Luana Stoltenberg. (IA Legislature photo)

Abortion opponents say it’s time for a ban on all abortions in Iowa. Republican Representative Luana Stoltenberg of Davenport spoke at a prayer service in the Iowa Capitol.

“My prayer is that Iowa will pass a life at conception bill to protect our most vulnerable and defenseless citizens and our women and children,” Stoltenberg said.

Stoltenberg had three abortions as a teenager and has become an outspoken critic of the procedure. “I stand before you to say abortion is not a good option and we need to end it in our state,” Stoltenberg said.

Maggie DeWitte of Pulse Life Advocates said the goal is to make abortion “unthinkable” in our society. “Now is not the time to stand on the sidelines,” DeWitte said. “Roe was the first step, but we have much much more that we need to do.”

DeWitte cited self-administered abortion pills, for example, as a target as well as legislation to ban all abortions. Republican Senator Kevin Alons of Salix said the six-week abortion ban Governor Reynolds approved in 2018 spurred similar action in other states and he’s urging the Iowa Supreme Court to quickly let that law take effect.

“There is a lot more to do and obviously the goal is a life at conception (law), to preserve every life,” Alons said.

Governor Kim Reynolds addressed the crowd, but did not directly mention passage of a state law to ban all abortion. Reynolds said after a five year court fight, her focus is on getting the six-week abortion ban she approved in place, as well as more state spending on groups that suupport pregnant women and at-risk fathers.

“It’s up to us to not only dismantle abortion’s culture of death, but to build a culture of life,” Reynolds said.

Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird also addressed the crowd at the prayer rally. “As your attorney general, my job is to uphold the law and to protect the rights and freedoms of all Iowans, born and unborn,” she said.

In a written statement, Mazie Stilwell of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa said abortion bans “take away people’s power over their lives and their futures” and gives control to politicians and judges.

House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfrst pointed to public opinion polls which show a majority of Iowans support a right to abortion in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

“The latest plan by MAGA Republicans to ban all abrtion without exception will put the lives of too many Iowans at risk,” Konfrst said.

Radio Iowa