Support the Protect Life Amendment

Why we need the Protect Life Amendment

In 2018, unelected judges effectively amended the Iowa Constitution by inventing a “fundamental right” to abortion in the Iowa Constitution.

Alarming quotes from the 2018 state supreme court majority:

We “freed ourselves from the private views of the Constitution’s founders.”

The Constitution is interpreted instead by “current prevailing standards that draw their ‘meaning from the evolving standards... that mark the progress of a maturing society".

Iowa’s ruling is more extreme than any U.S. Supreme Court ruling on abortion.

  1. Almost no existing or future regulation of abortion can survive an Iowa court challenge. Iowa is now positioned to become a destination state for abortion on demand.
  2. The Iowa Supreme Court might require Iowa taxpayers to pay for abortions.

This state supreme court opinion sets the precedent to make Iowa one of the most pro-abortion states in the nation alongside New York, even if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

The Protect Life Amendment would state:

“To defend the dignity of all human life and protect unborn children from efforts to expand abortion even to the point of birth, we the people of the State of Iowa declare that this Constitution does not recognize, grant, or secure a right to abortion or require the public funding of abortion.” 

Current Status of the Protect Life Amendment...

August 5, 2021

At the beginning of the legislative session, the House passed a version of the Protect Life Amendment.  This was a different bill from the one passed by the Senate.  

A compromise was reached and the final version was voted on by the House.  The Senate passed this new language, and it was the final step to pass the 2021 legislative session. This will complete step one of a three step process to get this amendment passed.  The next step is to get this same amendment passed in the General Assembly of the Iowa Legislature (2023 or 2024) and then go before a vote of the people of Iowa.  

The Coalition of Pro-Life Leaders, a united group of nine pro-life organizations active in Iowa – publicly celebrates and commends the Iowa Legislature for passage of HJR5, formerly known as the Protect Life Amendment, now officially titled the Life Amendment to the Iowa State Constitution.

“Today marks the first step in restoring the proper voice of the people of Iowa,” says Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY Leader, a Coalition member. “In 2018, five radical, unelected judges stripped that voice away, declaring that they and they alone get to set Iowa’s abortion laws. Without constitutional grounds or any input of the people, they invented a so-called ‘right’ to abortion and then paved the way for future courts to force late-term abortion and taxpayer-funded abortion on Iowa.

But the vast majority of Iowans don’t want to fund elective abortions nor live in a state where a baby’s life can be snuffed out just moments before her first breath,” Vander Plaats continues. “The judges were wrong to silence Iowa voters and seize for themselves the power to rewrite the people’s constitution. Today, the Iowa Legislature was right to give Iowans our voice back.

The Life Amendment represents everyday Iowans telling unelected judges, ‘You don’t get to just decide the abortion debate for us,’” added Maggie DeWitte, executive director of Pulse Life Advocates, and spokeswoman for the Coalition of Pro-Life Leaders. ’Because there’s one argument in the debate you didn’t take into account, one truth you can’t argue away: That little girl in her mother’s womb, she’s a baby.”

June 17, 2022

In Planned Parenthood vs. Reynolds, the newly constituted Iowa Supreme Court corrected the egregious 2018 ruling that declared a fundamental right to abortion in our constitution.

While the immediate need for a Protect Life Amendment is no longer needed, we must also consider the future generations.  While we move forward in Iowa to reinstating our heartbeat law and work toward a total elimination of abortion our state, the Protect Life Amendment will continue to be a consideration.

2023 Session

While the victory this summer with the reversal of Roe was cause for celebration, we know that it was just the first step in eliminating abortion from our society.  While we await the ruling of our heartbeat appeal, we are moving forward with introducing a Life at Conception bill this session!  And we will not stop until we make abortion unthinkable here in Iowa. We will continue to fight for every life, to educate that abortion is not needed and is never the answer to an unplanned pregnancy and advocate for protection for all life in our laws.  Every day we are seeing new threats as the abortion industry has found new and innovative ways to kill unborn children and harm women.  We are seeing the dangerous RU-486 abortion pill being dispensed at pharmacies and being shipped through the US Postal system.

Additionally, we will advocate for more funding for our MOMS bill to give financial support to the over 54 PRC’s across Iowa helping women and families experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.

Polling indicates the Protect Life Amendment will succeed in Iowa:

  • 54% of likely voters support the Protect Life Amendment language; only 44% oppose.
  • 61% of likely voters oppose Iowa’s unelected judges creating a nearly unlimited right to abortion; only 34% approve.
  • 61% of likely voters agree, and 50% strongly agree, “that little girl in her mother’s womb, she’s a baby, and she deserves a birthday."
legislature letter