Des Moines, Iowa City Council Rejects Measure Promoting Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Oct 4, 2022   |   11:21AM   |   Des Moines, Iowa

The City Council of Des Moines, Iowa rejected a proposal Monday that called for using tax dollars to pay for women to travel out of state for elective abortions.

WHO 13 reports Councilman Josh Mandelbaum introduced the resolution to begin discussion on a series of pro-abortion actions that the council could take. However, the council rejected the measure in a 2-5 vote.

Mandelbaum’s resolution called for using tax dollars to reimburse city employees’ travel expenses if they travel to another state to abort an unborn baby. It also would have prohibited the city from storing data about abortion, miscarriage and other reproductive health care, and instructed city authorities to refuse to cooperate in investigations involving abortions.

The resolution also asked the city to draft a new ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on “reproductive health decisions,” according to the Des Moines Register.

Abortions are still legal in Iowa, but Gov. Kim Reynolds is fighting to enact a state heartbeat law that a judge blocked in 2019. The law would protect unborn babies by banning abortions once their heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. Exceptions are allowed for medical emergencies, including threats to the mother’s life and serious risk of bodily harm, and for cases of rape, incest and fetal abnormality.

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During the meeting Monday, many of the council members said they do not think the city should get involved in the abortion issue. However, Mandelbaum disagreed.

“Our constituents are directly impacted. It’s the people in our community who are going to lose access to health care directly if the governor is trying to reinstate the fetal heartbeat bill,” he said, according to the Register.

Mandelbaum and Councilwoman Indira Scheumaker voted in favor of the resolution, but Councilmembers Joe Gatto, Connie Boesen, Carl Voss, Linda Westergaard and Mayor Frank Cownie opposed it.

“This shouldn’t even be on our agenda. This is contrary to any state or federal law we have so I will make a motion to deny any consideration for a workshop or further discussion on a resolution. This is not our purview. This is a political stunt by one council member sitting at this table,” Gatto said prior to the vote.

Boesen and Cownie both said they support legalized abortion, but they do not think the city should get involved in the issue, according to WHO.

KCCI reports Chuck Hurley, of the pro-life organization The Family Leader, also spoke out against the measure during the meeting.

“When you start favoring somebody like this or telling the police force not to do their job that’s exceptionally dangerous, it’s un-American,” Hurley said.

Iowa is one of eight states that are fighting in court to enforce laws that protect unborn babies from abortions. Currently, 15 others are enforcing pro-life laws that prohibit or strictly limit the killing of unborn babies in abortions. SBA Pro-Life America estimates these state laws are saving more than 138,000 unborn babies’ lives.

ACTION ALERT: Contact the Des Moines City Council to thank members for voting down the measure.