Jun 24, 2022 - News

Roe v. Wade overturned: Iowa Republicans' new power to restrict abortions

Illustration of a gavel hitting the floor and generating ripples.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade could have a dramatic impact on abortion access in Iowa as Gov. Kim Reynolds and Republican lawmakers now have untethered freedom to pass restrictions in the state.

State of play: Two key laws protecting abortions in Iowa have crumbled n less than two weeks: A 2018 Iowa Supreme Court ruling that protected abortions under the Iowa Constitution and Roe V. Wade.

Why it matters: No immediate ban would take place in the state. But Iowa's Republican trifecta has made it clear they want to restrict abortions in the state.

"The Supreme Court's greatest moments have come when it allows America to embody more perfectly the enduring truth on which it was founded: that all human beings, without exception, are created equal. But the fight for life is not over. As Governor, I won't rest until every unborn Iowan is protected and respected."

Gov. Reynolds in a statement following the ruling

The other side: House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfrst said in a statement that while today's ruling is difficult to take in, local Democrats plan on fighting against restrictions. The state's law "gives us the final say in making our own healthcare decisions, including abortion," Konfrst said.

Zoom out: Steffen Schmidt, a political science professor at Iowa State University, predicts Republicans will likely try to pass new restrictions or revive a 2018 law to ban nearly all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which was blocked by a federal court.

Between the lines: Reynolds and Republican leaders have declined to say if they're planning a special session now that Roe is overturned, the Register reports.

What's next: A protest against the U.S. Supreme Court decision — which was posted by the DSM Black Liberation Movement — is scheduled at 6pm Friday outside Central Academy in Des Moines,

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