Iowa abortions increase for second straight year

About 14 percent more abortions were performed in Iowa during calendar year 2020 compared to the previous year, indicating that a sharp increase recorded in 2019 was not a one-off.

Iowa Department of Public Health data shows 4,058 pregnancy terminations occurred during 2020, up from 3,566 abortions performed in 2019. That number represented a 25 percent increase from the 2,849 abortions recorded in 2018.

Prior to 2019, abortions were on a steady downward trend in Iowa and nationally for at least a decade. The figure recorded for 2020 was the highest since 2013.

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Four ways the Iowa Supreme Court may handle next big abortion case

The Iowa Supreme Court will soon revisit one of the most politically charged questions of our time.

Last week a Johnson County District Court permanently blocked the state from “implementing, effectuating or enforcing” a law requiring a 24-hour waiting period before all abortions. Judge Mitchell Turner ruled the law unconstitutional on two grounds. The state is appealing the ruling and argues that a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court precedent, which established a fundamental right to an abortion under the Iowa Constitution, was “wrongly decided.”

Republican lawmakers planned for this scenario when they approved the waiting period during the waning hours of the 2020 legislative session. They may get their wish, but a reversal of the 2018 decision is not guaranteed.

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Hurry! Move to Iowa

Keegan Jones is a lifelong Iowan and 2013 graduate of Fort Dodge Senior High. He currently works as a financial analyst and consultant. -promoted by Laura Belin

I’ve been lucky to travel all over the U.S. and around the globe during my professional career. Every time I tell a stranger I’m from Iowa, I’m confronted with the same question: “Why would anyone want to live in Iowa?”

I often asked my parents the same question when I was growing up, but over time I grew to appreciate being an Iowan and love to brag about our state. Telling people about what it means to be “Iowa nice” and showing off pictures of a beautiful sunset over a cornfield makes it easy to show why Iowa can be great place to live. But convincing someone to move here? That’s another story.

In the hopes of attracting people to move here, I wanted to examine all the compelling reasons why Iowa is a great place to live.

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Iowa gets C- grade for reproductive health, access

A national review of state policies on reproductive health and rights gave Iowa a mixed grade for policies on sex education and access to abortion and family planning.

The nonprofit Population Institute‘s 50-state “report card” gave Iowa a C based on thirteen metrics related to “effectiveness, prevention, affordability, and access” to sex education and reproductive health care. The “minus” was added because of a 2019 law that made Planned Parenthood ineligible for certain sex education grants. That law is on hold pending the Iowa Supreme Court’s review of a lower court ruling, which found the statute unconstitutionally targeted Planned Parenthood while allowing another abortion provider to continue to receive the sex education funding.

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Anti-abortion constitutional amendment clears first Iowa House hurdle

Iowa Republicans have enacted most of their legislative agenda with little trouble during the past four years of full control of state government. But a few priorities eluded them, including a constitutional amendment that would pave the way for future abortion bans. Unable to find 51 votes in the state House for that measure last year, the GOP settled for mandating a 24-hour waiting period before all abortions.

The 2020 elections increased the GOP’s majority in the lower chamber from 53-47 to 59-41. Republicans didn’t waste time returning to unfinished business: a new version of the attack on reproductive rights cleared an Iowa House Judiciary subcommittee on January 19.

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Iowa's Planned Parenthood affiliate rejects Margaret Sanger's harmful ideas

“We are owning our organization’s history and are committed to addressing the implicit bias and structural racism within our organization and communities,” Planned Parenthood North Central States declared on July 24, near the top of a statement denouncing racist and eugenicist ideas espoused by Margaret Sanger. Formed in 2018 when Planned Parenthood of the Heartland merged with a neighboring organization, the affiliate operates 29 clinics in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Many who believe in Planned Parenthood’s mission–especially the white women who have been the majority of the organization’s volunteers in Iowa–know little about Sanger other than that she established the country’s first birth control clinic. Although I’m a third-generation supporter of Planned Parenthood in Iowa, I was ignorant about Sanger’s eugenicist views for much of my adult life. Those views were repugnant, and it’s important for reproductive rights advocates to be clear about rejecting them.

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