The Iowa House passed a resolution on January 27 of this year that would allow Iowa voters to decide whether or not the Iowa Constitution guarantees a right to abortion. Now a similar resolution has passed the Senate State Government Committee and is headed to the full Senate for a vote.
House Joint Resolution 5 and Senate Joint Resolution 2 each propose an amendment to the Constitution of Iowa that states the Constitution does not include a right to abortion or the funding of abortion. The House resolution passed in January by a vote of 55-44 while the Senate State Government Committed voted 10-5 to send the resolution to the Senate. Though pro-abortion House members had attempted to add amendments to the resolution — such as exceptions for babies conceived in rape and incest — those amendments did not survive the vote.
Sen. Jason Schultz (R) said the Senate resolution “takes no position on the issue of abortion” but “returns to the people the ability to control the constitution and not allow judges to read into it that which was not written into it.” Those who support the resolution say it is necessary in order to prevent judicial overreach by pro-abortion judges, including those on the Iowa Supreme Court. The Court struck down a 2018 Iowa law aimed at enforcing a 72-hour waiting period for abortion. The court ruled against the law, claiming that “a woman’s right to decide whether to terminate a pregnancy is a fundamental right under the Iowa Constitution.”
Moving forward, legislators must approve the exact same language during two consecutive Iowa General Assemblies before the resolution can be given to the Iowa voters during a general election. If that happens and Iowans vote in support of the resolution, abortion would be outlawed in the state in the event that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States based on a right to privacy, is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
While abortion proponent Sen. Claire Celsi (D) claims that these pro-life resolutions “would take rights away,” the resolutions would actually restore the natural right to life that preborn children have and deserve.
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