Des Moines city councilman wants to legalize all Des Moines abortions

Josh Mandelbaum

Des Moines City Council member, Josh Mandelbaum

Des Moines city councilman, Josh Mandelbaum, has drafted a proposed resolution that would codify abortion-on-demand in Des Moines at the expense of abortion regulations enacted by the state legislature.

Josh Mandelbaum’s proposal reads (with emphasis added):

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL THAT the City of Des Moines supports the codification of the right to abortion into state and federal law; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the City of Des 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 the City of Des Moines shall not use its resources to investigate anyone seeking reproductive health care services or health care providers facilitating access to such services; and BE IT FURTHER 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 nobody could be denied housing or employment for getting an abortion or accessing reproductive health care.

Rank and file Des Moines voters were unaware of Mandelbaum’s extreme position on abortion. Most were probably unconcerned since the council’s historic role focused on development, safety, and infrastructure issues for Iowa’s capital city, not negating state law. His foray into the culture wars is a wake-up call for Des Moines voters to be very attentive next election (his term expires January, 2026).

Mandelbaum’s social media posts

He spelled out his pro-abortion philosophy on his Facebook page:

“We should do what we can at every level of government to protect access to abortion and reproductive health care. I have drafted a resolution with specific actions that we can take as a city. If you agree that the city Council should act like and share this post.”

On Twitter, he explained the need to circumvent state law:

“Governor Reynolds is trying to ban abortion in Iowa through court action. That is why cities like Des Moines should take the steps we can to protect access to reproductive health care. Read about the steps that I’ve proposed for Des Moines.”

For the record, Governor Reynolds is simply trying to implement the laws overwhelmingly passed by the state legislature.

And for the record, abortion has nothing to do with “healthcare.” There is nothing healthy about performing unnecessary surgery on a healthy, pregnant woman that violently ends the life of her healthy unborn child.

Abortion kills a unique human being at the same time it inflicts physical, emotional, and psychic trauma on the mom.

Not all council members are on board

Mandelbaum acknowledges he doesn’t have the votes to get his resolution onto the council agenda.

For example, councilwoman Linda Westergard is opposed:

“I support women’s rights, but this is not a city council issue.”

However, council woman Indira Sheumaker is on board with Mandelbaum:

“We’re dealing with human rights and we have to do our part to protect them. I would love to see a solution brought forward.”

Ms. Sheumaker is correct at invoking human rights, only she wants to deny them to the unique, unborn human being in the womb. In fact, she joins Mandelbaum in opposing human rights for an especially vulnerable class of persons.

Pulse Life Advocates encourages you to contact council members and tell them you oppose Mandelbaum’s pro-abortion resolution:

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 |

Josh Mandelbaum’s anti-life resolution would thwart the will of Iowa voters who have elected legislators in multiple sessions to implement common-sense abortion regulations.

[Pulse Life Advocates is at work on a new video series, “How to Raise Pro-Life Children.” Help us reach more people. Donate today. Thank-you!]