Iowa abortion constitutional amendment moves to Senate floor

January 23, 2020 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A resolution amending the Iowa Constitution to declare there is no right to an abortion in the state passed a Senate committee Thursday, making it eligible for floor debate.

The measure passed with only Republican votes from the Senate State Government Committee.

Republican Sen. Jake Chapman has been outspoken in his opposition to a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court ruling, which found a woman’s right to control her body meant she had the right to an abortion. The ruling rejected a state law requiring a 72-hour waiting period for abortions.

Chapman called the decision “the most misconstrued judicial decision I’ve ever seen.” He argued the amendment approved by the committee would restore the people’s voice through elected lawmakers.


“This is about the people having their voice through the elected body to represent their will,” he said.

Democratic Sen. Claire Celsi accused Republicans of weaponizing the constitution to eliminate rights.

“Republicans complain of activist, unelected judges making these decisions on behalf of Iowans,” she said. “But what’s ironic is that Republicans in Iowa and nationally are working to stack the courts with judges that will rule in their favor on the issue of abortion.”

The amendment must pass the legislature this year, again next year and then would go to voters as early as 2022.