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Iowa lawmakers are returning to the capitol for a special session to restrict abortion access

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River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

Governor Kim Reynolds has called a special legislative session for July 11, after the state supreme court declined to reinstate a 2018 abortion ban after about six weeks of pregnancy.

On this newsbuzz edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Des Moines Register's Brianne Pfannenstiel to discuss the potential outcomes of the special session.

Pfannenstiel also shares recent reporting into the removal of Zach Wahls as senate minority leader and issues within the Iowa Democratic Party.

Kieffer later talks with physician and clinical professor Alejandro Comellas from University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics about the recent health impacts of the smoke pollution from the Canadian wildfires and public health considerations as climate-caused events occur more in the future.

CEO Tim Krueger of the Indianola-based Harvest Academy shares about the non-profit therapeutic community for men who have been incarcerated, homeless, or dealt with substance abuse. Last week the Des Moines City Council approved zoning for an additional campus.

Studio One host Cece Mitchell joins the program to groove into the weekend and discuss this year's 80/35 Festival in Des Moines. Listen to the live broadcast from the IPR stage live at 1 p.m. July 8.


  • Brianne Pfannenstiel, chief politics reporter, Des Moines Register
  • Alejandro Comellas, MD, clinical professor of internal medicine in the division of pulmonary, critical care and occupational medicine, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
  • Tim Krueger, CEO, Harvest Academy
  • Cece Mitchell, Studio One host
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.