Local groups react to Supreme Court’s reversal on abortion rights

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 6:21 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Life’s Little Treasures is an antique shop in Davenport that sells trinkets, books, and shoes.

It also educates people about what they say is the importance of pro-life. The shop is owned and operated by the Quad Cities Right To Life organization, to which all the money from sales are donated.

The Quad Cities based group is one of a few Iowa pro-life groups that felt Friday’s Iowa Supreme Court ruling, which reversed a 2018 decision that ruled abortion was a fundamental right for Iowans, was a victory.

“It’s a momentous day in correcting an egregious 2018 ruling that declared a fundamental right to abortion in our Iowa constitution,” said Maggie DeWitte, the Executive Director of Pulse Life Advocates.

Quad City Right to Life told TV6 in a written statement:

“Since 1973, Quad City Right to Life has been working to protect the lives of the most vulnerable among us. As a local group, we appreciate any state court rulings that further the protection of mothers and their unborn babies in Iowa. Today, the Iowa State Supreme Court corrected a previous, erroneous decision by rightly recognizing there is no “fundamental right” to abortion in the Iowa Constitution. We look forward to the Iowa legislature passing common sense legislation to protect women and their children from the abortion industry which exploits women and murders unborn children. QCRTL will continue in our efforts to educate the public and elected officials regarding the truth about abortion and the science of fetal development.”

Fridays Iowa Supreme Court ruling opens the door for more restrictive abortion laws in the state of Iowa.

It’s exactly what the Iowa American Civil Liberties Union says it was afraid of.

“I think the attempt is to try to restrict and ban abortion in the future of the state,” said Rita Bettis-Austin, the Legal Director of ACLU Iowa, “and we are fighting that.”

The state’s landmark decision comes in the midst of a nationwide debate over abortion rights after a draft that indicated that the U.S. Supreme Court may overturn Roe V Wade was leaked earlier in 2022.

However, that decision, called “Dobbs,” will not effect our state’s constitution like the Friday’s ruling.

The reversal stems from a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood in response to a state law that mandated a 24-hour delay for Iowans seeking an abortion.

The nonprofit claimed in the suit that the law placed an “undue burden” on Iowans, or restricted them from their fundamental rights to the procedure.

A district court sided with Planned Parenthood last year, throwing the state’s delay law away and citing the 2018 Iowa Supreme Court ruling which protected against abortion against regulations.

Not that the original ruling has been reversed, however, “Iowans will have to comply with a 24-hour delay and two appointment law for now,” said Bettis-Austin.

“It’s not that the Iowa Court isn’t recognizing abortion [as legal] it’s just less recognized now as a right,” said Veronica Fowler, the director of the ACLU during a press conference.

Given the ruling, however, the fight over abortion rights, on either side of the aisle, is still far from over.

Sheena Dooley

Service manager, PPS north central states

“We have a long, hard road ahead of us in protecting reproductive freedom in Iowa,” said Sheena Dooley, the Service Manager for Planned Parenthood in North Central States, “we’ll never stop fighting.”

DeWitt having a different vision, stating, “ultimately now we can move forward with regulations regarding abortion and from that we hope to eliminate abortion altogether from our state.”

Earlier in the day after the ruling was made on Friday, Governor Reynolds issued a written statement:

“Today’s ruling is a significant victory in our fight to protect the unborn. The Iowa Supreme Court reversed its earlier 2018 decision, which made Iowa the most abortion-friendly state in the country. Every life is sacred and should be protected, and as long as I’m governor that is exactly what I will do.”

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