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Iowa House passes amendment to take away abortion rights

Abortion 1.27
Iowa House leadership receiving votes on HJR 5, courtesy of Iowa Legislature

DES MOINES (KWWL) - The Iowa House of Representatives passed a constitutional amendment Wednesday night which could end the right to abortion in Iowa.

Republicans and Democrats have debated the intention of the bill which would add this amendment to the Iowa Constitution:

26. To defend and protect unborn children, we the people of the State of Iowa declare that this Constitution does not recognize, grant, or secure a right to abortion or require the public funding of abortion.

Iowa House Joint Resolution 5

Republican Rep. Steve Holt, R-Denison, has said the intention is to protect Iowa's ban on abortion's more than 20 weeks after conception and also prevent taxpayer-funded abortions.

Since abortions are still protected across the United States via court decisions like Roe v. Wade, a state cannot ban all abortions. However, Democrats worry if the U.S. Supreme Court were to give states more authority on the matter, the bold language in this amendment could allow Iowa to completely ban the procedure.

The resolution passed 55-44 Wednesday night with one representative not voting due to being sick. Three Republicans voted against the measure. The amendment was immediately messaged to the State Senate for discussion.

The amendment would need to pass both houses again in 2023 and then finally be ratified by Iowa voters.

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Travis Breese

Reporter, Iowa City

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