Dave Paxton

Iowa’s fetal heartbeat law is before a judge as Planned Parenthood and other pro-death groups attempt to prove it is unconstitutional. I won’t even guess how this judge will rule. If he’s like most other left-leaning judges on the Iowa Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, the law will be turned back.

But I will never understand how these people deny a beating heart is a sign of life. Reka Basu, radical left wing Des Moines Register columnist, presented a tortured column regarding the inviability of unborn life. Even though a fetus is perfectly formed, has all of the DNA it will ever have as it grows and has a beating heart, it is not viable unless it can sustain life on its own, according to Basu.

This logic is just this side of insane. A baby born at nine months is not viable without the loving care of an adult. You could argue that a five-year-old’s life is not viable without help. Certainly, an elderly person’s life is not viable without help at some point in their aging process. An unborn baby’s help comes from the womb, protected by the life support of its mother. My 90-year-old father’s life support came from an assisted living facility in the final year of his life.

Reka Basu’s husband died from ALS. Under her definition, the final years of his life were not viable. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t think that way because he was her husband, the father of their children and a part of a community even as ALS robbed him of all of his physical abilities. But not to think of an unborn child, a person with a beating heart and living and growing human attributes as viable, is beyond belief.

Every time I think of abortion on demand, particularly during this time of year, I can’t help but think of the birth of Jesus. Had the son of God had the great misfortune to be conceived in post 1973 America, with all of the circumstances surrounding his parents, it’s likely he would have been another notch in the belt of Planned Parenthood or some other for profit abortion clinic.

And if you dig into the Christmas story from this perspective, you can’t avoid a truth about God. He placed the future of his son in the hands of people who logically couldn’t care for him, under American abortion logic, shouldn’t have given him life and yet trusted their obedience and love.

Granted, a visitation from a real honest to goodness angel helped convince first Mary and then Joseph what course they needed to take, but God placed the life of the baby Jesus in the hands of an extremely fragile couple.

In Catholic tradition you have all kinds of medals for Patron Saints for different situations—St. Christopher, for travelers, St. Benedict, strength through temptation, St. Michael the patron saint of police officers and soldiers—there are dozens and dozens. But I’m not sure the unborn or the parents of unwanted or unplanned children need a patron saint because they have God himself to stand in the gap.

That is until Roe v Wade.

I’m sure people get tired of me carping on Right to Life issues and others probably think I’m hard-hearted toward young girls and women who find themselves in a difficult way. But it’s been ingrained in me from a really young age to defend life regardless the cost.

And I’ve seen the results of decisions on the side of life. My first cousin got pregnant at 16 (in 1965) and it sent the family into orbit. She got married, had the baby and later divorced, but from that initial misfortune has come generations of successful farmers, champion wrestlers and all-state football players.

A young Meskwaki boy my mother took under her wing as a first grader came from horrible circumstances and despite my mother’s best efforts turned to drugs and alcohol and served prison time. Today he is a pastor.

My nephew, first fostered, then adopted by my brother and his wife, was an accident that happened, growing up with learning disabilities cultured in the womb. He has forged a successful career in the U.S. Army. We are joyously awaiting his return home from deployment in South Korea this Christmas.

My youngest brother and sister began life unwanted and orphaned, but escaped abortion because of Korean culture. One is a chief of police. The other a career social worker. My oldest daughter, my youngest son, both born into difficult circumstances, both gifted and cherished in their own ways.

There’s a weirdo song penned by John Lennon that liberals love to sing when it comes time to protest U.S. military intervention entitled “Give Peace a Chance.” I wish the words could be changed to “Give Life a Chance.” You never know, the next John Lennon could be the product of that ideal.

I covered my first school board meeting in 1979 in Charles City and I remember the white foam around the corners of the mouth of the superintendent (too many Tums) from the stress of dealing with a newly empowered teacher’s union. In almost 40 years, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the likes of what has happened in the Waukee school district.

I mean there is always something on the edge of crazy circulating in the public schools and I have judiciously covered them in a half dozen different communities, but most of the time the problems aren’t self-inflicted. Outside sources and social forces sort of take over at times and well-intentioned school boards and administrators battle through, mostly I think for the good of students.

Sometimes not.

But starting with tone deaf top administrators and trickling down through clueless school board members, the Waukee school board and administration has engineered a public relations crisis of epic (and mounting) proportions. Here’s where I give a huge shout out to the Des Moines Register. Without a dogged reporter, most of the financial malfeasance would have been swept under the table. Instead it led to a state legislator demanding a state audit of school finances. You think Facebook would have covered a school’s chief financial officer swindling taxpayers out of over $130,000?

Couple of things. First, what went on in Waukee does not reflect what goes on in most schools, particularly rural schools where superintendents pick up pennies off the sidewalks to make ends meet. Second, whether it’s a city or a county, a public hospital or a school district, taxpayers have every right to demand an accounting of every tax dollar spent.

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