More than two weeks have passed since the Iowa House Judiciary Committee held its public hearing on the abortion neutrality amendment.
It’s been more than a month now since the Iowa Senate passed it.
This is THE legislative priority for every pro-life advocacy group in Iowa. This is THE premier piece of legislation.
And it isn’t just THE answer to the abortion issue, it is THE response necessary to an overreaching judiciary.
Yet it still needs to clear the House floor. There is a good chance the proposed abortion neutrality amendment is on life support for the 2020 session.
As we’ve seen the last few days, anything is possible in terms of reactions to the pandemic. And should the Iowa Legislature decide to pack up shop and call it a year (which isn’t out of the question by any stretch), the House not acting on the abortion neutrality amendment will be one of the biggest disappointments in recent legislative history.
And there will have been absolutely no excuse for the inaction. None.
A proposed constitutional amendment must pass two general assemblies, meaning this is just the first step. It would have to pass the 2021-2022 General Assembly as well.
If, for some reason, the House doesn’t act on this, the Republicans will have to maintain the trifecta for two more elections (2020 and 2022). I’m confident in Republicans’ chances in 2020, but I wouldn’t be anywhere near comfortable predicting what will happen in 2022.
I will say this, though, if the abortion neutrality amendment shares the ballot in 2022 with the right to keep and bear arms amendment, Republicans will have a much brighter outlook at retaining control.
This much is clear, a Democrat majority will not give this proposed amendment the light of day.
The Republican House needs to pass the proposed constitutional amendment immediately. As in as soon as possible. As in when the gavel drops on Monday.
Nobody could foresee the Coronavirus situation at the beginning of the legislative session. But if life is a priority, if it truly is the No. 1 platform plank for the Republican Party, then no more sitting around waiting.
There is no excuse for it taking this long, but it has.
It is incumbent on Iowa House Leadership to bring the amendment to the floor for a vote.