Iowa’s Governor Stages Special Session Showdown for Anti-Abortion Legislation

In an audacious move just weeks after the Iowa Supreme Court foiled a state 6-week abortion ban, Iowa’s Governor Kim Reynolds isn’t backing down. Despite the court’s ruling which maintains legal abortions until around the 20th week of pregnancy, Reynolds has doubled down on her restrictive abortion law ambitions.

In a statement she released this Wednesday, the governor revealed her plans to hold “a special legislative session with the exclusive aim of passing abortion restrictions.” Talk about a high-stakes political gamble.

Iowa Senator Pam Jochum wasn’t surprised by the GOP leader’s decision, but she underscored the stark resistance against it: “This assault on reproductive healthcare is rebuffed by a large majority of Iowans. Senate Democrats will be battling for that majority on the Senate floor next week, and we’re rallying all Iowans to our cause.”

Mazie Stilwell, the director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa, is also standing firm. She emphasized, “A swelling majority of Iowans back abortion access. We’re ready to rally supporters across the state to demand our legislators turn down any proposed abortion ban or further constraints on abortion care.”

Stilwell labeled Reynolds’ special session decision as “drastic,” branding the governor and her supportive state Republicans as “power hungry.”

It seems the stage is set for a significant political showdown. As per the governor’s office, the special session will kick off on Tuesday, July 11, aiming to “enact legislation that addresses abortion and safeguards unborn lives.”

This development follows last month’s court ruling, where Iowa Supreme Court Justice Thomas Waterman penned a sharp critique. He stated, “The State now requests our court to do something unprecedented in Iowa history: to bypass the legislature and alter the law, adopt rational basis review, and then dissolve an injunction to put a statute into effect for the first time in the same case where it was declared unconstitutional years earlier.”

The battle lines are drawn, and it’s clear that this contentious issue is far from resolved. But rest assured, we’ll be watching closely and standing with those fighting for reproductive rights in Iowa.