Reynolds urges prayer for Supreme Court justices amid Roe v. wade

Days after a Supreme Court document leaked suggesting justices could strike down federal abortion protections, children from Mount Olive Lutheran Church and School stood shoulder-to-shoulder in the rotunda of the Iowa Capitol and recited a poem: “Just a point, some will say, but God made me live that day.”

The children of Mount Olive were the opening act of the National Day of Prayer, a series of hours of song and prayer offered by Heads of State. Gov. Kim Reynolds told the crowd of a few dozen that the court’s draft opinion was a “ray of light” for opponents of abortion.

“Nothing is decided yet, and it is clear that the judges face enormous pressure to compromise on the truth. So today they need our prayers more than ever,” she said. “And let’s not stop until our laws and our society recognize that all human beings are precious, no matter how small.”

If Roe v. Wade is overruled, as the document suggests, abortion laws will not immediately change in Iowa. The state Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that Iowa’s constitution recognizes the right to abortion, a precedent that conservative lawmakers have since been trying to undo.

Read more: What happens in Iowa if Roe v. Wade is cancelled?

Reynolds told reporters Thursday that she would await a decision on Roe v. Wade before considering any new abortion laws at the state level.

“We don’t know when the final decision will be made,” she said. “We are working on a constitutional amendment, so we have a lot of things in the pipeline. We have a problem before our Supreme Court.

Reynolds did not respond to the question of whether she favors exceptions to the abortion ban. She reaffirmed her commitment to “protect the unborn child”.

“Someone has to stand up for the unborn, and I’m proud of my record and doing just that,” she said.

Reynolds enacted several restrictions on abortion: In 2018, she enacted a “heartbeat” bill, banning most abortions beyond about six weeks of pregnancy. She approved a 24-hour waiting period for abortions in 2020.

Iowa judges blocked both laws, but the 24-hour waiting period awaits a final hearing by the Iowa Supreme Court. A ruling in this case could overturn the 2018 precedent that recognized the right to abortion, clearing the way for Iowa lawmakers to restrict the process if Roe v. Wade is canceled.

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