DES MOINES, IOWA — States are going down their own path of how to protect women’s reproductive rights or restrict abortion access after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
In Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds challenged a district court injunction of the 2018 fetal heartbeat bill on Thursday. The bill would outlaw abortions once a heartbeat is detected.
“Let’s not forget that a six week abortion ban means that a woman is unlikely to know she’s pregnant before she’s allowed to make the decision,” said Iowa House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst, (D) from Windsor Heights.
Democrats are wanting to use this issue as a way to drive voters to the voting booths this November.
“Democrats have been pushing with legislation with amendments with ways to protect reproductive freedom,” said Konfrst. “If we have a pro-choice majority in the Iowa House, in the Iowa Senate and a Democrat in the governor’s office. The only way to make it happen is for people to vote.”
The bill was passed in 2018 and anti-abortion groups that were part of that legislative process think that the law should be implemented. The group claims the representatives during that session acted on what the people wanted.
“Yeah we were ready yesterday to have this bill move forward. You know we have been waiting since 2018,” said Maggie DeWitte, the Executive Director of Pulse Life Advocates. “We worked hard then and we want to see the fruits of that. And the people have spoken through newly-elected legislators when they passed this bill.”
Dewitte added that the fetal heartbeat bill is a solid start for restrictions in the state, but she wants more.
“We want to move forward with it but ultimately our goal is to end abortion,” said DeWitte. “It’s not needed, it’s not necessary, it’s not healthcare and it hurts women.”
Iowa Democrats believe that the majority of Iowans now want to protect reproductive freedoms and they believe that will show in the polls come November.
“The Des Moines Register released last month a poll that showed 60% of Iowans agree with us on the issue,” said Ross Wilburn, the Chair of the Iowa Democratic party.
The governor’s challenge to the injunction doesn’t force the district court to remove the injunction. Rather, it shows that the governor is committed to fighting this issue and possibly taking the bill to the Iowa Supreme Court.