Republicans in the Iowa House and Senate have taken a first step toward amending the Iowa Constitution to say it doesn’t protect abortion rights. The House approved language for the proposed amendment last (Tuesday) night and the Senate approved it today (Wednesday). Senate President Jake Chapman, a Republican from Adel, says it’s a response to a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court ruling.
“Regrettably, five unelected judges with the stroke a pen fabricated a constitutional to an abortion under Iowa’s Constitution,” Chapman says. “…This amendment will allow the people, not unelected judges and not us, to decide the issue of who’s going to make laws regarding abortion.” While House and Senate Republicans agreed on the amendment’s wording, the same version must clear the legislature in 2023 or 2024 before it would be presented to voters. Democrats say it’s wrong to put a woman’s basic right to an abortion on the ballot. Senator Claire Celsi (SELL-see), a Democrat from Des Moines, says if the proposed amendment passes and the U-S Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade, Republican legislators will be able to ban abortion in Iowa.
“This amendment is an attempt to turn back the clock to some imaginary time when there were no abortions,” Bohannon says. “I have read all 200 court cases in the state of Iowa on abortion. There were abortions.” But Bohannon says before the right to privacy was recognized in Roe v Wade, abortions were done in secret. The U.S. Supreme Court announced this week it would hear arguments over a Mississippi law that bans abortions after the 15th week of a pregnancy.