Iowa Pro-Reproductive Rights Leaders React to Leaked Draft U.S. Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe v. Wade
Des Moines, Iowa—Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa and pro-reproductive rights allies emphasize that the leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion that openly overrules Roe and Casey, stating that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start” and “we hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” holds no legal authority, and abortion is still safe and legal today in Iowa.
The leaked draft opinion has sent shockwaves across the country as people come to terms with the very real possibility that federal abortion protections could be dismantled. The Court could release the official decision anytime before the end of the term on June 30.
Due to state-level legal precedence, Iowa currently has constitutional protections for abortion access. Iowa politicians are working hard to change the state constitution to strip Iowans of these protections so that they can ban abortion. But state protections for abortion will still be standing in Iowa at the time of the decision.
Great Plains Action Society, Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Iowa Coalition for Collective Change, League of Women Voters, One Iowa, and Progress Iowa are rallying Iowans in support of safe, legal abortion. The organizations will also hold a Rally for Repro Rights at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 7 at the Iowa State Capitol, West Terrace.
Statement from Rep. Jennifer Konfrst, Democratic Iowa House Minority Leader:
“I am angry. I am scared. And I’m ready to fight back. Everyone deserves the right to make their own health care decisions, especially when it comes to reproductive health care. These decisions do not belong in the hands of politicians. Iowans support reproductive freedom and access to safe and legal abortion. We will continue fighting every day to ensure every family in Iowa has access to safe, legal abortions.”
Statement from Sen. Zach Wahls, Iowa Senate Democratic Leader
“There’s no decision more life-changing than the choice to bring a child into the world. It’s one of the most sacred, irrevocable, and private choices we get to make in life. For that reason, the freedom to make this choice should rest solely with a pregnant person and their family, in consultation with their doctor. The government has no business making that decision for Iowans.
“Abortion is still legal in Iowa. However, without Roe, the freedom to choose is in grave danger. Governor Reynolds and Republican politicians are hellbent on removing the freedom to choose from Iowa’s constitution. A strong majority of Iowans support safe and legal abortion. We cannot go back; Iowa Republican politicians are out of touch with Iowa values. Iowa Democrats will always fight for the rights and freedoms of all Iowans—including the right to choose.”
Statement from Sheena Dooley, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa Communications Manager:
“Today we are devastated, we are furious, and we will work to have our voices heard to ensure Iowans can continue to access safe and legal abortion. Anyone who has an abortion appointment already scheduled or needs an appointment, please know that Planned Parenthood is here for you. Our doors will remain open. Regardless of a person’s own beliefs, we can all agree that Iowans deserve the fundamental freedom to make what should be private health care decisions. I cannot stress this enough: elections matter. Iowans’ reproductive freedom hangs by a thread, as Iowa’s Republican-controlled state government paves the way to ban abortion. If we want to protect our reproductive rights, it is critical that we stand up to these politicians and show up at the polls, because that’s where Iowans can make a difference.”
Statement from Jordawn Williams, Planned Parenthood Rosenfield Health Center Manager
“Our staff greeted this week’s news about the leaked draft ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court with outrage, sadness, and resiliency. We aren’t back down. Instead, we are doubling down on our commitment to the patients and communities we serve. We have started to hear from patients, who are unsure if they can still access abortion care in Iowa. The answer is yes. Abortion remains safe and legal in Iowa, and Planned Parenthood will continue to proudly provide compassionate, empathetic abortion care. We know there is fear among Iowans, but we want them to know that we will continue to be here for them. This leaked draft does not change that.”
Statement from Frieda Bequeaith, Iowa Abortion Access Fund Board Member:
“The Iowa Abortion Access Fund (IAAF) believes that cost should not be a barrier to any form of health care, including abortion. IAAF provides financial assistance to people seeking abortions. Keeping abortion legal in Iowa is just the first step, because there is so much work to be done before it is accessible to all Iowans. We are fighting for protection of abortion, funding for clinics, making abortion available and affordable, and letting all people know that they are trusted to make their own pregnancy decisions. We existed before Roe, and we are prepared to exist after it.”
Statement from Connie Ryan, Executive Director of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa:
“We don’t know what the final version of the high court’s decision will be, but we do know the next part of the path for the freedom to access legal and safe abortion has been made clear for our nation. If the decision plays out as indicated, it will return us to a pre-Roe world with a chaotic and discriminatory mishmash of laws based on the state in which you reside.
“Religious freedom is a core part of our shared democracy. Respect for our pluralistic nation is founded on the principle that all religions are created equal, and no religion should be able to infringe on the rights of others. Lawmakers and the courts must keep the separation of government and religion clearly delineated. This includes beliefs about abortion and the government’s role in ensuring access to safe and legal abortion for those who want and need that health care option.”
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa (PPAI) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a mission of fostering and preserving a social and political climate favorable to reproductive health. To meet this mission, PPAI engages in lobbying, issues education, and supporter mobilization.