DES MOINES, Iowa — State Sen. Jake Chapman (R-Adel), president of the Iowa Senate, proposed an amendment to the Iowa Constitution Wednesday, stipulating that the state’s constitution does not guarantee a woman the right to an abortion.
An Iowa House of Representatives subcommittee approved the same amendment language Tuesday. The amendment reads: “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.”
In introducing the Senate version, Chapman said that defending the life of the unborn will continue to be his area of focus. He was joined by 28 co-sponsors.
“The assault on the defenseless has silenced over 60 million Americans since 1973, and that number mounts every day,” Chapman said Jan. 11 in gaveling in the 89th General Assembly. “This legislative body has stood courageously for the life of the unborn. Regrettably, five unelected judges, with the stroke of a pen, fabricated a constitutional right to an abortion under Iowa’s constitution. This egregious usurpation of power will not be left unchecked. It is our responsibility. It is our oath-bound duty to rightfully propose to the people of Iowa a constitutional amendment to correct this judicial overreach.”
A similar amendment passed the Iowa Senate last year but died in the House of Representatives. In order to become law, an amendment to the Iowa Constitution must first be passed in two consecutive two-year sessions of the Iowa Legislature.
Voters would then accept or reject the amendment in a statewide up-or-down referendum. If the amendment passes in both the 89th and 90th General Assemblies, it could be placed on the ballot as early as 2024.
The elimination of the state income tax is also a top legislative priority for Chapman.
“What I want to do, my focus is total elimination of income tax in the state of Iowa,” he said. “That has been my focus, and it will continue to be my focus until we eliminate income taxes in this state.”
In 2019 about 44% of Iowa’s total state tax collections came from income taxes, and about 46% came from sales taxes and gross receipts, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Taxes support essential state services, such as education, human services, roads and bridges and others.