116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Well, I don’t think Gov. Kim Reynolds will be able to run on a magazine’s ranking of Iowa this time around, like she did in 2018.
The stakes in Iowa’s governor’s race got higher Monday night when Politico published a leaked, draft U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade and ending 50 years of abortion rights. If it becomes the final ruling, it would allow states to restrict reproductive health care.
No, the leaking of the ruling isn’t the big deal here.
The right to an abortion in Iowa would not disappear with the wave of a SCOTUS wand. In 2018, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled access to an abortion is a fundamental right in Iowa. This year, a very different, more conservative Iowa Supreme Court is considering a law requiring women to wait 24 hours before accessing an abortion. If the court sticks with the 2018 precedent, or issues a narrow ruling sidestepping the fundamental rights issue, abortion rights would remain in place, for now.
If it strikes down the 2018 precedent, abortion access in Iowa could be curtailed more quickly.
As early as next year, Iowans could vote on a constitutional amendment erasing a fundamental right to abortion. That also would open the gates to legislative actions severely restricting or banning abortion.
So Reynolds will be running to deny the right to make reproductive decisions for thousands of Iowa women, including victims of rape. But abortion won’t disappear. It will simply become hidden, unregulated and far less safe. Women with resources will go to Illinois or Minnesota. Low-income women will turn to cheaper, high-risk alternatives. Women will be injured and some will die. The right of women to make this decision without government interference will vaporize.
And if you think they’ll stop with abortion rights, you haven’t been paying attention. If they succeed with abortion, Iowa Republicans will go after marriage rights for same-sex couples, yank gender identity out of the civil rights code and target the rights of any “sinister” enemy they can find.
Reynolds will sign it all into law.
Also, if the House denies Reynolds her publicly-funded private-school scholarships plan, she’ll also be running on that unpopular idea. There’s also the small matter of all the Friends of Kim (FOK) who want to use eminent domain to grab land across Iowa for carbon pipelines.
So take fundamental rights away from women. Take money away from public schools. Take land away from rural residents. It’s an agenda that’s all takin’ and no givin,’ as Dolly might sing. Well, except for the donors who have given Reynolds $4 million for her campaign. They’ll get plenty.
It seems like there’s some material here to work with for expected Democratic gubernatorial nominee Deidre DeJear. She’ll be outspent and remains a long shot. But this is powerful stuff.
“Tonight women across our nation are angry and they are scared. I see you. Let this soak in tonight … because tomorrow we don't mourn, we get back to work to ensure that every Iowan has access to the health care and reproductive care that they need,” DeJear tweeted Monday night.
She’s taking this seriously. So should voters. It’s just the fate of Iowans’ rights, our public schools, private property rights, our state’s pro-civil rights history and its future.
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