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NEWS 6.24.22: Local and Regional Reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Roe v Wade


Pro-choice supporters plan to gather in front of the Federal Building in downtown Sioux City tonight in reaction to today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning abortion as a constitutional right.

The event called “Defend Bodily Autonomy” starts at six It’s part of a statewide reaction to the Roe v. Wade decision.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that established abortion as a constitutional right.

The opinion by six of the Court’s nine justices will allow each state to set its own abortion laws, leading to a patchwork of access throughout the country.

The result is expected to lead to an uptick in the number of women traveling for abortions or unsafe abortions in states where the medical procedure will now be banned or heavily restricted.

It is now illegal to perform an abortion in South Dakota.

South Dakota is one of 13 states with a “trigger law” banning abortions the moment Roe v. Wade is overturned.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem stated on Twitter, “We have prayed for this day, and now it's here. Legislative leaders and I have jointly announced plans for a special session to save lives and help mothers later this year.”

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts could call for a special session to attempt passing an abortion ban in the state.

Ricketts says “the decision restores the rights of the people, and as a result our future generations will have a chance at life.”

After state senators didn't pass a trigger bill that would outlaw abortion in May, Ricketts said during an appearance on CNN on May 15 that he would give lawmakers another chance. When a reporter asked if a ban would apply to babies conceived by rape or incest, Ricketts said, “yes, they’re still babies.”

Nebraska could be headed to a special session to try to ban abortions now that the U.S. Supreme Court has given states that power, but it’s unclear whether one will actually happen or what type of restrictions might win enough support to pass. Gov. Pete Ricketts says he would work with Speaker of the Legislature Mike Hilgers to try to find a way to ban abortions, but hasn't yet committed to a special session. Ricketts, a conservative Republican who vehemently opposes abortion, praised the ruling as “a victory for the people” and has said he would support a special session to outlaw the procedure in Nebraska.

Democratic candidate for House District 1 J.D. Scholten took to Twitter shortly after the ruling.

He called the ruling dangerous.

“I’m worried about women and low income and rural people more impacted by the ruling.”

“I think there’s so much worry when you have rights stripped from you.”

Scholten says a majority of Americans are not having their voices heard and the Court is guilty of polarizing major issues.

Interview with Democratic Iowa House Candidate JD Scholten Surrounding SUPCO Ruling

Meanwhile, pro-life supporters call today a victory, including Dawn Grimes of Mary’s Choice in Sioux City.

Interview with the Executive Director of Mary's Choice Dawn Grimes
Interview with the Executive Director of Her Health Susie Edgar

Abortion is still legal in Iowa for now after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion today. The Court overturned the nearly 50-year-old Roe v. Wade decision, allowing states to decide how much they want to restrict abortion.

Last week, the Iowa Supreme Court reversed a court ruling that provided strong state-level protections for abortion rights. The state court didn’t decide what the new level of protection should be. But the two court rulings open the door to more abortion restrictions in Iowa.

Iowa doesn’t have a so-called trigger law, so the legislature would have to reconvene to ban or further restrict abortion. Abortion is legal up to 20 weeks of pregnancy in Iowa, and a 24-hour waiting period is expected to be enforced beginning next month.

Republican Governor Kim Reynolds released a statement saying she, quote, “won’t rest until every unborn Iowan is protected and respected.” Iowa Democratic Party chair Ross Wilburn says it’s a dark day for freedom but Democrats will keep fighting for Iowans’ right to choose when to start a family.

Planned Parenthood says abortion services in Iowa will NOT be disrupted following a U-S Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Iowa does not have a so-called trigger law banning abortion if the landmark federal ruling is overturned. Abortion remains legal in Iowa up to 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Planned Parenthood North Central States operates five abortion clinics in Iowa.

In a statement, the organization called the Supreme Court decision a quote devastating blow to reproductive freedom. But said they are committed to providing abortion care where it remains legal.

Last week, the Iowa Supreme Court overturned a 2018 ruling establishing strong legal protections for abortion in the state. This paves the way for Iowa’s Republican-led legislature to pass further abortion restrictions in the future.

Planned Parenthood North Central States serves Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North and South Dakota.

Following the U-S Supreme Court’s decision, abortion remains legal in just Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota.

Sarah Traxler is the chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood North Central States. She says the health provider has increased capacity in their telemedicine abortion sites and is onboarding new physicians in Iowa in order to meet demand.

We've also hired more patient navigators as we know it will, we'll need increasing support and resources for patients as they move around the country in our region, finding the care that they need.

Planned Parenthood operates nine clinics in Iowa, five of which perform abortions. Sioux City’s facility does not provide surgical abortions.

The Bishop of the Sioux City Catholic Diocese released a statement today surrounding the ruling. Bishop Walker Nickless says he is pleased to see the direction of state and federal judges moving toward protecting innocent life. He went onto to say, Catholics and all people of faith to continue to pray for an end to abortion in our state and our nation.

News release from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds:

Gov. Reynolds issues statement on SCOTUS ruling in the Dobbs case  

DES MOINES – Gov. Reynolds released the following statement today in response to the ruling in the Dobbs case:

“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. 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.”

