Protections for unborn babies are among Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ top priorities for the legislative year, she said Tuesday in her 2020 Condition of the State address.
The pro-life Republican said she wants every Iowan to have the opportunity to succeed, including babies in the womb, CBC Online reports. She urged lawmakers to pass a state constitutional amendment that makes it clear there is no “right to abortion” in Iowa.
“We must protect life by making it clear through an amendment that our constitution does not grant a right to abortion,” Reynolds said, KCRG News 9 reports.
She said her priorities for 2020 are to improve the wellness of all Iowans at all stages of life.
“And when I say all stages of life, I mean to include the unborn. We must protect life by making clear, through an amendment, that our constitution does not grant a right to abortion. It’s time, and unfortunately it’s necessary,” Reynolds said.
Her priorities also include improving maternal healthcare through a fellowship for OB-GYNs to help mothers and babies and a new system to help mothers with high-risk pregnancies connect with the state’s best medical experts, according to the report.
Iowa is not the only state considering a pro-life constitutional amendment this year. A Kentucky lawmaker introduced a similar bill this month in the state legislature there.
Such amendments are important because the abortion industry often turns to the courts to overturn pro-life laws. Some state courts have found a so-called “right to abortion” in their state constitutions, and these decisions have been used to force taxpayers to fund abortions and restrict the state legislature from passing even minor, common sense abortion restrictions.
In 2018, West Virginia voters passed a state constitutional amendment that says there is no right to abortion after decades of being forced by a court ruling to fund elective abortions with taxpayer dollars. The amendment also will make it easier for state lawmakers to pass pro-life laws in the future.
Louisiana voters will have a similar opportunity to add a pro-life amendment to their constitution in November. Its sponsor was pro-life Democrat state Rep. Katrina Jackson.
State constitutional amendments must pass both state legislative bodies and then be approved by voters on the ballot.
In Iowa, Reynolds has a strong record of protecting both born and unborn children and their mothers. In 2019, she signed a budget that defunded Planned Parenthood of about $260,000 by making abortion providers ineligible for sex education grants. A year earlier, she signed a heartbeat law to ban abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy.