Letter to the editor: Chapman weaponizes constitution against women


To the editor:

Perry’s state senator, Jake Chapman of Adel, is angry at the 2018 Iowa Supreme Court’s decision that upheld the state constitution’s guarantee that women have the freedom to make their own health decisions, including whether to terminate a pregnancy.

Sen. Chapman didn’t like it when the justices said in their decision, “Autonomy and dominion over one’s body go to the very heart of what it means to be free.”

This motivated Chapman to strategize to deprive Iowa women of the right to safe and legal abortions, as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Iowa Constitution.

A staunchly anti-abortion lawmaker, Chapman sponsored a bill in March 2019 to amend the Iowa constitution to declare no right to abortion in Iowa. It failed. He wasn’t done yet.

The 2021 Iowa Legislature was barely in session before Chapman, now president of the Senate, lead the attack on women’s reproductive health care by again introducing the amendment to the Iowa Constitution.

It went to the House Judiciary Committee and on Thursday, Jan. 22, it was passed out of the House Judiciary subcommittee and on to the full committee as House Study Bill 41.

Several more steps are required before the Republican leaders attain their goal of amending the Iowa Constitution. Any proposed constitutional amendment must pass two consecutive legislative sessions and then win the approval of a majority of voters in the subsequent election.

Whether or not you have an opinion on abortion, it is evident from repeated surveys that the majority of adults understand that it should not be the decision of the state legislature. A group of politicians should not intervene in the personal and private decisions of women and their families.

Women should be respected to make their own decisions about their own bodies. With help from their families and their doctors, women can be trusted to make the decisions appropriate for themselves at any particular point in their lives and given their life circumstances. To control one’s own body is surely one of the most fundamental of human rights.

Tell your elected officials, Sen. Chapman and Rep. Ray “Bubba” Sorensen, to vote “no” to amending the Iowa Constitution. Tell them to respect the privacy of women to determine when they will bear children.

Judy Kading



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