After the Iowa House and Senate passed a new abortion ban bill—which essentially caps abortions at just six weeks into pregnancy which is before most people find out they’re pregnant—reactions from abortion advocates and Iowa politicians came flooding in.
Gov. Kim Reynolds, who called for the special session weeks after the Iowa Supreme Court enjoined a similar 2018 bill, was pleased by the passing of a new abortion ban.
“As a pro-life Governor, I am committed to continuing policies to support women in planning for motherhood, promote the importance of fatherhood, and encourage strong families,” she stated in a release. “Our state and country will be stronger because of it.”
On Twitter, US Rep. Ashely Hinson (R-Iowa) thanked Reynolds for her work in getting the legislation passed. Hinson was in the Iowa House when the 2018 version of the bill passed.
“Every life is precious and valuable. Thank you to @IAGovernor and the Iowa legislature for protecting innocent life. At the federal level, I’ll continue fighting for policies that support life at every stage and help new families as they grow,” she wrote.
US Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) shared similar remarks to Hinson’s on Twitter.
“In Iowa, we stand for life. @IAGovernor and our state legislature took bold action that will save countless lives across our state,” she wrote. “I will always proudly support and fight for LIFE!”
In a joint statement from Planned Parenthood North Central States, the Emma Goldman Clinic, and the ACLU of Iowa, abortion advocates pledged to challenge the new law in state court.
Rita Bettis Austen, legal director for the ACLU of Iowa, called the new law a nearly all-out ban on abortion, resulting in life-threatening barriers for Iowans.
“Every legislator who voted for this should feel ashamed for putting their own political expediency over the will of the people, as well as Iowans’ rights to bodily autonomy, health, and safety,” Austen stated in the release.
Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said the special session solely inflicted cruelty on Iowans.
“Iowans have been denied the freedom to decide what is best for their own lives and futures,” stated. “Inevitably, the brunt of harm will fall on Black, Latino, and Indigenous Iowans; Iowans with lower incomes; and Iowans who live in rural areas. Planned Parenthood will not stand for this. We will see Gov. Reynolds in court.”
Ruth Richardson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States, agreed that the fight will continue for a future with reproductive freedom.
“My heart breaks for patients who will be denied health care, for the people who cannot afford to travel out of state. This ban will widen already unacceptable health inequities,” Richardson stated. “Iowans deserve to decide what’s best for their bodies and futures.”
Francine Thompson, executive director of the Emma Goldman Clinic in Iowa City, criticized the legislature for inserting themselves into the exam room where they don’t belong.
“They are not doctors and have no medical expertise,” Thompson stated. “The Emma Goldman Clinic has been providing reproductive health care in Iowa for 50 years and we stand strongly in solidarity with Iowans in need of abortion care. We deserve better as a state and our future generations deserve better.”
Mazie Stilwell, director of public affairs of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa, encouraged Iowans to vote pro-life politicians out of office.
“It’s now very clear that Iowa politicians have more control over our bodies and futures than we do,” Stilwell stated. “They dictate what health care we can access and when we can access it. They now get to decide who is forced to carry a pregnancy. Legislators should not be playing politics with our bodies.”
Rita Hart, chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, said Iowa Republicans enacted a six-week ban to impress extreme members of the party.
“I’m proud of our Democratic lawmakers who helped make women’s voices heard today and stood strong while they opposed stricter abortion laws that the majority of Iowans do not support,” Hart stated in a release. “It’s time to elect more Democratic candidates who will continue to put people over politics, work to create balance, and protect our fundamental rights.”
Senate Minority Leader Pam Jochum (D-Dubuque) reminded Iowans that the extreme abortion ban would cover 98% of abortions in Iowan.
“Their actions today threaten the health and futures of all Iowa women,” she stated. “This extreme Republican power grab infringes on the personal freedom of every Iowa woman and girl. There are women alive today who will not be alive in six months because of this law. That is a tragedy and a travesty.”
Sen. Sarah Trone Garriott (D-West Des Moines) said Republicans will only make women’s lives worse in Iowa.
“Instead of calling legislators back to Des Moines to take away fundamental freedoms, we could have made a positive difference for Iowa women,” Trone Garriott said. “We could have expanded maternal healthcare, reinstated support for family planning, and offered more help with childcare. That’s what Iowa Democrats are fighting for – a state that supports Iowa families and helps them thrive.”
Sen. Janice Weiner (D-Iowa City) said the unprecedented special session only aimed at taking rights away.
“They hoped they could do it quickly and quietly enough that we wouldn’t notice our freedoms being stripped away,” she stated. “But Iowans showed up. We see what these extreme Republicans are doing, we’re mad as hell, and we most definitely won’t forget.”
by Grace Katzer
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