DES MOINES, Iowa — Legislators heard from Iowans during a subcommittee meeting about a proposed abortion amendment, SJR9, to the Iowa Constitution Wednesday.
SJR9 states, “The constitution does not secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”
Those who support the amendment say they introduced it out of necessity following the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling that the 72-hour waiting period was unconstitutional last year.
“It does not outlaw abortion unlike a Supreme Court ruling that largely takes the matter out of the hands of the people this amendment does not say that abortion shall be allowed in Iowa or shall not be allowed in Iowa it simply says that that question is not going to be answered and crammed down one side’s throat or the other by this constitution,” Thomas More Society Lawyer Martin Cannon said.
The Executive Director of the Iowa Right to Life Committee Caitlyn Dixson said she supports the proposed amendment because of a very personal experience.
“I found myself at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Omaha getting my pre-abortion ultrasound in which I was shown the top of my sons head and knew in that moment that I wasn’t going to be able to complete it,” Dixson said.
Opponents said the amendment would ensure that abortion rights would not be protected and this would open the door for laws banning or severely restricting abortion.
“Historically the Iowa Constitution has only changed to confer additional rights, not take them away. The Republican war on women continues here in Iowa,” Iowa State Senator Claire Celsi, D-West Des Moines, said.
Planned Parenthood Patient Advocate Leah Vanden Bosch said she would have lost her life if she had not been able to have an abortion.
“My abortion protected my life it’s spared me from a gruesome relapse in my eating disorder and it took me off of the ledge in my suicide ideation. And why is my life not enough? If the value of life isn’t enough for you, think of the value of life of that growing fetus,” Vanden Bosch said.
The resolution passed out of the subcommittee Wednesday and now goes on to the full State Government Committee for more discussion.