'The fight for life is not over': Gov. Kim Reynolds, Iowa leaders react to Roe v. Wade overturn

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ruled that Americans no longer have a constitutional right to abortion, a decision that overturned decades of precedent that have protected abortion rights.

The ruling will give lawmakers in states like Iowa new freedom to restrict or outlaw the procedure.

As soon as the ruling became public Friday, Iowa leaders began reacting with a mix of celebration and concern.

Republican state leaders applauded the decision, vowing to continue working to "protect life" after the U.S. Supreme Court and a recent Iowa Supreme Court decision have helped clear the path for more abortion restrictions in the state.

But Democrats said it was an attack on Iowa women's reproductive rights and freedoms and that it puts more importance on November's elections.

Here's what Iowa elected officials and prominent political candidates are saying about the ruling.

More: Iowans praise, decry the U.S. Supreme Court's decision

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds: 'The fight for life is not over'

Reynolds was among a dozen Republican governors who signed onto an amicus brief in 2021 asking the court to overturn its decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

On Friday, she celebrated the decision as one of the high court's "greatest moments."

“The Supreme Court’s greatest moments have come when it allows America to embody more perfectly the enduring truth on which it was founded: that all human beings, without exception, are created equal," she said in a statement. "By that measure, today’s historic decision is clearly one such moment. But the fight for life is not over. As governor, I won’t rest until every unborn Iowan is protected and respected.”

Reynolds has not publicly said whether she plans to call the state's Republican-led Legislature back to the Capitol for a special session this year to weigh further abortion restrictions.

More: How are Iowa abortion laws affected by the U.S. Supreme Court's overturn of Roe v. Wade?

Democrat Deidre DeJear: 'A massive step backwards in our progress for equality'

DeJear, the Democrat opposing Reynolds in this fall's gubernatorial election, said Friday morning that the Supreme Court decision puts a new focus on November's election.

"Freedom's ring is merely an echo of the work you put into her," DeJear tweeted. "It has never been so important to elect pro-choice people; because all that we hold dear and our very freedoms and liberties depend on it."

"While this ruling is a massive step backwards in our progress for equality, it is not the end of the fight; let's go to work. More to come," she said.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley: 'The rights of the unborn are no longer in jeopardy'

Grassley, a longtime member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, helped oversee the appointment of three conservative justices to the high court under former Republican President Donald Trump.

“For many Americans, including myself, this decision is about far more than correcting a flawed legal analysis in Roe," he said in a statement. "It means that the rights of the unborn are no longer in jeopardy by our federal government."

Grassley said the ruling "takes policymaking out of the hands of unelected judges" and instead "empowers the people, through their accountable elected representatives to make commonsense policy decisions."

He also said Americans should "respect the role of our impartial judiciary and the decisions that it renders."

"Seeking to intimidate or attack the court or undermine its credibility because of an outcome that you don't support is not the answer," he said.

More: Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, eliminating constitutional right to abortion

Democrat Mike Franken: 'This is a direct attack on women'

Franken, the Democrat opposing Grassley in November's election, tweeted Friday that the nation "is entering a new unknown" and that Grassley had a major role in bringing this moment about.

"Sen. Grassley, with his obstruction of the Supreme Court six years ago, led the charge in creating the most partisan Supreme Court in history," Franken said. "This is a direct attack on women and their fundamental right to make their own health care decisions. Nobody ever tells men what they can and cannot do with their bodies in this country."

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst: 'This decision reflects the science'

Ernst on Friday echoed Grassley's sentiment that the decision will give state legislatures the authority to decide the future of abortion rights.

“I’m proudly and adamantly pro-life. This decision reflects the science, will save lives and rightly returns policymaking power back to the American people and their elected officials," she said.

More: 'Our doors remain open' in Iowa, Planned Parenthood says after Supreme Court abortion decision

U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson: 'This decision will save countless lives'

Hinson, the Republican who represents Iowa's 1st Congressional District, said Friday that the decision "will save countless lives."

"In Congress, I will continue to champion pro-life policies and work to support expecting mothers and their babies," she said.

Democrat Liz Mathis: 'Women will die because of this extreme ruling'

Mathis, who is opposing Hinson in November's election, said the decision marks "a very dark day for women across the United States of America."

"The Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade takes away a Constitutional right for the first time in our country’s history and reverses 50 years of precedent for women to have a safe, legal abortion — women will die because of this extreme ruling," she said. "Rep. Ashley Hinson is currently backing legislation to criminalize all abortions and the doctors who perform them, even in cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is at risk. In Congress, I’ll fight to restore the right to an abortion for Iowa women.”

U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks: 'I believe that every life is precious'

Meeks, the Republican who represents Iowa's 2nd Congressional District, applauded the decision.

