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Iowa Senate votes for legislation stating the state Constitution doesn’t protect abortion rights

DES MOINES – In a party-line vote, the Iowa Senate has passed a resolution that would change language in the Iowa Constitution to say a woman doesn’...

DES MOINES – In a party-line vote, the Iowa Senate has passed a resolution that would change language in the Iowa Constitution to say a woman doesn’t have a right to an abortion.

SJR 2001 was voted on after a short debate on Thursday afternoon in the full Senate. 32 Republicans, in the majority, voted for the bill while 18 Democrats voted against it.

Democrats argued that the amendment to the Constitution strips women of their rights, while Republicans said that this legislation is meant to “separate the powers and decisions made by the courts,” said Speaker Pat Grassley earlier in the day.

The Iowa Supreme Court struck down a law passed under the Republican-controlled legislature that would have mandated a 72 hour waiting period for any woman wanting to obtain an abortion. In 2018, another law was passed under the Republican-controlled legislature and championed by Gov. Kim Reynolds: it was coined the fetal heartbeat law. Abortion providers sued the state over that law and District Court Judge Michael Huppert ruled the law was unconstitutional.

The Senate Joint Resolution passed on Thursday has a long way to go before it becomes law. It has to pass the full House in the same form, then has to pass another General Assembly, before it can go to voters as early as 2022.