Pro-life advocates in Iowa are working hard to pass a state constitutional amendment to protect unborn babies and ensure Iowans are not forced to pay for abortions with their tax dollars.
The Protect Life Amendment passed the state legislature in May, but it needs to pass again during the next legislative session and then be approved by the voters on the ballot, likely in 2024.
Radio Iowa reports about 1,200 pro-life Iowans discussed the importance of the amendment at a gathering in July.
Chuck Hurley, of The Family Leader, encouraged people to start working now to inform their friends, relatives and churches about the need for the Protect Life Amendment, according to the report.
“We can turn the tide and win and defeat Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby and protect unborn children in Iowa,” Hurley said.
His organization, Iowa Right to Life and others recently formed a coalition to support the amendment and warn the public of what Iowa could be like without it.
Maggie DeWitte, executive director of Iowans for Life, previously said the state will not have any protections for women and children from abortion “even up to the point of birth” unless Iowans pass the amendment.
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State taxpayers could be forced to pay for the killing of unborn babies in elective abortions, too, the pro-life organizations warned.
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.
Meanwhile, abortion activists are working in Iowa to oppose the Protect Life Amendment.
Jamie Burch Elliott, Iowa director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood North Central States, said they are planning a strategy to reach Iowa voters and “mobilize them to take action” against the pro-life amendment, according to Radio Iowa.
“We are also building our own coalition of organizations across the state that will show the depth and breadth of Iowans that are against this proposed amendment,” Burch Elliott said.
The Protect Life Amendment passed the state legislature in May. It reads: “To defend the dignity of all human life and protect unborn children from efforts to expand abortion even to the point of birth, 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.”
It must pass again in the next legislative session before it can be placed on the ballot for voters’ approval.
“The Life Amendment represents everyday Iowans telling unelected judges, ‘You don’t get to just decide the abortion debate for us,’” DeWitte said, previously. “‘Because there’s one argument in the debate you didn’t take into account, one truth you can’t argue away: That little girl in her mother’s womb, she’s a baby.’”