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Reynolds says she's taking 'next practical steps' to restrict abortion

Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters Wednesday in Belmond.
Katarina Sostaric
Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters Wednesday in Belmond.

Gov. Kim Reynolds said asking Iowa courts to reinstate a six-week abortion ban and lower the legal standard for abortion laws are the “next practical steps” after the U.S. Supreme Court and Iowa Supreme Court recently struck down legal protections for abortion rights.

She spoke to reporters in Belmond Wednesday for the first time since Roe v. Wade was overturned. On Tuesday, she announced she and Republican legislative leaders will pursue court action to reinstate a “fetal heartbeat” abortion law that was blocked by a court in 2019and never enforced.

Reynolds was asked if this means she won’t call a special legislative session to further restrict abortion.

“No, no, right now it wouldn’t do any good to call a special session,” she said. “This is the route that we need to take. We’ve got two laws in place, and so we’re going to move forward with that. We’ll wait and see what the ruling is based on that. And then we’ll reassess after that point.”

Reynolds was also asked what her ultimate goal for abortion policy is in Iowa.

“Well, you know, we have the heartbeat bill on the books,” she said. “So let’s lift the injunction, and let’s make that a law that it is. And so we’re going to start with that.”

The law would ban most abortions after a “fetal heartbeat”is detected by an ultrasound, as early as six weeks of pregnancy. Abortion is still legal in Iowa up until 20 weeks of pregnancy. A 24-hour abortion waiting period may also take effect in July.

Reynolds has declined to directly answer questions recently about whether she would want any new abortion restrictions to include exceptions.

On Wednesday, Reynolds also said she is “not paying any attention to” congressional hearings about the January 6th, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

A former White House staffer testified Tuesday that former president Donald Trump said he knew people had weapons that dayand still asked them to march to the Capitol.

Reynolds, a Republican, was asked if that changes her support for Trump.

“That’s all speculation. I’m not paying any attention to that,” Reynolds said. “We have gas prices that are double what they were. Inflation is at a 41-year high. Parents are trying to get through a day and hope that their paycheck can help them take care of their family and buy the items that they need. We don’t even have formula for moms to feed their babies. We’re flying that in from other countries.”

She said people should be taking an interest in those issues and in President Joe Biden’s U.S.-Mexico border policies.

Reynolds is running for re-election this year and was endorsed by Trump. She’s previously appeared with him onstage at campaign rallies.

Katarina Sostaric is IPR's State Government Reporter