When it comes to the unborn, the science is not in dispute: the child in the womb is a human being. The only open question is whether these unique individuals are entitled to the right to life. My own record as Governor leaves no doubt as to how I, and the people who elected me, answer that question.
Within a year of my inauguration, I signed one of the nation’s first bills designed to ban abortionists’ deadly work after a heartbeat can be detected. We also passed a common-sense law requiring a 72-hour waiting period before obtaining an abortion. In 2020, I called on the Legislature to pass an amendment to the State Constitution clarifying that it does not contain a right to abortion, which it did earlier this year.
This week, the US Supreme Court took up a similar legal question in reference to our national Constitution in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that centers on a Mississippi law and examines the constitutionality of pre-viability limits on abortion.
I was honored to be one of a dozen governors to call on the Supreme Court not only to uphold Mississippi’s statute, but also overturn its tragic rulings in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
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For years, democratically elected representatives in Iowa and states around the country have tried to defend innocent human life in the womb only to be prevented by these incoherent decisions. By disregarding state sovereignty, Roe and Casey have destroyed millions of unborn children. Today, the Court will hear oral arguments in Dobbs, its best opportunity yet to undo its fatal mistake.
The question in the case is simple, yet it lies at the heart of the American experiment: does the United States Constitution require states to withhold legal protection from an entire class of defenseless human beings?
According to any straightforward reading of the Constitution, the answer to that question has always been an emphatic “No.” In fact, decades after Roe and Casey it has become even more clear, as modern science and technology now give us a remarkable window into the development of children in the womb.
At fifteen weeks, after which time Mississippi’s law prohibits abortion, an unborn baby has a well-formed face and ten small but unmistakable fingers and toes. She can yawn, suck her thumb, and stretch her tiny limbs. She can also feel pain.
Roe and Casey rule out even the most basic legal protections for these vulnerable Americans. They place our nation’s abortion regime on the global fringe, more in line with China and North Korea than most of Europe.
The American people have had absolutely no say in this extreme abortion deregulation. If they had not been silenced, there’s no doubt that many states would follow Mississippi’s lead. Here in Iowa, I’m not alone among elected leaders in my eagerness to finally have this overdue democratic debate and protect life.
That’s because most Iowans, like most Americans, resoundingly reject abortion on-demand until the moment of birth; they resoundingly reject paying for it with taxpayer dollars; and they resoundingly reject the notion that our Constitution prevents We the People from protecting the unique human person growing in the womb.
With the right decision in Dobbs, the Supreme Court can strike a blow for democratic self-government, restore constitutional integrity, and right a historic wrong.
LifeNews Note: Kim Reynolds is the governor of Iowa.