Keep up to date with what is happening at the capital on all pro-life issues.
My name is Maggie DeWitte, and I am the Executive Director of Iowans for LIFE and the spokesman for the Coalition of pro-life leaders. In 2018 a grave injustice happened in the state of Iowa. A fundamental right to abortion was created in our Iowa Constitution. This was never a right granted in our constitution…
[This is Maggie DeWitte’s testimony at the Iowa Capital today.] Good Morning, my name is Maggie DeWitte, and I am the Executive Director of Iowans for LIFE. I am here today speaking against House Study Bill 121 for several reasons. This bill states it does not include any drug intended to induce an abortion. Unfortunately,…
My name is Maggie DeWitte and I am the Executive Director of Iowans for LIFE and the spokesman for the Coalition of Pro-Life Leaders. I am speaking to you this morning in support for HSB 41. Thank you for bringing this amendment forward and so quickly in the session, which shows your true commitment to…
A lot is happening legislatively in Iowa right now. So much is at stake because all of our legislative success is threatened by the Iowa Supreme Court's ruling in June of 2018 that there is a "fundamental right" to abortion in the Iowa Constitution.
Without the vote of the people, and without the vote of our elected officials, the Iowa Supreme Court changed us from one of the most pro-life states into one of the most pro-abortion states in the U.S. They found a right that does not exist in our constitution. That is outrageous judicial activism! We have to act.
Current Abortion Laws on the books in Iowa: (all of these are threatened)
- The parent of a minor must be notified before an abortion is provided.
- Public funding is available for abortion only in cases of life endangerment, rape, incest or fetal anomaly. The governor must approve each Medicaid-funded abortion.
- A woman must undergo an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion; the provider must offer her the option to view the image.
- No abortions after 20-weeks (passed in 2017)
- 2017-The Family Medical Waiver Program excluded the abortion industry and redirected that money to quality community health care centers across the state that provide real health care to women and families.
- 2019 Session, the Department of Health & Human Services bill states that abortion providers are NOT qualified to receive state money to teach our youth sex education. PP has filed a lawsuit, an injunction was granted and a trial is expected yet this summer.
- 2019 Judicial Reform- A modified version of this passed which gives Gov. Reynolds one additional non-attorney on the nominating committee. This puts her at 9 and the bar association at 8. Chief Justice only serves for 2 years and then has to be re-elected as a chief justice. And, the most senior justice is not automatically the chairman of the nominating committee.
Two additional bills that did not pass this session, but will come up next session is fetal homicide law and the Alfie Evans bill. The fetal homicide law would put language into the criminal code that would give criminal punishment to anyone who kills an unborn child. The Alfie Evans bill is based on the case in Britain in which Alfie was removed from life support over the objections of his parents. This bill passed the Iowa House, but not the Senate and would not allow the courts or hospitals to remove life support without the parent’s consent.
One bill that may come up that IFL does not support is allowing hormonal contraception to be given out over the counter without a prescription. We will continue to educate the Governor and legislators on the negative implications of passing such a bill.
The Terrible Consequences of the June 29 Supreme Court Ruling
In one stroke of the pen, unelected judges flipped Iowa from the most pro-life state to among the least.
In June 2018, in a decision on the 72-Hour waiting period on abortions, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the Iowa Constitution contains a "fundamental right" to abortion. This means that almost no existing or future regulation of abortion can survive a court challenge in Iowa.
This ruling is the most significant event in the history of Iowa’s pro-life battle.
➢It Dwarfs any Previous Setback.
➢It Vetoes Every Achievement:
- Concocted a fundamental right to abortion.
- Caused the reversal of Iowa’s Heartbeat Law.
➢It Exposes to Reversal:
- The remaining ban on 20-week abortions.
- The defunding of Planned Parenthood.
- Every other pro-life law or regulation currently on the books, & any yet to come.
This is the most important assault on Iowa’s democratic republic in our history. This is of serious concern to both liberals and conservatives. The authority of the Court does not extend to amending the Iowa Constitution.
The Constitution provides for only two methods of its own amendment, and both are accomplished only through the actions of the People, not the court. In its 160 years, the current Iowa Constitution has been amended on 27 different occasions (as recently as 2010) and in 48 ways. The court’s ruling has usurped the authority of all Iowans as the only authors of their Constitution. Liberals may not agree with conservatives on issues of the day. But both should cherish and defend our principles of self-governance. When the court usurped the authority of all Iowans, it robbed Republicans and Democrats alike.
The Iowa court imagined a right to abortion in the Iowa Constitution where the people had never intended it. The same legislature that passed our current Constitution promptly also banned abortion except to save the life of the mother. There is no credible argument that they intended a right to abortion in the state Constitution.
The People of Iowa must reassert the same authority by which they drafted and passed the Iowa Constitution.
Amend the Iowa Constitution to affirm there is
no right to abortion contained in it.
Even moderates could agree because this amendment would not prohibit abortion. It would merely restore the issue to the People (liberals and conservatives alike) to debate among themselves and pass laws on the issue.
Several states are in the process of passing similar amendments, and Tennessee and West Virginia have successfully done it. We can pass an amendment in Iowa, too, but there is almost nothing else pro-lifers CAN do until this step is done.
We know that little child, kicking in her mother's womb, she's a baby. But even if everyone in Iowa agreed with us, we could do almost nothing to protect her until we amend the Iowa Supreme Court's outrageous decision from June 2018.
We need this amendment. That baby in the womb? She needs this amendment. And we all need YOU to get your pro-life friends and family on board with passing a constitutional amendment that says to the Court, "No! There IS NO RIGHT to abortion in We the People's Constitution!"
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