DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO) — Vice President Kamala Harris made her first return to Iowa on Thursday since taking office. She was in Des Moines to speak about the attack on reproductive rights across the country and here in Iowa.
“Iowa is on the frontline in this fight, not unlike the United States as a whole. The leaders at this table know, the numbers tell us 60% of Iowans, the majority of Iowans, do not support the attacks on reproductive rights,” said Harris.
The VP has hosted 40 meetings, like the one she held today in Des Moines, across the country in the aftermath of the U.S Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade. State lawmakers, local leaders, medical providers, and others joined her at Grandview University for a roundtable discussion. Only the first part of the meeting was open to media.
“Let’s be clear on this issue. One does not to have to abandon their faith or deeply held beliefs to agree the government should not be telling her or any individual what to their body,” said Harris.
Harris also touched on the legal battle playing out in a Texas court right now over the so-called abortion pill. She stressed the significance of a ruling that could potentially overturn an FDA approved drug.
“If politicians can use the courts to undo doctors’ decisions? Imagine where that could lead? So we take this very seriously and we are prepared to do whatever we may and can if the court rules in a way that is contrary to what we believe is in the best interest of the public health of America,” explained Harris.
Senate Minority Leader Zach Wahls served as moderator of today’s discussion.
“While abortion remains safe, legal and accessible in Iowa today, we can see Republican politicians and their activist judges moving swiftly to reverse course and deny this essential freedom and autonomy to pregnant Iowa women and their families,” said Wahls.
We also got a sneak peak at what House Democrats are planning to take up on Monday at the Statehouse.
House Minority Whip Lindsay James said their package of bills include making birth control pills accessible through a pharmacist without a prescription, guaranteeing reproductive freedom by adding it to Iowa’s Constitution and restoring cuts made to family planning. James said the cuts several years ago by Governor Reynolds and the GOP have resulted in a rise in abortion.