Statement from the Catholic Diocese of Sioux City

Bishop's statement on Roe v. Wade

Statement from Bishop Walker Nickless on the Supreme Court ruling overruling Roe v. Wade:

Regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization today and a recent decision by the Iowa Supreme Court, I am pleased to see the direction of our state and federal judges moving toward protecting innocent life.

As you may know, due to this U.S. Supreme Court ruling and the subsequent opinions released, all states, including Iowa, will determine their own abortion policy.

On June 17, the Iowa Supreme Court reversed its 2018 decision that recognized a fundamental right to abortion as part of the Iowa Constitution. Also, the court sent back to a lower court the 24-hour waiting period before a woman can have an abortion.

Although the recent actions of the federal and state supreme courts are good news to all who believe in the sanctity of life, there is much more work to be done. I ask all Catholics and all people of faith to continue to pray for an end to abortion in our state and our nation.

Deliberately taking the life of an innocent person, as is always done in abortion, is gravely contrary to both the natural law and the divine law. A just civil law must protect the sanctity of human life.

Let us pray for our nation and continue to respect the right to life.

News release from U.S. Representative Randy Feenstra:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-Hull) issued the following statement after the United States Supreme Court ruled it would uphold the State of Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, and consequently overturn Roe v. Wade:

“Today is a momentous day for the pro-life movement and pro-life Americans across our nation. Since before I was elected to Congress, I have called for Roe v. Wade to be overturned, and after nearly fifty years, I am 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. 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.”

News release from Planned Parenthood North Central States:

St. Paul, MN—The U.S. Supreme Court today struck down Roe v. Wade, dealing a devastating blow to reproductive freedom. The decision places the future of safe and legal abortion in the hands of state lawmakers and puts abortion access at risk in 26 states.

Abortion remains safe and legal in Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska, and today’s decision will have no impact on patient care in those states. Our doors remain open. Trigger laws will ban abortion in South Dakota and North Dakota. PPNCS paused scheduling abortion appointments in South Dakota, and abortion appointments will not resume. The Sioux Falls health center remains open for birth control, IUD, gender affirming hormone therapy, and other sexual and reproductive health care needs. PPNCS does not operate a health center in North Dakota.

“The U.S. Supreme Court decision is wrong and will harm millions of people,” said Sarah Stoesz, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States. “This decision is an unconscionable rollback of fundamental rights for all people in the United States. Because people’s right to access abortion is no longer guaranteed by federal law, it now depends on where you live and how much money you have to travel out of state for abortion care. Forced pregnancy is a grave violation of human rights and dignity. 

“We have been preparing for months to be able to best serve patients across our region. Our doors are open and Planned Parenthood is committed to providing abortion care where it remains legal. 

We have a lot of work ahead of us. We are now living through an unmatched moment where our rights to bodily autonomy are being decimated and, therefore, our democracy is being threatened. Now is the time for every person who supports abortion rights to stand up and act.” 

Anyone who needs an appointment or has questions, should visit ppncs.org/abortion.

News release from Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley:

Grassley Statement in Supreme Court Decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), president pro tempore emeritus of the U.S. Senate and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which returns abortion policy decisions to the people and their elected representatives.


“Today’s decision recognized that the weak legal reasoning in Roe v. Wade has done more to provoke conflict than to resolve it, as the late Justice Ginsburg observed. In a meticulous and well-reasoned opinion, the court dispensed with a flawed precedent, as it has rightly done in landmark decisions throughout history.


“For many Americans, including myself, this decision is about far more than correcting a flawed legal analysis in Roe; it means that the rights of the unborn are no longer in jeopardy by our federal government. Our nation was founded on the fundamental principle we are endowed by our creator with the unalienable right to life – a right that must be protected.


“This ruling does not ban the practice of abortion but instead empowers the people, through their accountable elected representatives to make commonsense policy decisions. It takes policymaking out of the hands of unelected judges.


“Regardless of your views on this issue, or any other issue for that matter, we all should respect the role of our impartial judiciary and the decisions that it renders. We’re blessed to live in a country where the people play a leading role in how we are governed. The people can advocate for policy priorities in the public square, the halls of Congress and at the ballot box, as so many pro-life Americans have done throughout the past five decades. Seeking to intimidate or attack the court or undermine its credibility because of an outcome that you don’t support is not the answer.”

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The Nebraska Supreme Court has denied the post-conviction appeal of a death row inmate who said his defense attorney was so inept that his right to a fair trial had been compromised. Roy Ellis Jr. was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death for the 2005 killing of 12-year-old Amber Harris. Amber's remains were found buried in an Omaha park six months after she went missing from an Omaha school bus stop. Prosecutors also presented evidence indicating Harris had likely sexually assaulted the girl. In its ruling Friday, the state's high court said Ellis' argument that his trial lawyer failed to effectively challenge prosecutors' DNA evidence was without merit.

South Dakota Republicans are meeting to choose candidates for attorney general and other offices, with the impeachment conviction and removal of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg hanging over the convention in Watertown. Former Attorney General Marty Jackley and Division of Criminal Investigation Director David Natvig both want to be considered for the role. Delegates also will choose their nominee for secretary of state and will try to forge a united platform after months of Capitol infighting. The convention began Thursday. Voting for nominees is set for Saturday.

News release from the City of Sioux City:

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City of Sioux City

Sheila Brummer returns to her radio roots as a Reporter/Special Projects Producer for Siouxland Public Media KWIT-KOJI.