Abortion waiting-period law passed in Iowa

Pro-life supporters attend a “40 Days for Life” rally at St. Mary Parish in Iowa City last year. Iowa Lawmakers on June 13 and 14 approved a bill that will require a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can have an abortion in Iowa.

By Anne Marie Cox
The Catholic Mirror

Iowa lawmakers approved a bill that will require a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can have an abortion. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has 30 days to sign the legislation. The bill passed the House on June 13 and the Senate on June 14.

Pro-life leaders had been advocating for the Protect Life Amendment, which would have reversed a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court ruling that said the state’s constitution protects the right to abortion. The amendment would have taken the constitution back to when it was neutral on abortion.

The amendment had been a top priority of pro-life leaders. The 24-hour wait period proposal arose when it ap­peared there were not enough votes to pass the amendment, said Tom Chapman, executive director of the Iowa Cath­olic Confer­ence. The amend­ment needed to pass two legislative sessions and be approved by a vote of the people in order to be enacted.


“We’re disappointed the amendment didn’t pass this year but a 24-hour wait period is good public policy,” he said. “Most states have a waiting period. It gives a person a little more time to consider an important decision that has obvious consequences for the unborn child and can have negative consequences for the mother’s well-being as well. The ICC has worked on a ‘waiting period’ bill off and on for many years.”

Iowans for LIFE Executive Director Maggie DeWitte said she was disappointed that the amendment did not pass. However, “We’re hopeful that the 24-hour bill will save lives and do what the legislators feel that it could do.”

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