Q & A with Maggie DeWitte on the Dobbs decision

Maggie DeWitte

Pulse Life Advocates Executive Director, Maggie DeWitte

As the dust settles after last week’s epic Supreme Court Dobbs decision, Pulse thought a quick Q & A with executive director, Maggie DeWitte was called for to answer questions we’re hearing:

What just happened? The Supreme Court overturned both Roe v Wade AND Planned Parenthood v Casey. The case that overturned Roe was called Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization. It banned abortions after 15 weeks of a pregnancy. The Court upheld the law by a 6 to 3 vote, but overturned Roe by a 5 to 4 vote, with Chief Justice John Roberts switching sides.

What does this mean for Iowa? The end of Roe returns the right to regulate human abortion to the individual states. The 1973 decision essentially federalized abortion, negating pro-life laws on the books in almost every state. Now Iowans can regulate abortion according to Iowa values via their elected representatives in the Iowa Legislature.

So what abortion laws are on the books in Iowa now? We have a 20 week abortion ban, parental notification, and abortion providers have to perform an ultra-sound before performing an abortion.

Is there a 24 hour waiting period? As far as I can tell it officially goes into effect in July, but PP has stated they are moving forward with the waiting period now.

Is the Heartbeat Law on the books? If yes, when does it go into effect? The heartbeat law is law in Iowa, although it was never able to go into effect because of the Iowa Supreme Court’s 2018 ‘fundamental right to abortion’ ruling. The law prohibits abortion once a heartbeat is detectable, approximately 6 to 10 weeks following conception. Governor Reynolds has asked the court to lift the injunction.

What is the next step in Iowa? We will continue to pursue The Protect Life Amendment next legislative session.  As we have seen with the recent back and forth of the court on rulings, we cannot leave abortion law to the whims of the court.  To ensure that future generations of Iowans don’t once again have a ruling of a fundamental right to abortion, we must pass the Protect Life Amendment. From there, we will pursue legislation to eliminate abortion in our state.