Iowa Senate Passes Constitutional Amendment on Abortion

DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Senate has taken the first big step on a amendment to do away with the state constitutional protection of abortion rights.

Thursday evening, the Republican controlled Senate voted 32-18 on strict party lines to overturn a 2018 state Supreme Court decision. That ruling struck down the legislature's 72-hour waiting period for abortions and declared the state constitution guarantees the right to the procedure.

The proposed constitutional amendment passed by the Senate says there's no fundamental right in the Iowa Constitution to abortion or public funding of the procedure.

A House Committee approved the same legislation Wednesday on an 11-9 party-line vote that sends the bill to the full House for debate, which is expected to take place quickly.

The amendment still has a long road to be ratified.

Constitutional amendments must be approved by the legislature for two consecutive years, and then be voted on in a statewide election.

If the amendment is enacted, lawmakers could then pass laws to limit abortions further. Iowa law currently prohibits most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

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