According to the Washington Post, US Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) is expected to introduce legislation that would ban abortions nationally at about six weeks.
Only six states have laws on the books that ban abortion at six weeks.
“A group of Republican senators has discussed at multiple meetings the possibility of banning abortion at around six weeks, said Sen. James Lankford (Okla.), who was in attendance and said he would support the legislation,” the Post reported earlier this week. “Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) will introduce the legislation in the Senate, according to an antiabortion advocate with knowledge of the discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal strategy.”
Ernst didn’t respond to the Post’s request for comment. Iowa’s junior senator holds an A+ ranking from Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion political group cited in the Post story as part of the attempt to get a national ban in place.
The Post reports that leading antiabortion groups—including Susan B. Anthony List and Students For Life Action—have been meeting behind closed doors with members of Congress who share their perspectives. Some Republican senators including Ernst have also had their own meetings. The hope is to get the six-week national ban in place because it would prevent more abortions.
The news of a federal plan to severely limit abortion comes on the heels of a since verified Politico report of a US Supreme Court draft ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that has upheld a woman’s right to choose for nearly 50 years.
“This is a decision that we have been waiting on anxiously, however, this is not the way we anticipated we would hear this news,” Ernst told conservative news outlet Newsmax this week.
Ernst would go on to continue admonishing whoever leaked the draft ruling, taking the same stances a number of pro-life conservative politicians have taken on the topic.
Almost two years ago, Ernst told the Carroll Times-Herald “I don’t see it being overturned. There’s a minimal chance,” when asked a question about abortion.
On Oct. 10, 2020 I asked @SenJoniErnst what she thinks penalties should be for women who have abortions, providers, if her anti-abortion views prevail and abortion again criminalized
""I'm not going to go there because I don't see it being overturned. There's a minimal chance." pic.twitter.com/24NmP4oapO
— Douglas W. Burns (@douglaswburns) May 3, 2022
Overturning Roe v. Wade would make abortion a state issue, but a federal ban would supersede that. Ernst told NBC News on Thursday “we’re debating that now. We’re going to continue to debate that. I think that’s important that we do that, to debate it.”
In Iowa, the right to an abortion is protected by the Iowa Constitution, according to the state Supreme Court. However, that judicial body is deliberating a case that could reverse that previous decision. Republican legislators are also pushing an amendment to the state constitution to outlaw abortion.
by Ty Rushing
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