Pro-life amendment to state Constitution passes Iowa Senate Government Committee

House awaiting Senate action

By Dave Andrusko

On Wednesday, the Iowa Senate Government Committee approved Senate Joint Resolution 2, a companion measure to HJR5 which the full House approved on January 27. 

If passed by both houses in consecutive legislative sessions and approved by the voters in 2024, the measure would amend the state constitution to flatly state that “Iowa does not recognize, grant, or secure a right to abortion or require the public funding of abortion.”

Ratification would require a simple majority, rather than 60% or two-thirds. 

Last year the Senate passed a similar measure only to have it fail in the House.

When Joint Resolution 5 passed the House, the National Catholic Register wrote,   

The amendment is particularly prescient for Iowa, as the state’s Supreme Court found a “right to abortion” in the state’s constitution in 2018.  

The Iowa Supreme Court in 2018 struck down a 72-hour waiting period for abortion, on the grounds that “a woman’s right to decide whether to terminate a pregnancy is a fundamental right under the Iowa Constitution.” The proposed amendment would nullify the court’s finding. 

In addition to the amendment to the state constitution, pro-lifers have moved HF 53 forward. “HF 53 would require facilities offering medication abortions to ‘conspicuously’ post information relating to the ‘effectiveness and possibility of avoiding, ceasing, or even reversing the effects of a medication abortion,’” according to the Capitol Digest. “It also requires that a woman give written consent and acknowledgment of receiving that information.”

If the bill becomes law, Iowa would become the 11th state  to have informed consent legislation requiring abortion mills to inform a woman who is undergoing a two-drug chemical abortion [“medication abortion”] that if she changes her mind prior to taking the second drug, it may be possible to save her baby. This is commonly referred to as “Abortion Pill Reversal.”