Iowa Abortion Rights Activists Hold ‘Stop the Bans’ Rally, Pro-Life Activists Respond

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Pro-choice activists from across Iowa gathered at the Capitol to join in the nationwide “Stop the Bans” rally.

This outcry stems from eight states passing abortion restriction laws.

“Specifically, men need to realize it’s a basic human right. I do not sit here and control what you guys do with your lives. I don’t know you personally and I’m not going to tell you what you can, cannot, should, should not do with your body. Do not try and control what I do with mine,” said pro-choice activist Nessa Alvarez.

Erin Davison-Rippey, executive director of Planned Parenthood of Iowa, said the restrictive laws are a coordinated effort to ban abortion all together and threaten Roe v. Wade.

"One in three women of reproductive age live in a state where abortion could be outlawed if Roe is overturned. That is 25 million people. With Trump in the White House and Kavanaugh on the United States Supreme Court, state politicians, including those in our own capitol, are emboldened to try to fully ban safe, legal abortion and we aren't going to stand for it,”

Members of One Iowa said bans on abortion affect everyone, not just women.

"Abortion access is an issue for all human people. It's an issue for black and brown folks. It's an issue for indigenous folks. It's an issue for transgender people and non-binary people like me. There are men that get abortions, there are men that need reproductive healthcare, and we need to remember that and include them as well as the rest of the trans community, non binary folks, trans women in these conversations,” One Iowa Program Coordinator Max Mowitz said.

Caitlyn Dixson, the executive director of pro-life organization Iowa Right to Life, said they believe these laws are actually a step in the right direction, even if there’s a chance they could be overturned.

“Because despite them being overturned, it's keeping the conversation alive. Getting out there, getting to talk to people, getting to hear what people say, what people think, is very important in this movement.”

Dixson said they are going to continue to pursue passing a constitutional amendment during the next legislative session that says “nothing in this constitution guarantees a right to or funding of abortion.”

“Really without that, anything and everything we would pass is at risk of being turned over,” Dixson said.

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