Lawmakers Take Up Proposed Amendment to Eliminate Abortion Protections in Iowa Constitution


DES MOINES, Iowa  —  The fourth day of the 2020 Iowa legislative session featured the first hearing on what is sure to be one of the most contentious bills of the year.

On Thursday morning a State Senate subcommittee began discussion on a proposed amendment to the Iowa constitution that would remove protections for abortion.  The proposal would change the constitution to include the wording that Iowa “does not secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”

On Tuesday, Governor Reynolds voiced her support of the legislation in her Condition of the State Address.  Governor Reynolds and her predecessor, Terry Branstad, have signed numerous bills attempting to limit abortion access in Iowa.  Most of those bills, including a fetal heartbeat bill passed in 2019, have been ruled unconstitutional after being challenged in court.

To be ratified as an amendment to the constitution, the bill would need to pass the Iowa House and Senate in this session and again in one of the next two sessions.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this story stated that the amendment would ‘ban’ abortion in Iowa.  The amendment would not ban abortions in Iowa.  It would remove the protection for abortion services and funding.  A 2019 court ruling found those protections do exist in the state’s constitution currently.  We apologize for the misleading and inaccurate headline which has since been corrected.


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