A statehouse hearing has given supporters and opponents of abortion a chance to voice their opinions on a proposed constitutional amendment.

Republican lawmakers have drafted the amendment in response to the Iowa Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling that Iowa’s Constitution guarantees women a right to an abortion. Renee Aamodt of Des Moines supports the proposed amendment that says Iowa’s constitution does not secure the right to an abortion.

“What’s at stake today in Iowa is rule by ‘We, the People,’ or rule by un-elected judges,” Aamodt said. “It’s an issue first of all of democracy versus oligarchical dictatorship.”

Dr. Clare Harney, an obstetrician in Davenport, testified in opposition to the amendment.

“We know that making abortion illegal or difficult to get doesn’t decrease the number of abortions,” Harney said. “It just increases the number of unsafe abortions and maternal mortality.”

The process of amending the state’s constitution takes a while. Two consecutive Iowa General Assemblies must approve the language for an amendment before it’s presented to voters for ratification.

That means if the 2020 Iowa legislature takes action — as expected — and the new legislature that convenes next year also approves the language, 2021 is the earliest Iowans could vote on the amendment.