Abortion investigations would be prohibited under Des Moines proposal
Des Moines police would not be able to investigate complaints about health care providers that facilitate access to abortion under a resolution shared with Axios that was drafted by city councilperson Josh Mandelbaum.
- It would also direct city staffers to draft an ordinance to prohibit discrimination in housing or employment against someone who has had an abortion or accesses reproductive health services — similar to those that protect sexual orientation and gender identity.
Why it matters: Abortion remains legal in Iowa during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy but that could change in the coming months either through evolving court or legislative initiatives.
- Mandelbaum’s resolution lays the groundwork to resist enforcement should stricter abortion regulations or bans be enacted.
Big picture: Multiple cities in other states have passed ordinances to protect access to abortion following June's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that overturned Roe v. Wade.
- Meanwhile, some states are acting quickly to further restrict abortions. For example, on Friday, Indiana lawmakers passed a near-total abortion ban.
Of note: Mandelbaum doesn't yet have the support of Mayor Frank Cownie or enough council members to add the resolution to an upcoming regular city council agenda.
Yes, but: He can call for a vote that would add the idea to an upcoming council workshop for discussion.
- He told Axios he'll try to workshop his idea in coming months if he's unable to get a vote on the resolution.
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