Iowa is going through a lengthy process to straighten out the courts on the life issue.
For a time, both houses of the Iowa Legislature had a pro-life majority and governors who were willing to sign pro-life bills into law. But Caitlyn Dixson of Iowa Right to Life says the court system got involved and complicated things.
"In 2017, a 20-week abortion ban was passed which included a 72-hour waiting period between the consultation and the abortion procedure," Dixson recalls. "In June of 2018, the 72-hour waiting period was struck down as unconstitutional by the [Iowa] Supreme Court, citing a right to privacy within the Iowa Constitution."
Based on that decision, the 2018 heartbeat bill, which banned abortions after a preborn baby's heartbeat could be detected, was overturned as well. Dixson says there is no way to move forward on any pro-life legislation without amending the state constitution, so that is in the works.
"It will just take a majority vote in both houses, passed this year and then … an election in between before it can be passed for the second time, and then it would have to go before the people," the pro-lifer explains.
So if the proposal passes both sessions twice, it would be another year before an election could be scheduled. The difficulty is expected in the House, where passage is not yet certain. So Iowa residents are being asked to contact their members of the chamber and encourage them to give the people the right to decide the issue.