Protect Life Amendment updateThe Des Moines Register’s online headline states:

“Iowa lawmakers advance anti-abortion constitutional amendment.”


“Iowa lawmakers advance abortion-neutral constitutional amendment.”

The Register story goes on to say:

Republicans in the Iowa Legislature are speeding forward with a proposed constitutional amendment stating that the Iowa Constitution does not protect abortion rights.

The word “speeding” suggests a rush to judgement. Let’s face it, the clock is ticking on every single piece of legislation still in committee. After all, Joint Rule 20 says they’ve only got to March 20th to get the amendment out of committee:

Final date for Senate bills and joint resolutions to be reported out of House (Friday of the 10th week)** committees and House bills and joint resolutions out of Senate committees (March 20th).

A more honest way of reporting would have deleted the unnecessary word, speeding, perhaps with a rewording like this:

“Republicans in the Iowa Legislature advanced a proposed constitutional amendment stating that the Iowa Constitution is neutral on abortion rights.”

Isn’t that better? The Register goes on to say:

“The Iowa House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday afternoon along party lines to advance the proposal, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed. In the Iowa Senate, an identical amendment will be debated by the full chamber Thursday.”

This is a good, solid piece of factual journalism. Alas, the Register again exposes their bias in the next paragraph.

Republicans say the measure is needed to respond to the “judicial overreach” of a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court decision that found a fundamental right to abortion in the state constitution. Democrats argue the goal is to strip away Iowans’ rights.

The quote marks around “judicial overreach” were unnecessary.

The Register went on to report:

“Rep. Karin Derry, D-Johnston, said Republicans’ goal in passing the amendment is not about addressing judicial overreach or making the constitution silent on abortion.

“Don’t be fooled: This amendment is about restricting women’s freedom to make their own health care decisions. It’s about telling women what they may or may not do with their own bodies, with their own future. The intent of this amendment is to strip Iowans of their right to safe, legal abortion. It’s about its proponents’ long-term goal to eventually ban abortion in Iowa,” she said.”

In fact, Representative Johnston is clearly misinformed. The Protect Life Amendment simply makes the Iowa Constitution abortion neutral. Here is the exact wording of the amendment:

No right to abortion or required public funding of abortion. To defend the dignity of all human life, and to protect mothers and unborn children from efforts to expand abortion even to the day of birth, we the people of the State of Iowa declare that this Constitution shall not be construed to recognize, grant or secure a right to abortion or to require the public funding of abortion.

Such an amendment should be unnecessary, because the Iowa Constitution’s Bill of Rights spells out a right to life in Section One:

All men and women are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights — among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty …

You certainly can’t “enjoy life” if you’ve been aborted. And for the record, biologists with practical unanimity declare that human life begins at fertilization, as we’ve reported in an earlier blogpost. Clearly, the authors of the Iowa Constitution did not include a “fundamental right to abortion” in this 19th century document. That’s why it is honest to call the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision last year that discovered a “fundamental right to an abortion” in the Iowa Constitution “judicial overreach.”

For the record, the Iowa Constitution goes on to assert in Section Two that:

“ALL political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right, at all times, to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.” (Emphasis ours.)

The elected officials of the Hawkeye State, reflecting the power of the people, restricted human abortion to the point at which a heartbeat of the unborn person was detectable, as well as a three day waiting period before an abortion could be performed.

Activist judges have made this amendment critical to protecting innocent, unborn human life, along with the political power of the people.

Iowans for LIFE is a member of the Iowa Coalition of Pro Life Leaders, whose spokesperson is IFL Executive Director, Maggie DeWitte.

We will continue to provide you with timely, accurate information on the progression of this amendment.

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