Iowa House Passes Amendment Saying There’s No Right to Kill Babies in Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 28, 2021   |   12:44PM   |   Des Moines, IA

An Iowa constitutional amendment that would prevent unlimited, late-term and taxpayer-funded abortions from becoming legal passed the state House on Wednesday.

Iowa’s News Now reports the vote was 55-44 with three Republicans joining Democrats in voting against it. The pro-life measure now heads to the Iowa Senate for consideration.

House Joint Resolution 5 would add the following language to the Iowa Constitution: “To defend 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.”

Pro-life leaders said the amendment is necessary after the Iowa Supreme Court found a so-called “right” to abort unborn babies in the state constitution in 2018.

Iowans for Life executive director Maggie DeWitte said without the amendment, Iowa will not have any protections for women and children from abortion – “even up to the point of birth.”

“This is an amendment that should have bipartisan support; regardless of your party affiliation, no legislator would be in favor of the judicial branch taking away what we elected you to do – create law,” she said. “It’s time to take back the rights of the legislature and the rights of ‘We the People,’ by passing this amendment.”

ACTION ALERT: Contact Iowa lawmakers to urge support for the amendment.

But some Democrat lawmakers slammed the amendment prior to the vote, claiming it will chip away at a woman’s “right to choose.”

“I can’t even believe it,” said state Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, D-Ames, according to the local news. “Three weeks in, and we are talking about reducing or eliminating a woman’s right to reproductive choice. I don’t know if ever in my life I’ve been this angry.”

To be added to the Iowa Constitution, the amendment must pass the state legislature during two sessions and then be approved by voters on the ballot.

The Gazette reports the state Senate is considering a similar but not identical amendment, Senate Joint Resolution 2.

The Senate version includes additional language 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.”

DeWitte said Iowans should be allowed to protect unborn babies and mothers through state laws.

“I believe the people of Iowa and NOT unelected judges of the State Supreme Court should decide how Iowa regulates abortion,” she said. “These radical judges took the rights away from ALL Iowans and thereby preventing common-sense protections for women and children.”

Such amendments are important because the abortion industry often turns to the courts to overturn pro-life laws. Some judges, including the Iowa Supreme Court in 2018, have found a so-called “right” to abortion in their state constitutions, and these decisions have been used to force taxpayers to fund abortions and restrict state legislatures from passing even minor, common-sense abortion restrictions.

For years, Tennessee and West Virginia were prevented from enacting abortion restrictions because of activist judicial rulings. In 2018, West Virginia voters passed a pro-life state constitutional amendment after decades of being forced by a court ruling to fund elective abortions with their tax dollars. Tennessee voters approved a similar amendment in 2014.

Kansas lawmakers are considering a similar state constitutional amendment this winter.

ACTION ALERT: Contact Iowa lawmakers to urge support for the amendment.