Iowa — Thursday, anti-choice lawmakers in the Iowa State Legislature passed an extreme bill that would amend the Iowa state constitution in order to restrict access to abortion and send the issue to voters as early as 2024. If implemented, the amendment would nullify a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court decision upholding the fundamental right to abortion in the state. Before the amendment can go to the ballot, it must also pass during the 2023-2024 General Assembly.
With a supermajority on the U.S. Supreme Court hostile towards our fundamental rights, anti-choice lawmakers in state legislatures across the country have launched an all-out assault on reproductive freedom in hopes of rolling back or overturning Roe v. Wade. Just this week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case involving Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that directly challenges Roe v. Wade and violates nearly 50 years of Supreme Court precedent.
Following yesterday’s vote, NARAL Pro-Choice America National Communications Director Kristin Ford released the following statement:
“With the announcement of the Supreme Court’s decision to hear a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade still fresh in our minds, the news that the Iowa legislature is once again advancing their attacks on abortion access is even more devastating. Anti-choice Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa Senate President Jake Chapman, and their cronies are hell-bent on rolling back reproductive freedom.
This bill is deeply out of touch with Iowans and will cause immense harm to women, pregnant people, and families. Republicans in the state are trying to use every trick in their playbook to restrict access to abortion, but their shameful priorities are clear to Iowa voters—the majority of whom believe decisions about pregnancy should be made by a pregnant person, not politicians.”
A poll from the Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows that most Iowans do not support Republican politicians’ efforts to amend the Iowa state constitution to restrict access to abortion. Additional polling of Iowa voters found that a large majority (70%) of voters believe that abortion should be legal and that the government should not prevent a woman from making that decision for herself.
In Iowa, 58% of women live in counties with no abortion clinic. With Roe on the line like never before, the stakes for women, people who are pregnant, and families are higher than ever. Iowa already has severe restrictions on reproductive freedom. These barriers to care disproportionately harm Black, Indigenous, and other people of color; those with low incomes; and rural communities.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.