IOWA — A monumental ruling that would strip woman of their constitutional right to an abortion will be delivered by the United States Supreme Court this summer, if a confirmed leak from the high court is to be believed. That majority ruling, leaked last night, shows at least five justices agreeing to overturn the rights previously recognized in the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision.
If Roe vs. Wade is overturned this summer, Iowans would not have their access to abortions restricted yet. In 2018 the Republican-led legislature passed a ban on most abortions after six weeks. That law was blocked by the Iowa Supreme Court, along with a law that would require a 72-hour wait period before a woman could terminate her pregnancy.
In the Iowa Supreme Court ruling of the wait period, the court ruled that women have a fundamental right to an abortion under the state’s constitution. Fast forward to 2021 and Iowa Republicans passed an anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution. Lawmakers will need to pass that language again in the next couple of years for Iowans to be able to vote on the issue at the ballot box. Unless that issue passes through the Statehouse in 2023 or 2024, Iowan’s abortion rights are protected by the state’s Supreme Court for now.
While the U.S. Supreme Court ruling has not been filed and is not final, it appears to lay the groundwork for the end of abortion-rights protections that could lead to immediate bans on abortions in some states. President Biden spoke out strongly against the leaked ruling and the impact on women’s health it will have if it is proven true. Iowa lawmakers are weighing in on the tenuous nature of the ruling. Here are some of the comments from around the state:
“As we await the Supreme Court’s final ruling, our mission remains as clear as it has ever been. We are fighting to defend the most important freedom there is: the right to life.”Gov. Kim Reynolds
“The Republican Party of Iowa is committed to defending the unborn and will fight for every person’s right to Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness. We must protect the most vulnerable in our society, especially those who have no voice.”Jeff Kaufmann, Republican Party of Iowa Chairman
“Every Iowan deserves to make the decision for themselves if, when, and with whom to have a family. And right now, Iowans still have that right. But with the latest news from the U.S. Supreme Court, the freedoms we’ve fought for decades to preserve are dangling by a thread. Let me make something absolutely clear: the majority of Iowans and the majority of Americans believe that abortion should be legal. I know that many of us feel afraid right now, but we have the power to elect champions for reproductive freedoms this fall who will write the protections of Roe into law at both the federal and state level. This fight is not over – and I’m proud to stand alongside the Iowans organizing for a future where our personal freedoms are protectedRoss Wilburn, Iowa Democratic Party Chair
“Uncertainty remains about the final decision regarding abortion by both the US Supreme Court and the Iowa Supreme Court. Despite the questions surrounding those decisions, Iowans can be certain Senate Republicans have, and will continue to lead on life.”State Sen. Jack Whitver, (R) Ankeny
Depriving a woman of the right to make her own medical decisions is dangerous and shortsighted. We already know laws that restrict access to health care do not result in fewer abortions, but instead force women to risk their lives and seek unsafe care. Late last year I voted with a majority of my colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would guarantee a nationwide right to reproductive choices for women – a right supported by nearly 50 years of U.S. Supreme Court precedent. Upon hearing the news the Supreme Court may soon decide to upend that precedent, I’m calling on the Senate to respond with urgency and pass legislation to codify Roe v. Wade immediately. Women have been empowered to make their own decisions about their bodies and reproductive rights for nearly half a century, and I will not stand idly by and let decades of progress slip away.”US Rep. Cindy Axne, (D) Iowa
I am angry. I am scared. And I’m ready to fight back. Everyone deserves the right to make their own health care decisions, especially when it comes to reproductive health care. These decisions do not belong in the hands of politicians. Iowans support reproductive freedom and access to legal and safe abortion. We will continue fighting every day to ensure every family in Iowa has access to safe, legal abortions.
State Rep. Jennifer Konfrst, (D) Windsor Heights