Abortion Ban Will Be The Sole Focus Of Iowa Special Session

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The Iowa Legislature will convene for a special session on Tuesday, July 11, for the sole purpose of enacting another abortion ban.

Gov. Kim Reynolds called for a special session to enact abortion legislation less than three weeks after the Iowa Supreme Court blocked her previous abortion ban.

The call for a special session has sparked outrage among Iowa reproductive rights advocates. Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa, said Reynolds is calling for a special session because the Iowa courts refused to do her dirty work. 

“Just when you thought she couldn’t sink any lower, Governor Reynolds calls for a special session specifically to take freedom away from Iowans,” he said. “It’s unacceptable and flies in the face of what we value in our state.

Iowa Senate Minority Leader Pam Jochum (D-Dubuque) was unsurprised by the call for a special election. 

“We knew this would happen,” she said. “Republican extremists, led by Gov. Kim Reynolds, are rushing to take away Iowans’ established rights and personal freedoms. And they hope they can do it fast enough that Iowans won’t even notice.”

Iowa House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst (D-Windsor Heights) said the call for a special election is all about the politics, not about the people. 

“It’s clear the Governor and GOP leaders aren’t listening to Iowans because a strong majority supports reproductive freedom,” she said. “Everyone deserves the right to make their own health care decisions, especially when it comes to reproductive care and abortion. Politicians and judges have no place interfering in someone else’s decisions about when to start a family.”

Iowa Democrats put people over politics, which is why they will fight to protect reproductive freedom, Konfrst added.

Where does abortion in Iowa stand right now?

Abortion is still legal in Iowa for up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. 

Ruth Richardson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States, said more Iowans than ever are traveling out of state for abortion care. Minnesota experienced a 211% increase in Iowans traveling to the state for abortion care from 2021 to 2022, according to Richardson.

“Since the fall of Roe, we’ve seen manufactured confusion,” she said. “A lot of people don’t know what health care they can legally access and where they are protected.”

Planned Parenthood will also be making changes to its locations. Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Ames, and Omaha, Nebraska locations will be expanded with more staffing, whereas Planned Parenthood clinics in Cedar Falls, Council Bluffs, and Rosenfield in Des Moines will permanently close. 

What now?

While much of the special session is still up in the air, Mazie Stilwell, director of public affairs of Iowa for Planned Parenthood North Central States, said it is imperative Iowans show up at the capitol on July 11 to make their voices heard. Stilwell also encouraged Iowans to contact their legislators as the special session quickly approaches. 

“Regardless of personal beliefs, we can all agree that Iowans deserve the right to control their futures and access to reproductive health care,” Stilwell said. “Now is the time for Iowans to raise their voices and hold their elected officials accountable for every vote they take in their march to take away our rights and bodily autonomy.”


by Grace Katzer


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1 Comment on "Abortion Ban Will Be The Sole Focus Of Iowa Special Session"

  • The Democrats should protest, by not participating. In my opinion, our Governor is misusing the special session’s. Our Governor has been eliminating investigative powers of state agencies that are responsible for holding her and her staff accountable to the voters, and not a dictator.

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