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Iowa Governor Taking Next Step to Protect Pre-Born Children

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Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has announced that lawmakers will convene in Des Moines on July 11 for a single-issue special session focused on reevaluating abortion restrictions. This decision comes after a previous effort to pass new restrictions was halted by the state Supreme Court.

Photo Credit - Austin Goode

Photo Credit - Austin Goode

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/7/2023 (7 months ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: Iowa, children, abortion, pre-born, protection, pro-life, life

In a statement, Governor Reynolds emphasized that Iowans have elected representatives who are committed to protecting the rights of the unborn. She stated, "Iowans have voted strongly in support of pro-life principles and against the arbitrary destruction of innocent, defenseless lives."

In 2018, lawmakers passed a law banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat could be detected, typically around six weeks into pregnancy. However, a lower court blocked the enforcement of the law due to its inconsistency with the precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade at that time.

The landscape changed when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022, allowing states to regulate abortion. Despite this shift in precedent, the Iowa Supreme Court refused to hear the state's appeal, citing the passage of more than four years since the legislation was initially signed into law as one reason for their decision.

Last month, the Iowa Supreme Court reached a rare 3-3 deadlock, failing to secure the required majority to hear the state's appeal. One judge recused herself due to her prior employment with a law firm representing an abortion provider involved in the original lawsuit.

While the justices provided written explanations for their votes, the 3-3 deadlock meant there was no formal opinion or legal precedent set on abortion. It remains unclear how the court would rule if presented with a similar law under different circumstances, despite all seven justices being appointed by Republicans.

Governor Reynolds expressed disappointment at the "lack of action" by the state's highest court, asserting that it disregarded the will of both voters and lawmakers. She affirmed her commitment to the pro-life movement, describing it as the most important human rights cause of our time. Additionally, she pledged to support women in their motherhood plans, promote fatherhood and parenting, and continue policies that strengthen families.

The decision to call a special session has drawn criticism from Democrats, who accuse Governor Reynolds and fellow Republicans of attempting to curtail established rights and personal freedoms. Senate Democratic Leader Pam Jochum stated that Republicans, led by the governor, are rushing to pass an abortion ban. Jochum urged Iowans to fight against such a ban.

Currently, under Iowa law, abortion is legal up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Governor Reynolds did not specify the particular restrictions that will be considered during the special session.

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