Abortion Issue Focus of Weekend Events to Mark Ruling That Overturned Roe v Wade

(Radio Iowa) Events to mark the one year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v Wade are pointing to the abortion debate ahead in Iowa.

This month’s IOWA Supreme Court ruling that kept a six-week abortion ban from taking effect here was a key topic at the March for Life event at the Iowa Capitol Saturday. “We stand in support of holding these justices accountable to fullest legal extent possible,” Maggie DeWitte of Pulse Life Advocates said, to applause and cheers. “We stand in support of efforts by legislators to see Iowa’s heartbeat law passed anew.” DeWitte says waiting until the 2024 legislative session begins in January is unacceptable and lawmakers should convene soon.

“We request that our legislators call for a special session,” DeWitte said, to cheers. Six Republican legislators were at the event. Senator Sandy Salmon (SAM-un) of Janesville suggested the movement is halfway to its objective of banning all abortions.

“You all are here to pray for that and see it through to the end and we’re not going to stop until we see that happen,” Salmon said. Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird says it was a good feeling to have her office defend the state’s six-week abortion ban.

“I was disappointed in the court’s decision, but we know that’s not the end, is it? The fight does not stop there,” Bird said. “Our work does not stop.” Bird did not directly mention the three justices who blocked the six-week abortion ban from taking effect, however. Iowa Democratic Party chair Rita Hart says polling shows Republicans are out of step with public opinion.

“The overwhelming majority of Iowans support access to abortion,” Hart says. House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst expects Republicans will re-convene the state legislature in the next several months to enact abortion restrictions.

“Democrats are the only people in this building committed to protecting reproductive freedom,” Konfrst said. “If Iowans want reproductive freedom, they should not look to Republicans for anything other than removal of their rights.” Konfrst says Democrats in the legislature will be loud and proactive in their opposition to a near or total ban on abortion. “But the most important voices out there are everyday Iowans who should reach out to their legislators and tell them: ‘This isn’t what I want,'” Konfrst said. Hart says the abortion issue will be front and center of the Iowa Caucus campaign as well.

“The 2024 Republican hopefuls are fighting to one up each other on who can embrace the most extreme national abortion ban,” Hart says. “…As they pass through out state, it’s vital that we hold them accountable.” This weekend former Vice President Mike Pence urged his rivals for the G-O-P’s next presidential nomination to back a national 15 week abortion ban. South Carolina Senator Tim Scott has expressed support for it and former Arkansas Governor Asa (AH-suh) Hutchingson has said he’d sign an abortion ban, but would support exceptions.