Statehouse Republicans are halfway to bringing an abortion issue before Iowa voters.
State senators spent their 129th calendar day of this year’s session debating House Joint Resolution 5, a measure which would put an amendment on the ballot as early as 2024 to allow Iowa voters to decide whether the Iowa Constitution provides a right to abortion.
The resolution, approved by the Iowa Senate on a 30-18 party-line vote, must be approved in exactly the same form by both chambers in the 2023-24 General Assembly before it can be placed on the ballot.
The Iowa House approved the resolution, 54-38 Tuesday night, with two Republicans voting against it.
The amendment reads: “To defend the dignity of all human life and protect unborn children from efforts to expand abortion even to the point of birth, 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.”
Senate President Jake Chapman, R-Adel, said the amendment is needed to correct a “feckless,” “fabricated” and “negligent” Iowa Supreme Court decision in 2018 that found the Iowa Constitution provided a right to an abortion.
In the 5-2 decision, the court ruled women have a fundamental right to an abortion and threw out Iowa’s 72-hour waiting period requirement lawmakers had approved.