Iowa passes constitutional amendment declaring no right to abortion
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DES MOINES, Iowa, May 21, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Iowa senators approved a proposed constitutional amendment this week declaring that the state constitution does not include a right to abortion.
The Senate passed the measure 30-18 on Wednesday, after the House approved it 54-38 the previous day. “To defend the dignity of all human life and protect unborn children, we the people of the State of Iowa declare that this Constitution does not recognize, grant, or secure a right to abortion or require the public funding of abortion,” the proposed amendment states.
Lawmakers introduced the measure in response to a ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court in 2018 holding that “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,” under the state’s Constitution, “is the ability to decide whether to continue or terminate a pregnancy,” the Ames Tribune reported.
Republicans sharply rebuked the Court's 2018 decision, with Republican state Sen. Jake Chapman calling it an “egregious usurpation of power” on Wednesday. “Regrettably, five unelected judges with the stroke of a pen fabricated, fabricated a constitutional right to an abortion under Iowa’s constitution,” he said.
“This egregious usurpation of power will not be left unchecked,” Sen. Chapman added, according to The Epoch Times. “It is our responsibility, it is our oath-bound duty to rightfully propose to the people of Iowa a constitutional amendment to correct this judicial overreach.”
Iowa law requires that the proposed amendment be published three months before being passed by the legislature of 2023-2024, the Times reported. Voters could then vote on the measure in the 2024 general election, or earlier, depending on the legislature.
While the amendment will not change federal abortion law, Republicans have heralded the proposal as another strong pro-life signal in a state that previously has defunded Planned Parenthood and banned abortion at around six weeks. “I’m proud that the Protect Life Amendment is one step closer to being on the ballot,” Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said. “This is an important step forward in defending the unborn and upholding the dignity of all human life.”