“As a doctor, I believe that every life is precious and I have always and will always vote in support of protecting life and the unborn," she said in a statement. "Just as I did when I was a state senator, I will continue to work to ensure women have access to affordable contraceptives, quality maternal care and provide support and increase awareness to adoption services.”

Democrat Christina Bohannan: 'I cannot accept a world where my daughter has fewer rights than I did"

Bohannan, the Democrat who is opposing Miller-Meeks in November's election, said the decision "is the result of years of extreme policy and rhetoric targeting women and their rights."

"I cannot accept a world where my daughter has fewer rights than I did," she said. "Today’s Supreme Court decision is not the end of our fight — it is only the beginning."

More: Is there a 24-hour waiting period for abortions in Iowa? Planned Parenthood, ACLU say yes.

U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne: 'Today is a tragic day for women and for all Americans'

Axne, who represents Iowa's 3rd Congressional District as the state's lone Democrat in the U.S. House, said in a statement Friday that the decision is "unconscionable, cruel and takes the power away from tens of millions of American women to make their own medical decisions."

"This decision takes our country back decades and threatens every American's right to privacy. Put simply, this is discriminatory, unfair, upends 50 years of precedent and goes against the majority opinion of the American people," she said.

Republican Zach Nunn: 'The prayers of millions of pro-life Americans were answered'

Nunn, the Republican opposing Axne in November's election, applauded the decision.

"The prayers of millions of pro-life Americans were answered today," he tweeted. "In Congress, I will strongly oppose radical policies Cindy Axne supports, like taxpayer-funded late term abortion. I will fight to provide more support to expectant mothers and always be a champion for life."

U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra: 'A momentous day for the pro-life movement"

Feenstra, the Republican who represents Iowa's 4th Congressional District, said in a statement that he's "overjoyed that the sanctity of life has triumphed."

"By striking down Roe, we can truly live up to our highest moral values and allow states like Iowa — where we proudly defend innocent life — to codify laws that reflect our deepest convictions," he said. "As a Christian and father of four, I will always protect the unborn and vote to ensure that every child is guaranteed one of our most fundamental constitutional rights; the right to life.”

More: Iowa law does not yet mandate a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion, attorney general says

Democrat Ryan Melton: 'There's much to say and do'

Melton, who is running against Feenstra, tweeted Friday that "there's much to say and do" after the decision.

"But for now, I’ll just say to women that I recognize you live in a much scarier country now, that the gravity of this day is probably suffocating right now," he said. "We love you, but know words aren’t enough. I will keep fighting the good fight.

Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver: 'We look forward to continuing to advance the cause of the unborn'

Whitver, R-Ankeny, said that as the focus shifts to state legislatures to decide on abortion rights, Senate Democrats plan to continue to work on abortion legislation.

“After decades of prayer, volunteering and voting, the cause of the unborn won a victory many thought they would never see," he said. "As a pro-life caucus, Senate Republicans have led on the protection of life and will continue to do so. We look forward to continuing to advance the cause of the unborn.”

Iowa Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls: Decision is a 'direct assault' on freedoms

Wahls, D-Coralville, said the decision puts the right to abortion in Iowa in "grave danger."

“Today’s disastrous Supreme Court decision by six unelected Republican justices is a direct assault on the freedom of Iowa women to make their own health care decisions and of all Iowans to exercise their rights to privacy and self-determination," he said in a statement.

Wahls said he believes some Republicans "want to completely ban abortion without exceptions."

"Iowans must use the ballot box to vote for pro-choice Democrats at every level of government and protect access to abortion, contraception and other medical services," he wrote.

Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley: 'Life is precious'

Grassley, R-New Hartford, said the recent decision is the latest victory for Republicans after last week's ruling that Iowa's state constitution does not include a right to abortion.

"Today, the Supreme Court restored a fundamental truth Iowa Republicans have always known — life is precious," he said in a statement. "These past two weeks have brought significant victories for the pro-life movement both nationally and in Iowa. Iowa House Republicans will continue to protect the innocent lives of unborn children."

Iowa House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfrst: 'I'm angry and exhausted and fed up'

Konfrst, D-Windsor Heights, said Friday that while the ruling "is tough and it might feel hopeless, the fight is not over."

"Like millions of Americans, I'm angry and exhausted and fed up with politicians who think they know what's best for me and my family," she said.

But Konfrst said "a large majority of Iowans still believe in reproductive freedom" and the state law continues to give Iowans "the final say in making our own health care decisions, including abortion."

"I am going to fight like hell every single day to make sure every family in Iowa keeps their right to access safe, legal abortions," she said.

Ian Richardson covers the Iowa Statehouse for the Des Moines Register. Reach him at irichardson@registermedia.com, at 515-284-8254, or on Twitter at @DMRIanR.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Iowa reactions to Roe v. Wade overturn: Kim Reynolds, officials react