DES MOINES — Governor Kim Reynolds is asking the state courts to lift an injunction that has prevented a so-called fetal heartbeat law from taking effect. The law, passed in 2018, would ban abortions in Iowa after the sixth week of a pregnancy. In a written statement, Reynolds said after Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court’s “historic ruling” that overturned Roe v Wade, “now is the time to stand up for the unborn.”
Iowa House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfrst points to a recent Des Moines Register Iowa Poll that found 57% of Iowans support abortion rights.
“Iowans are tired of politicians making decisions for them and they’re tired of political games,” Konfrst said. “And I think when they hear this news, they’re going to think it’s another example of trying to work the system instead of adequately addressing and really getting input from everyday Iowans.”
Reynolds is also asking the Iowa Supreme Court to review their recent ruling that is letting a 24-hour waiting period for abortions in Iowa take effect, and make it easier for abortion restrictions to survive future challenges in Iowa courts. Konfrst said she wouldn’t be surprised if Reynolds reconvenes the legislature in the next few months if the Iowa court rulings don’t go her way.
“Most Iowans don’t want this because they want the ability to make their own decisions and so I think it’s pretty frustrating for a lot of Iowans who are seeing games being played on a very serious issue,” Konfrst said, “an issue that just changed in seismic ways a few days ago.”
A national CBS Poll released Sunday found the U.S. Supreme Court decision that left the abortion issue up to state legislatures made 50% of the Democrats surveyed more motivated to vote in November. Konfrst said after watching abortion rights protests in Iowa over the weekend, she believes it will have a similar affect in Iowa races.
“The people who were at these rallies are fired up, they’re angry and they’re ready to vote,” Konfrst said. “They see that their votes matter and they’re going to use this issue as one to make their voices heard. I’m sure of it.”
If Democrats win majorities in the legislature this fall and Democrat Deidre DeJear is elected governor, Konfrst indicated Democrats would undo some abortion restrictions — including the six week abortion ban if Iowa courts allow it to go into effect, at Governor Reynolds’ request.
“We also want to make sure that we’re solidifying the right to an abortion in Iowa Code in some way,” Konfrst said. “We don’t have a codify Roe v Wade situation here in Iowa, but we have the ability to ensure and enshrine here in Iowa Code the right for Iowa women to have an abortion.”
Konfrst made her comments at Iowa PBS Tuesday during taping of the network’s Iowa Press program that airs Friday night at 7:30. Governor Reynolds released a written statement about the legal avenue she’s pursuing to try to advance a six week abortion ban, but she did not hold a news conference or speak with reporters.