus indefinitely like Lundgren suggested.

It’s interesting to note that Lundgren has also supported bills to limit workplace injury claims, prohibit cities and countries from enacting bans on possession of firearms, and limit collective bargaining for public employees. Apparently the “pro-life” position only applies to fetuses inside the womb, and not the lives of actual living, breathing people in this country.