A resolution proposing a constitutional amendment that states no fundamental right to abortion exists is advancing in the Iowa state legislature.
The full committee will now consider the proposal.
“To defend the dignity of all human life, and to protect mothers and unborn children from efforts to expand abortion even to the day of birth, we the people of the State of Iowa declare that this Constitution shall not be construed to recognize, grant, or secure a right to abortion or to require the public funding of abortion,” the resolution reads.
— LifeNews (@LifeNewsToo) February 6, 2020
Senate Joint Resolution 21 “proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Iowa specifying that the Constitution of the State of Iowa does not secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”
Either proposal would have a long way to go before becoming part of the state’s constitution.
Both chambers of Iowa’s legislature would have to pass the pro-life resolution.
The exact same resolution would also have to be passed by next year’s state legislative session before the constitutional amendment itself comes before voters for approval, which could happen in 2022.
Republican state Sen. Jake Chapman said the action in the Senate comes in response to the “judicial activism of judges who rewrote our constitution” and wrongly took for themselves the powers of the executive and legislative branches.
In 2018, the Iowa Supreme Court also tossed out a bill that created a 72-hour waiting period before a woman could have an abortion.
“When the Supreme Court of Iowa creates a new fundamental right under Iowa’s constitution, it is the responsibility of the legislature to push back and say this isn’t your authority,” Chapman told the Journal. .
The amendment would nullify a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court decision granting abortion rights.
— Stephen Gruber-Miller (@sgrubermiller) January 17, 2020
Caitlyn Dixon of the Iowa Right to Life Committee told the Journal “this amendment is what pro-life Iowans want and all Iowans need.”
Conservative attorney Martin Cannon told the Des Moines Register that an amendment specifying there is no fundamental right to abortion would respond to “unelected justices” who “inserted into the Iowa Constitution a fundamental right to abortion where it had never previously existed.”
“The amendment in question is a reminder to the court that it gets its powers from us, and it gets its limitations from us also,” he said.
This most recent push for an amendment began in January when Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds called for it in her Condition of the State speech.
“As we begin 2020, I’m focused on the overall wellness of all Iowans, in every part of the state, in all stages of life,” she said in her speech.
“And when I say all stages of life, I mean to include the unborn,” she added.
“We must protect life by making clear, through an amendment, that our constitution does not grant a right to abortion. It’s time, and unfortunately it’s necessary.”
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