By Dave Andrusko
Is there any state that is not “on the front lines” in the battle over abortion post-Roe? I’m guessing they are few and far between in the mind of pro-abortion Vice President Kamala Harris. Last Thursday she added Iowa to the list when she joined a panel of Democratic officials and “progressive leaders” in the state capital of Des Moines.
CBS News lead off their story with the inevitable political angle: “On Thursday, U.S. VP Kamala Harris made her first trip to Iowa since she was a candidate on the 2020 campaign trail.” The implication is that the woman who dropped out in 2020 before a single primary is now a more formidable foe.
Harris took a shot at newly elected Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird. Bird joined 19 other attorneys general around the country in telling CVS and Walgreens that distributing the abortion pill via mail could violate state and federal laws and there could be ramifications should they proceed to send abortion pills in this manner.
Harris said, “What we know in Iowa is that there is an attorney general who has joined attorney generals around the country who are asking the courts to overturn an FDA approved medication mifepristone.”
In their February 1 letter to Walgreen’s and CVS, the attorneys general dealt with that: “[M]any people are not aware that federal law expressly prohibits using the mail to send or receive any drug that will ‘be used or applied for producing abortion.’”
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey led the coalition of 20 state attorneys general. “As Attorney General, it is my responsibility to enforce the laws as written, and that includes enforcing the very laws that protect Missouri’s women and unborn children,” said Bailey. “My Office is doing everything in its power to inform these companies of the law, with the promise that we will use every tool at our disposal to uphold the law if broken.”
Back in December Polk County District Judge Celene Gogerty, reiterating jurisdictional questions she raised at an October 28 hearing in Des Moines, “denied Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’ request to remove a permanent injunction that bars enforcement of a state law that would make abortions illegal after about six weeks of pregnancy,” Rox Laird of Courthouse News reported. That means, for the time being, that abortion remains legal in Iowa until 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Gov. Reynolds has appealed. Oral arguments are scheduled for next month.
At that October 28 hearing, Attorney Christopher Schandevel, representing the state, “argued that abortion in Iowa is now covered only by the lowest standard of legal protection, known as ‘rational basis.’ It requires a law to be upheld if there is a rational basis on which the Legislature could have thought it would serve legitimate state interests,” Stephen Gruber-Millery wrote for the Des Moines Register. “Because now that there is no fundamental right to an abortion in the state of Iowa’s constitution or the U.S. Constitution, now it is clear that strict scrutiny is no longer the test, and now that it’s clear that the viability line is no more, faithfully applying Iowa binding law requires the court to reach a different result.”