Iowa’s female governor used a statewide address Tuesday to declare her support for a proposed constitutional amendment protecting the unborn, calling it part of an effort to protect “all stages of life.”
Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds made the comments during her Condition of the State address in front of senators and representatives in the state capitol.
“As we move into 2020, I’m focused on the overall wellness of all Iowans, in every part of the State – in all stages of life,” Reynolds, who took office in January 2019, told legislators to applause. “And when I say all stages of life, I mean to include the unborn. We must protect life by making it clear, through an amendment, that our constitution does not grant a right to abortion. It’s time, and unfortunately, it’s necessary.”
The proposed amendment to the state constitution would prevent the Iowa Supreme Court, or lower-court justices, from using the state document to overturn abortion restrictions. The state high court previously issued a ruling stating that a 72-hour waiting period law “violates both the due process and equal protection clauses of the Iowa Constitution.”
Reynolds stated her support for the amendment last year but didn’t discuss it in her 2019 Condition of the State address.
“I’m pro-life,” she told the Des Moines Register last year. “I’ve made it very clear that I’m pro-life. I’m proud to be pro-life. I’m never going to stop fighting on behalf of the unborn.”
Reynolds also wants to “do more to promote and support maternal health,” she said in her Tuesday address.
“Fewer doctors and fewer hospitals are delivering babies and providing care for mothers, especially outside our urban areas,” she said. “That’s why I’m taking steps to increase the number of doctors who are willing and able to provide OB services in all four corners of our state.
“So first, I am proposing a fellowship for new family-practice physicians who want to train and specialize in OB care,” she said. “Each year, four new residents will complete the fellowship program and head back to their local communities, taking with them connections to OB specialists and an expertise to better treat mothers and their babies. Second, we’re launching a telementoring system, where OBs at our best institutions can consult with physicians across the state. With this program, a doctor in Corydon can talk with a specialist in Iowa City about treatment for a mother with a high-risk pregnancy.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Joshua Lott/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.