Des Moines, IA — This morning, the Iowa House Judiciary Subcommittee passed legislation to take away Iowans’ constitutional right to safe and legal abortion. If enacted, the amendment would clear the way for the state to restrict or ban safe, legal abortions.
"Let’s not kid ourselves. This is a coordinated attempt by anti-abortion politicians in Des Moines to ultimately ban safe and legal abortion in Iowa,” said Jamie Burch Elliott, Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa. “These extremist lawmakers have made it clear they care more about taking away the reproductive freedoms of Iowans than tackling the hard issues facing Iowa, like the pandemic and violent attacks on our democracy.”
This is the third consecutive year anti-abortion lawmakers have introduced legislation to take away the right to abortion in the state constitution. Last year, the Iowa Senate approved its passage, but it stalled out in the Iowa House. Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds has voiced her support for the amendment.
Enacting a state constitutional amendment is a multi-year process. Both the House and Senate need to approve the proposed amendment by the end of the 2022 legislative session. Both chambers would have to pass it again after the 2022 election, and the amendment would then go on the ballot for Iowa voters. The governor’s signature is not needed.
“Since we know that Iowans oppose this amendment and will reject it at the ballot box, it is unconscionable that they have denied Iowans the ability to be heard in the legislative process today,” Burch Elliott said. “There is no logical reason for legislators to be wasting valuable time and resources when they should be focused on stabilizing our state and getting Iowans the health care they need. Instead, they’ve prioritized this divisive proposal that meddles in private health care decisions that should be left to patients and their doctors.”
Iowa Republican lawmakers have introduced 70 bills since 2011 aimed at reducing Iowans’ access to abortions, despite a majority of Iowans supporting access to safe and legal abortion.
Politicians’ relentless attacks on sexual and reproductive health have decimated Iowans’ access to affordable health care. As a result, unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections are spiking in Iowa.
Stop the Ban
Tell Representative Holt: We won't go back to an Iowa without safe, legal abortion.
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.