Iowa Senate Committee Passes Pro-Life Bill Helping Moms and Their Babies Before and After Birth

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 30, 2022   |   5:36PM   |   Des Moines, Iowa

Iowa pro-life advocates are working to expand resources for pregnant and parenting moms this spring as they strive to protect unborn babies from abortion.

On Monday, the state Senate Appropriations subcommittee passed the Iowa More Options for Maternal Support, or M.O.M.S., Act (Senate File 2354) to provide services such as cribs, formula, job and housing assistance and more to pregnant and parenting mothers in need. It also would extend Medicaid services from two months to a full year to mothers after the birth of their child.

“Pregnant women and new moms deserve more access to meaningful assistance and support when they need it most,” said Kristi Judkins, executive director of Iowa Right to Life.

The bill will create a new Iowa MOMS program to support pregnant and parenting mothers and reduce abortions through life-affirming agencies, such as pregnancy resource centers. Services offered through the program will include counseling, housing and employment assistance, parenting classes and material support, such as car seats and diapers.

Judkins said more than a dozen states have similar alternatives to abortion programs in place that support mothers and children in need. These include Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Ohio and Texas.

“Iowa MOMS will put the state squarely on the side of childbirth and supporting women,” she said. “When faced with a crisis pregnancy, many women fear they won’t be able to find needed social services, family support, and financial resources. No matter the status of abortion law, we have a responsibility to help women with real options and support when they are pregnant.”

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Iowa leaders also are working to protect unborn babies by challenging a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court ruling that found a “right” to abortion in the Iowa Constitution. Gov. Kim Reynolds, a pro-life Republican, is leading the effort.

Meanwhile, pro-lifers also are working to pass a state constitutional amendment to reverse the pro-abortion ruling and declare that there is no right to abortion or a taxpayer-funded abortion in Iowa. The amendment potentially could be on the ballot for voters’ approval in 2024.

Pro-life advocates all across the country are working hard to advance pro-life efforts in anticipation that the U.S. Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade this summer. A ruling on the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, is likely in June.

Last year, Reynolds joined a dozen pro-life governors in urging the high court to give “this issue back to the people” and allow states to protect unborn babies from abortions again. Right now, Roe forces states to legalize abortions up to viability.

If the court overturns Roe, the Guttmacher Institute predicts Iowa would be one of 26 states that would ban abortions. Researchers estimate abortion numbers would drop by about 120,000 in the U.S. in the first year and potentially even more in subsequent years if the high court allows states to ban abortions again.