I recently spent some time visiting my daughter in Colorado. She’s a recent college graduate now living and working in Denver. As much as I enjoyed the hikes and mountains of Colorado, I looked forward to heading back home to Windsor Heights, sleeping in my own bed, my own time zone, my own state.
It was on the flight back home I couldn’t stop thinking: does my daughter feel the same way about Iowa these days? When deciding where to put down roots and start her own family, what is she looking for in a neighborhood, community, and state?
These are all questions I ask myself often when thinking about issues like education, quality of life, and health care.
After the U.S. Supreme Court’s unprecedented decision a few weeks ago to overturn Roe v. Wade which now push the issue of reproductive freedom and abortion to the states, I’m asking myself those questions all over again.
For those who may not know what the ruling means for us here in Iowa, here’s where we are today.
Right now, abortion is still legal in Iowa up to 20 weeks. The Governor has requested the Iowa Polk County District Court review a previous ruling that struck down a ban on abortion after six weeks here in Iowa. It’s essentially an outright ban because most women and families won’t even know they are pregnant until after six weeks.
Even if the Iowa District Court reconsiders their abortion ruling, it’s certain to end up back in the Iowa Legislature in January. That means Iowa lawmakers will have some tough decisions to make next year.
I’ll be honest, the Supreme Court ruling really hit me hard. I firmly believe that everyone deserves the right to make their own health care decisions, especially when it comes to when to start a family. Since the Supreme Court decision, I’ve heard many tragic stories of loss from around the country, and also right here in Iowa. It’s clear this isn’t just about one’s ability to make personal health care decisions – it’s also about keeping people safe.
I also know that a strong majority of Iowans believe in reproductive freedom and do not support a ban on all abortions. We all are tired of politics as usual and the last thing folks want is a politician interfering in deeply personal decisions.
While some are already calling for a special session to immediately enact a ban on all abortion without exceptions for rape/incest or even the life of the mother, I hope we can pause and listen to Iowans about what they want. With such personal decisions at stake, we need to take the time to consider the impacts of the court’s ruling before any changes are made to Iowa law.