Iowa Republicans who oppose reproductive freedom will maintain their control at the statehouse and gain seats in Congress, putting reproductive rights and health care in the state at risk.
“Iowa was dealt a major setback in this election,” said Erin Davison-Rippey, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa Political Action Committee. “But despite the disappointing results, Planned Parenthood health centers serve thousands of Iowans every year and will continue to serve our communities, no matter what lies ahead. The health of our state is our number one priority and that will not change. In fact, in response to community needs, Planned Parenthood reopened a health center this year to provide STI testing, cancer screenings, birth control, and abortion care. As our state continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and skyrocketing STI rates, Iowans need and deserve a strong public health system, which includes Planned Parenthood health centers and telehealth services across our state.”
“Make no mistake—Gov. Kim Reynolds and her House and Senate allies will keep coming after our health and safety and after our civil rights. These fights will continue to be difficult but, we will never back down when it comes to fighting for reproductive freedom and health care for all Iowans. Our strength and our persistence will shape the future of this state and this country.”
Iowa Republicans passed a barrage of anti-abortion bills in the past four years since controlling the Iowa House and Senate and Governor’s office. The state became one of the first in the nation to adopt a six-week abortion ban and 72-hour waiting period. Both were struck down by Iowa courts which ruled them unconstitutional and affirmed Iowans’ fundemental right to safe, legal abortion.
“Although the election results are disappointing, Planned Parenthood will continue to fight with Iowans so all people can get the health care they need to be healthy and pursue their dreams—no matter what,” Davison-Rippey said.
The confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice has the potential to impact reproductive health care across the country. There are currently 17 abortion-related cases before the Supreme Court, creating ample opportunity for changes to abortion rights. At least one of these cases directly challenges Roe v. Wade.
If Roe is overturned or significantly dismantled, individual states would decide whether or how Americans can access abortion care, potentially setting states like Iowa back decades. Iowa already faces a public health crisis, after Republican lawmakers dismantled the state’s family planning program in 2017, excluding Planned Parenthood patients from this funding for birth control, STI testing and treatment, breast and cervical cancer screenings and annual exams for low- to moderate-income women. Since lawmakers made these changes, STIs have been increasing at a faster pace and the state’s abortion rate increased 25 percent, while maternal mortality rates have continued to climb as labor and delivery units across the state are forced to close.