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The ads are launching as part of an effort to fight the proposed constitutional amendment, which would pave the way to banning abortion in the state.

Des Moines, IA — Today, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa announced the launch of statewide digital ads against the proposed constitutional amendment that would strip Iowans’ fundamental right to safe and legal abortion. The five-figure ad buy features the voices of Iowa women who remember life without safe, legal abortion in the state. The ads can be viewed online

“I got pregnant in 1972, after using two forms of birth control,” said Karen, an Iowa woman featured in the ads. “With an infant at home already to care for, my husband and I immediately knew abortion was the right choice for our family. I had to travel hundreds of miles to get an abortion in 1972, and even though abortion is legal today, I see Iowans facing the same obstacles. We are going backwards in time.”

The campaign is being announced one day before the 48th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade. Before abortion was legal, many people were forced to take extraordinary lengths and risk their health in order to access abortion. Others were forced into marriage as young teenagers or shipped off by their parents to avoid being shamed for going against societal norms.

“Iowans’ need to know what is at risk if we lose our fundamental right to make our own health care decisions,” said Jamie Burch Elliott, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa Director of Public Affairs. “Politicians in Des Moines have already begun anti-abortion attacks in the first weeks of legislative session. Anti-abortion legislators are trying to ram a constitutional amendment through the legislative process, limiting Iowans’ ability to weigh in on this extreme proposal. Iowa won’t go back to the time we didn’t have access to safe, legal abortion. We’ll be speaking up with Iowans every step of the way.”  

The campaign includes the story of an individual who traveled out of state to have an abortion after two forms of birth control failed. Another woman worked as a registered nurse at Planned Parenthood in the 1960s, educating women about birth control and hearing about the lengths people went to end their pregnancies. 

Earlier this week, an Iowa House subcommittee advanced a bill to amend the state’s constitution and strip Iowans’ fundamental right to safe and legal abortion, setting the legislation up for a vote in the full House. The Senate will also have to pass the bill this year, and both chambers would have to approve it again within two years of the 2022 election. The proposal would then go to Iowa voters as a ballot measure.

The constitutional amendment would allow legislators to adopt measures to limit or ban abortion altogether if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, which has a new 6-3 conservative majority.  

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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