Iowa lawmakers OK abortion waiting period, push to adjourn

June 14, 2020 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers approved a waiting period for abortions during an overnight session that stretched into Sunday morning.

The House approved the bill establishing a 24-hour waiting period just before midnight and the Senate passed the measure at about 5:30 a.m. Sunday. The bill now goes to Gov. Kim Reynolds, a strong opponent of abortion rights.

Legislators planned to return to the Capitol later Sunday as they push to adjourn the session, which had been put on hold for months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The abortion bill has been a priority of Republicans, who control both legislative chambers.


Republican Rep. Shannon Lundgren said she hopes the bill would lead to the reversal of an Iowa Supreme Court ruling two years ago that found a 72-hour waiting period law was unconstitutional. The court also declared that the Iowa Constitution guarantees women the right to control their own bodies, including making decisions about abortion.

“Maybe this will provide an opportunity for the courts to rectify the terrible situation they’ve created in our state,” Lundgren said

Democrats angrily opposed the measure, in part because it has no exceptions for rape or incest.

“And this is where we find ourselves tonight, dealing with a blatantly unconstitutional amendment just because you can. Without understanding. Without empathy,” said Rep. Heather Matson. “I’m sure some of you will call this a win. It’s too bad that its not a win for the women of each of your districts whose lives will be made harder by your actions.”