ACTION ALERT:  Tell the Des Moines City Council to vote NO on abortion

Josh Mandelbaum

Des Moines City Council member, Josh Mandelbaum

As we reported last month, City Council Member Josh Mandelbaum wants Des Moines to ignore pro-life laws on the books in Iowa, and for Iowa taxpayers to pay travel expenses for city employees who seek out-of-state abortions.

To that end, he has written a pro-abortion proposal that he is trying to get placed as an agenda item this Monday, October 3rd, at their scheduled 5PM council meeting. To be clear, the proposal posted below is NOT yet an agenda item. Mandelbaum wants a vote this Monday to put it on the agenda two weeks hence.

He needs four votes to get it on the agenda. He has two for sure: his and Indira Sheumaker’s. Pro-lifers need to contact the remaining council members and strongly encourage them to nip this anti-life proposal in the bud.

Here is the language of Mandelbaum’s proposal:



WHEREAS, access to health care including reproductive health care is a fundamental human right; and 

WHEREAS, access to safe and legal abortion is a deciding factor in long-term health, safety, and quality of life; and 

WHEREAS, Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court of the United States decision that recognized the constitutionally protected right for a pregnant person to choose to have an abortion prior to viability, had been the law of the land for almost 50 years; and 

WHEREAS, a growing majority of lowans support abortion access in most or all cases; and 

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturned Roe v. Wade, rolling back essential protections for millions of people; and 

WHEREAS, just a week before the Dobbs decision, the Iowa Supreme Court, in Planned Parenthood v. Reynolds, reversed the Iowa Supreme Court precedent, significantly limiting state constitutional protections for the right to access abortion; and 

WHEREAS, residents across Des Moines, the state of Iowa, and the country are now at risk of losing access to essential health care services that many of them have had access to for their entire lives; 

WHEREAS, despite the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision in Planned Parenthood v. Reynolds, the Iowa Constitution continues to recognize the rights of all men and women to enjoy and defend liberty and pursue and obtain safety and happiness; 

WHEREAS, eliminating legal access to abortion has been empirically proven to dramatically increase the risk of death, bodily injury, and infertility, especially within low-income communities and communities of color; 

WHEREAS, under Section 364.1 of the Iowa Code, the City ofDes Moines is empowered to “exercise any power and perform any function it deems appropriate to protect and preserve the rights, privileges, and property of the city or of its residents, and to preserve and improve the peace, safety, health, welfare, comfort, and convenience of its residents”; 

WHEREAS, under this power, the city may determine the appropriate use of city resources and services; 

WHEREAS, city services are already under significant resource constraints due to limited budgets and staffing shortages; and 

WHEREAS, the resources of the City must be dedicated to the health and wellbeing of its residents; 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL THAT the City ofDes Moines supports the codification of the right to abortion into state and federal law; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the City ofDes Moines remains committed to providing our employees the same access to health care including reproductive health care that they have had previously and the City Council directs the City Manager and human resources director to develop a policy related to travel reimbursement to access health care services that become inaccessible in state; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT it is the policy of the City of Des Moines that, except to the extent otherwise required by state or federal law, City funds will not be used to do any of the following: 

• Store or catalog any report of an abortion, miscarriage, or other reproductive healthcare act; 

• Provide information to any other governmental body or agency about any abortion, miscarriage, or other reproductive healthcare act, unless such information is provided to defend the patient’s right to abortion care or the healthcare provider’s right to provide that care; 

• Conduct surveillance or collect information related to an individual or organization for the purpose of determining whether an abortion has occurred, except for aggregated data without personally identifying information or personal health information which is collected for purposes unrelated to criminal investigation, enforcement, or prosecution. 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the policy stated above does not apply in cases where coercion or force is alleged to have been used against the pregnant person, or in cases involving an allegation of conduct criminally negligent to the health of the pregnant person seeking care, or where the abortion, miscarriage, or reproductive healthcare is not the crime being investigated but evidence of another crime. 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT it is the policy of the City ofDes Moines that the investigation or support for the prosecution of any allegation, charge or information relating to the outcome of a given pregnancy, including abortion and abortion-related care, or any party thereto, will be the lowest priority for enforcement and the use of City resources and personnel, except in cases (a) where coercion or force is used against the pregnant person, (b) of criminally negligent conduct involving the health of the pregnant person seeking care, or (c) where the abortion, miscarriage, or reproductive healthcare is not the crime being investigated but evidence of another crime. 

BE IT FUTRHER [sic] RESOLVED THAT the City Council directs City Manager to work with staff to draft an ordinance to prohibit discrimination based on reproductive health actions so that no person could be denied housing or employment for any perceived or actual pregnancy outcomes, including obtaining an abortion, or accessing any other reproductive health care.


Should Des Moines become a sanctuary city for abortions?

If Mandelbaum has his way, he’d turn Des Moines into an abortion sanctuary city. To prevent the use of taxpayer monies for the abortions of city employees; and to prevent the willful disregard of existing pro-life laws on the books, Pulse encourages you to contact EACH of the city council members below and tell them to vote NO on Josh Mandelbaum’s pro-abortion proposal:

Frank Cownie, Mayor: 515-283-4944 |

Linda Westergard: 515-988-4288 |

Carl Voss: 515-210-0237 |

Joe Gatto: 515-402-2626 |

Connie Boesen: 515-240-7929 |

Your email can be short and sweet:

Dear Council person [last name]: My name is [your name]. I understand the Council is considering a pro-abortion proposal that would involve using taxpayer money to pay abortion travel expenses for city employees. I strongly encourage you to vote no on such a terrible idea.


[Your Name]

These council members need to hear from a LOT of pro-lifers, because we know Planned Parenthood is hard at work galvanizing their troops. 

Monday’s meeting takes place at City Hall, 400 Robert D Ray Drive. The meeting begins at 5PM. We encourage you to arrive early and let the Council know you support life.


  1. Respect Life Month | St. Theresa Pro Life on October 1, 2022 at 2:12 pm

    […] HERE for more information and to have your voice […]

  2. […] As we wrote we wrote last week, Des Moines City Councilman, Josh Mandelbaum, is trying to slip a pro-abortion proposal onto the City Council’s agenda. Pulse got wind of it and will attend tonight’s meeting in opposition to his proposal. We’ve heard that speakers aren’t going to be allowed. But if the opportunity arises, here is what we will say: […]

  3. Todd Roecker on October 5, 2022 at 7:44 pm

    Vote NO!!!

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