Des Moines, IA— A Senate committee today passed a bill on a partisan 10-5 vote that would amend Iowa’s constitution to strip Iowans of their right to safe and legal abortion, setting the measure up for a vote in the full Senate.
"Iowa politicians are fast-tracking their anti-abortion agenda without adequate public input during this pandemic,” said Jamie Burch Elliott, Director of Public Policy at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa. "They are making it clear that they want to take away Iowans’ reproductive freedom and health care. They are ignoring health care experts who oppose taking away the right to safe, legal abortion It is wrong, and it’s going to hurt the health and futures of Iowans for generations."
The Iowa House already passed the constitutional amendment, ramming it through in two weeks with limited public input. The Senate has followed suit in advancing the bill at an unprecedented pace. In order to amend the state’s constitution, lawmakers must pass the bill in two consecutive legislative sessions. A majority of Iowans would then have to approve it through a ballot measure. The soonest that could happen is 2024.
Iowans are speaking up against the proposed amendment and have sent more than 1,000 emails to legislators in the last two weeks, voicing their opposition to this attack on the right to safe, legal abortion. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa also launched a five-figure paid advertising statewide campaign sharing experiences of Iowa women before abortion was safe and legal.
Many Iowa organizations have registered their opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment, including the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, ACLU of Iowa, Iowa Medical Society, League of Women Voters of Iowa and One Iowa.
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.