DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa House of Representatives has voted to advance a ballot initiative that, if approved by voters, would add language to the state Constitution declaring that there is no “right to an abortion” in the state.
Under House Resolution 5, the ballot initiative for the 2024 election would ask voters if they would like the Iowa Constitution to be amended to read, “To defend and protect unborn children, we the people of the state of Iowa declare that this Constitution does not recognize, grant or secure a right to abortion or require the public funding of abortion.”
The measure was approved by the House on Jan. 27 by a vote of 55-44 a week after a House committee voted to send the measure on to the full legislative body.
According to reports, the measure also was considered by the Iowa legislature last year, but it did not come up for a vote in the House. It passed the Senate at that time.
Supporters of the effort say that the ballot initiative is meant to prevent “judicial overreach,” such as the 2018 Iowa Supreme Court decision, which not only struck down a law mandating a 72-hour waiting period before an abortion but also found abortion to be a “fundamental right.”
“Autonomy and dominion over one’s body go to the very heart of what it means to be free,” wrote Chief Justice Mark Cady. “At stake in this case is the right to shape, for oneself, without unwarranted governmental intrusion, one’s own identity, destiny, and place in the world. Nothing could be more fundamental to the notion of liberty.”
“We therefore hold, under the Iowa Constitution, that implicit in the concept of ordered liberty is the ability to decide whether to continue or terminate a pregnancy.”
Rep. Steven Holt, R-Denison, said that the ballot initiative to counter the ruling would not result in outlawing abortion but would only preserve the status quo.
“This is not about outlawing abortion but rather about helping to protect reasonable laws already on the books that are endangered by the Planned Parenthood vs. Reynolds decision,” he stating during debate, according to the Des Moines Register.
Democrats said they don’t believe that the move wouldn’t result in making abortion illegal.
“Rep. Holt, in each of his objections to these amendments, is saying that this will remain legal under federal law. But we all know that Roe v. Wade is on rocky territory right now,” Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, D-Ames, argued.
“I can’t even believe it. Three weeks in! Three weeks in and we are talking about reducing or eliminating a woman’s right to reproductive choice. I don’t know if I’ve ever in my life been this angry — ever,” she exclaimed.
As previously reported, Christians throughout history have considered abortion murder — playing God by deciding who lives and dies — and believed it should be illegal.
In his 1869 sermon entitled “Ante-Natal Infanticide,” E. Frank Howe, the pastor of the Congregational Church of Terre Haute, Indiana lamented that “men and women place their own ease and pleasure above God’s law” and that “public opinion is so corrupted there is no voice of reproach,” forthrightly declaring, “Put what face upon it the community will, disguise it under whatever name you please, you can make no more or less of it than simple murder.”
“So low, gentleman, is the moral sense of community on this subject,” also lamented Philadelphia obstetrician Hugh Lennox Hodge in 1854 in his lecture to fellow doctors on “Criminal Abortion.” “So ignorant are even the greater number of individuals, that even mothers in many instances shrink not at the commission of this crime, but will voluntarily destroy their own progeny, in violation of every natural sentiment, and in opposition to the laws of God and man.”
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