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Iowa Senate passes abortion amendment

Iowa State Capitol

DES MOINES, Iowa (KWWL) -- The Iowa Senate passed a constitutional amendment Tuesday which could end the right to abortion in The Hawkeye State.

Senators passed HJR5 Tuesday afternoon 30-17, which would declare there is no guaranteed right to abortion in Iowa. The house passed HJR5 on January 27.

Republican senators did change the wording of the amendment. As a result, it was messaged back to the house for them to concur, amend it again or refuse to concur.

The amendment used to read:

To defend and protect unborn children, we the people of the State of Iowa declare that this Constitution does not recognize, grant, or secure a right to abortion or require the public funding of abortion.

It now reads:

To defend the dignity of all human life, and to protect mothers and unborn children from efforts to expand abortion even to the day of birth, we the people of the State of Iowa declare that this Constitution shall not be construed to recognize, grant, or secure a right to abortion or to require the public funding of abortion.

Rep. Steve Holt, (R) Denison, managed this bill in the house and has said the purpose of it is to preserve Iowa's ban on abortions after 20 weeks and stop taxpayer-funded abortions.

Democrats and legal experts have warned that passing this law is a first step to an all-out ban of the procedure in Iowa. They claim if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade or Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, Republicans would be free to remove all protections on abortion.

If the house were to concur with the new language of HJR5, it would need to pass both houses again in the 2023 legislative session before being voted on by Iowans.

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