Pro-abortion resolution voted down in Des Moines City Council majority vote

Making Des Moines, Iowa, an “abortion sanctuary city” was City Councilman Josh Mandelbaum’s plan when, through the media, he introduced a resolution that would take effect should abortion ever become illegal in Iowa.

Days ago, a City Councilmember confirmed that Mr. Mandelbaum planned to ask the City Council to vote onto their agenda an abortion resolution workshop at their meeting held on Monday, October 3, 2022. Mr. Mandelbaum did just that at last night’s meeting.

When the resolution was brought up for discussion, Councilman Joe Gatto immediately moved to deny the resolution a path forward. “This is not in our purview,” he said. He called the resolution a “political stunt” and made a motion against holding a workshop. “This shouldn’t even be on our agenda. There is nothing we can do. The fight is a federal and a state issue — and it’s right up there at the Capitol, it’s not right here at City Hall.”

A few members expressed agreement with Gatto. It was clear that, for some, even though they support abortion, they believed the abortion resolution was the wrong path for the city.

Despite the fact that the room contained several pink t-shirted Planned Parenthood supporters, the self-professing liberal Des Moines City Council swiftly voted down the requested workshop for the resolution in a resounding 5-2 vote.

The nearly 10-minute exchange can be seen here at the 1:09 mark.


City Councilman Josh Mandelbaum’s proposal, similar to other resolutions and ordinances sweeping the nation, sought to:

  • prohibit police from investigating any matters related to abortion
  • support the codification of abortion on demand
  • allow for travel reimbursements for abortion at taxpayer expense
  • prohibit the use of government resources to investigate abortion

This resolution clearly endangered the lives of thousands of preborn human beings, disregarded the safety and well-being of pregnant women, forced taxpayers to pick up the tab for any abortion travel, and stripped police officers of their duty to investigate potential crimes. It would also have protected any abortionist, insulating them from accountability, even if they were negligently harming women.

While other cities across the nation are passing these resolutions, Des Moines stands today as a bright light in the heart of our country — even liberal cities can find victory in this fight. Des Moines, Iowa, and El Paso, Texas, have now defeated these kinds of resolutions. Other cities have seen the resolutions pass, while in other locations the battle is raging right now.

If you are currently engaged in this fight in your city, do not become discouraged. Keep working hard to defeat it. Victory is possible.

Bio: Jenifer Bowen, a long-time leader in the pro-life movement, including a long tenure as CEO of Iowa Right to Life, was diagnosed in 2019 with a lifelong battle of Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer. She now volunteers as often as possible and remains passionate in her defense of unborn children and their mothers, the infirm and elderly.

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