Iowa gov. calls for special session to enact anti-abortion legislation

The session has the "sole purpose" of establishing new legal protections for the unborn, according to Iowa's Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds
Posted at 7:33 PM, Jul 05, 2023

Iowa's Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday the state legislature would convene on Tuesday, July 11th "with the sole purpose of enacting legislation that addresses abortion and protects unborn lives."

The special session comes after the state Supreme Court reversed a decision that protected abortion as a right under the Iowa constitution. 

But the court did not decide on the merits of the law, which leaves the way open for the legislature to pass a new law that bans abortions.

The new order does not include specific recommendations for any new legislation, but Reynolds' statement called for new legal protections as an end result.

"After years of litigation, the Iowa Supreme Court was split 3-3 last month in its opinion regarding whether a lower court's injunction of the Fetal Heartbeat Law should be dissolved. This lack of action disregards the will of Iowa voters and lawmakers who will not rest until the unborn are protected by law," Reynolds said.

A pregnant woman receives an ultrasound.

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Senate Bill 8, also known as the Heartbeat Act, bans abortions after cardiac activity in a fetus can be detected.


An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll last year found a majority of Americans supported federal legislation that guaranteed access to legal abortion, even as Republican-led states institute more restrictions on access to abortions and reproductive health  care.

Until the law changes, abortions are legal in Iowa through up to 20 weeks of pregnancy.