Go to Content Go to Navigation Go to Navigation Go to Site Search Homepage

Now that Iowa’s 2021 legislative session has adjourned, we’re looking back on the legislative battles of the last five months and what lies ahead.

From an anti-abortion constitutional amendment to restricting voters, anti-abortion legislators centered the 2021 session around undermining the health, safety, and rights of Iowans.

Constitutional Amendment Passes First Hurdle

In the last days of the session, anti-abortion legislators pushed, promoted, and passed a constitutional amendment that would pave the way for future abortion restrictions and even outright bans in Iowa.

You did not let this happen without a fight. Over 2,000 Iowans spoke out against the proposed amendment during this session by contacting legislators, attending virtual lobby days, testifying at legislative hearings, and joining our virtual People’s Hearing. These efforts were bolstered by our partners, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa and One Iowa, who further organized in opposition to this harmful legislation. And our champions at the legislature like Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, Rep. Jennifer Konfrst, Sen. Liz Mathis, Sen. Janet Petersen, and Sen. Sarah Trone Garriott fiercely opposed the amendment during debate. Thank you.

So-called "Back the Blue Bill" Passes

In response to widespread protests and the overdue racial reckoning across the United States after the murder of George Floyd, the Iowa legislature passed SF 342, also known as the Back the Blue bill. The legislation limits the ability of Iowans to seek justice by expanding qualified immunity for police, and infringes on the right to free speech by elevating the penalty for rioting from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Increased Voter Restrictions after Historic Turnout

Early in the session, Iowa politicians prioritized legislation to make voting more difficult. Restricting access to the ballot box is restricting access to democracy. SF 413 reduces the early voting period and sets an earlier time for polls to close on Election Day. This is an equity issue: these restrictions will disproportionately affect low-income and working Iowans who cannot take time off work to vote. 

Risking the Health of Iowans Across the State

In the final moments of legislative session, politicians passed a ban on school boards, as well as city and county governments from enacting mask mandates. Gov. Kim Reynolds passed the bill in the middle of the night. In the immediate aftermath, mask-wearing students have experienced increased bullying at schools and pressure to take them off. We have yet to see how this move will impact the long-term health of Iowans. Despite the passage of this legislation at the local level, we recommend all Iowans to follow all CDC guidelines on COVID safety and masking.

Bright Spot: All anti-LGTBQ Bills Were Defeated Including Discriminatory Bill Banning Transgender Athletes

Governor Kim Reynolds pushed for legislation to ban transgender girls from participating in sports that align with their gender identity. One Iowa led the way and rallied Iowans to speak out against this blatantly discriminatory legislation and the legislature was unable to deliver on the governor’s request. As states across the nation continue to pass such bills, the fight to protect transgender youth in Iowa is likely not over.

Looking Ahead

Thank you for standing with Planned Parenthood to advocate for the health and rights of Iowans. We couldn’t do this work without you.

Our fight is far from over. 

The constitutional amendment process spans several yearsand we are keenly aware that a case threatening Roe v. Wade will be heard by the Supreme Court this fall. Anti-abortion politicians want us to get tired and quit. Together, we will protect Iowans’ health care and rights. Together, we will protect Iowans' health care and rights.


Sign up for our emails to stay in the loop. 

Tags:

Join the Email List!

Stay up to date on our fight against the constitutional amendment and for reproductive freedom. Subscribe to our emails now.

Sign Up Here

The Constitutional Amendment Process Explained.

Learn More

Fund this Fight!

Donate to support Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa

Donate now

Join the fight, volunteer!

Stand with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa in the fight to oppose the constitutional amendment every step of the way. 

Become a Volunteer
Español

This website uses cookies

Planned Parenthood cares about your data privacy. We and our third-party vendors use cookies and other tools to collect, store, monitor, and analyze information about your interaction with our site to improve performance, analyze your use of our sites and assist in our marketing efforts. You may opt out of the use of these cookies and other tools at any time by visiting Cookie Settings. By clicking “Allow All Cookies” you consent to our collection and use of such data, and our Terms of Use. For more information, see our Privacy Notice.

Cookie Settings

Planned Parenthood cares about your data privacy. We and our third-party vendors, use cookies, pixels, and other tracking technologies to collect, store, monitor, and process certain information about you when you access and use our services, read our emails, or otherwise engage with us. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences, or your device. We use that information to make the site work, analyze performance and traffic on our website, to provide a more personalized web experience, and assist in our marketing efforts. We also share information with our social media, advertising, and analytics partners. You can change your default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our Necessary Cookies as they are deployed to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information, please see our Privacy Notice.

Marketing

On

We use online advertising to promote our mission and help constituents find our services. Marketing pixels help us measure the success of our campaigns.

Performance

On

We use qualitative data, including session replay, to learn about your user experience and improve our products and services.

Analytics

On

We use web analytics to help us understand user engagement with our website, trends, and overall reach of our products.