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Des Moines, IA — Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa today issued the following statement regarding the Des Moines mayoral candidates’ stance on protecting the reproductive rights of the people voting for them:

“Since the fall of Roe, reproductive freedom has become a key issue in elections across the country.  From federal to state to local races, Planned Parenthood supporters are demanding their elected officials be clear about their positions on sexual and reproductive health.  The Des Moines mayoral race is no different.

“Unfortunately, as the mayoral election nears its final days, the events surrounding a City Council resolution in support of bodily autonomy introduced in October 2022 by Councilmember Josh Mandelbaum have been misrepresented.  Mandelbaum worked in close coordination with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa to update a proposed resolution to reflect meaningful policy to lawfully protect the reproductive freedoms of Des Moines residents and city staff. When the resolution was brought before the Council for consideration, Councilmember Connie Boesen was the second to a motion by Councilman Joe Gatto to dismiss the resolution without discussion. This vote shut down the effort to act within the city’s authority to protect abortion rights and is a matter of public record. 

“When it comes to protecting our freedoms, every level of government matters.  It’s not enough to wait on action from the very state government that continually violates Iowans’ freedoms. Municipal governments ought to use any means available to defend the rights of their residents and staff. In this moment, no politician who calls themselves pro-choice gets a pass on protecting bodily autonomy. We appreciate the proactive leadership demonstrated through this resolution and remain disappointed that a majority of the Council chose not to support the rights of their constituents when presented the opportunity to do so.



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. 


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