Governor Kim Reynolds says the U.S. Supreme Court has the opportunity to “right a historic wrong” as it considers a case that could lead to overturning the court’s 1973 ruling that legalized abortion.
“On December 1, the court will hear oral arguments in the Dobbs case, its best opportunity yet to undo its fatal mistake,” Reynolds said in a video recorded for an online forum sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony List, a group that opposes abortion.
The case before the U.S. Supreme Court revolves around a Mississippi law that bans abortions after the 15th week of a pregnancy. Reynolds is among 12 Republican governors who’ve signed onto a legal brief submitted to the court that argues Roe v Wade and another 1993 decision on abortion rights should be overturned.
“For years, democratically elected representatives in our states have tried to defend innocent human life in the womb, only to be prevented by these incoherent decisions,” Reynolds said.
The governor said previous U.S. Supreme Court rulings that upheld abortion rights disregarded state sovereignty.
“The question in the case is simple, yet it lies at the heart of the American experiment,” Reynolds said. “Does the United States Constitution require states to withhold legal protection from an entire class of defenseless human beings? According to any straightforward reading of the Constitution, the answer to that question has always been a resounding no.”
Previous federal court rulings have established the concept of fetal viability at around 24 weeks, but the Mississippi case gives a new conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court the opportunity to let each state set the standard.
“Here in Iowa, I’m not alone among elected leaders who are eager to finally have this overdue democratic debate and protect life,” Reynolds saud. “With Dobbs, the Supreme Court can strike a blow for democratic self-government, restore constitutional integrity and right a historic wrong.”
In 2018, Reynolds signed a bill into law that would have forbidden abortions in Iowa after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, at about six weeks into a pregnancy. The Iowa Supreme Court struck down the law, saying Iowa’s constitution guarantees women a fundamental right to an abortion.
Leaders at Planned Parenthood of the North Central States say they’re developing a statewide campaign to educate voters that abortion rights are endangered. A recent Des Moines Register “Iowa Poll” found 57% of those surveyed said abortion should be legal in most or all cases and 38% said it should be illegal in most or all cases.