The 2020 Iowa legislative session was quite different given its interruption and significant focus on COVID-19 issues and impacts. Lutheran Family Service began the year preparing to build support toward passage of the Protect Life Constitutional Amendment.
This amendment would have set in motion a multi-year effort to determine that the Iowa Constitution did not guarantee a “right to abortion”. That effort was stalled at the 11th hour. However, in a last-minute effort, the House of Representatives passed a 24-hour waiting period for an abortion after an ultrasound is performed. The Iowa Senate also voted in favor and it now awaits the Governor’s signature, which is expected.
The 24-hour waiting period came about as an amendment to Alfie’s Bill, a measure to stop courts from removing life support from children when the child’s parents object. It is designed to be once again challenged to the Iowa Supreme Court in hopes that it will reverse the Court’s 2018 opinion finding a “fundamental Constitutional right to abortion”.
While we and many in the Pro-Life arena believed a Constitutional Amendment would be the best and most permanent path, the Iowa Supreme Court does have a substantially different landscape then it did in 2018 when the original opinion was rendered. Four judges have been added to the high court through an appointment by Governor Kim Reynolds, who is a pro-life supporter. One of those appointments was Judge Dana Oxley, a Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod Member in Iowa District East.
It is certainly our prayer that the outcome of the passage of this new 24-hour waiting period would be a new decision by the Court protecting life. No doubt, there will be many challenges and hurdles along the path.
Lutheran Family Service will continue our efforts to have a positive influence on life; both with God’s strong voice in the public setting of the Capitol and privately as we continue our work of counseling women facing unplanned pregnancies in Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois.
We are dedicated to serving pre-born children, the infirm, elderly and marginalized. We are committed to monitoring the litigation that will most certainly follow the signing of the 24-hour waiting period into law, and pray for a court ruling that will favor life! We invite you to join Lutheran Family Service in this watching and fervent praying.
As always, we look for God to work for the good of His children of every age.
Rev. Max Phillips
Executive Director of Lutheran Family Service
We invite you to join in our life advocacy work to make Iowa a place where life in all stages, ages and conditions is protected. Please consider donating in support of these and other life advocacy efforts. To make a gift, click HERE.