Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds spoke at the Iowa Prayer Rally for Life at the State Capitol on March 2. (Photo by Linh Ta/Iowa Capital Dispatch)
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds praised President Donald Trump Monday for taking “bold steps” in the pro-life movement.
During an anti-abortion rally at the State Capitol, Reynolds noted Trump is the first president in history to attend the March for Life Rally, which was in January in Washington, D.C.
“Today we are so fortunate to have a president and a vice president who are taking those bold steps,” Reynolds said. “President Trump and Vice President Pence are allies in defending life.”
More than 100 anti-abortion activists filled the Capitol Rotunda and applauded Reynolds and Republican legislators for their most recent efforts to pass a resolution saying the Iowa Constitution does not protect the right to an abortion.
State Rep. Steve Holt, R-Denison, said recent changes to the makeup of the Iowa Supreme Court will bolster Republicans’ efforts to pass more restrictive abortion measures. A law that passed in 2019 giving Reynolds more power over the judicial nominating process will better help their cause, Holt said.
The makeup of the Iowa Supreme Court has changed significantly in the past few years, starting with the appointment of Chief Justice Susan Christensen in 2018. Reynolds appointed justices Christopher McDonald in 2019, and Dana Oxley on Jan. 28. Once Wiggins retires, Reynolds will make her fourth appointment to the seven-person court.
“We will now have a court that will likely interpret the law by what it is written on the page as opposed to rewriting it to match their agenda,” Holt said.
Republicans at the rally condemned a 2018 Supreme Court decision that struck down a law requiring a 72-hour waiting period for abortions and strengthened the Iowa Constitution’s legal protections for abortion.
Reynolds said the ruling resulted in Iowans losing control over their government.
“With one ruling the Iowa Supreme Court moved us from being one of the most pro-life states in the nation to being one of the most abortion friendly,” Reynolds said.
The Iowa Senate passed the constitutional amendment and the House held a public hearing on the measure on Feb. 26. The House is expected to take the resolution to a floor debate, though the date is unknown.
To amend the state constitution, the House and Senate first need to approve a resolution in identical form. It would then have to be approved by the next General Assembly in 2021 or 2022 before it goes to voters in a general election.
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