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Reproductive rights are important to Iowans. Why not Grassley and Ernst?


Far too many Republican politicians’ opposition to the Right to Contraception Act is a direct attack on the reproductive rights and personal freedoms of Iowans.

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  • Sens. Sarah Trone Garriott, Liz Bennett and Zach Wahls represent Dallas County, Linn County and Johnson County, respectively, in the Iowa Senate.

As Iowans, we value personal freedom and the ability to make our own decisions without undue interference. That’s why the recent U.S. Senate vote against the Right to Contraception Act is so troubling. The three of us introduced similar legislation in the Iowa Senate earlier this year, which unfortunately suffered a similar fate. These bills aim to protect the right to contraception in response to growing efforts by extremist groups and politicians to roll back reproductive rights. Despite strong public support – 8 in 10 voters support the Right to Contraception Act – and bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate, Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley of Iowa voted against the bill.

In a state known for valuing common sense and personal responsibility, it is alarming to see such crucial health care rights under attack. The right to access contraception – whether pills, IUDs, emergency contraception or other methods – is a matter of personal freedom and public health. Yet Republican lawmakers, both in Washington DC and Des Moines, have shown a consistent pattern of opposition to these essential rights.

Here in Iowa, we have seen firsthand how difficult it is to provide state-level protections for essential health care services like contraception. We sponsored the Iowa version of the Right to Contraception Act earlier this year. Our goal was simple: ensure Iowans have access to the health care they need, without political interference. Unfortunately, we have faced fierce opposition from Republican colleagues, reflecting a coordinated effort to undermine reproductive rights not just in Iowa, but across the country.

This issue is not just about politics; it’s about respecting the personal freedoms that Iowans hold dear. The opposition to the Right to Contraception Act shows once again how out of touch many Republican lawmakers are with most Iowans. The vast majority of us – regardless of political party – agree that the right to choose whether, when and how we have children is a private matter and should be protected from political machinations.

For all voters who value freedom and autonomy, the stakes could not be higher. The continued refusal to pass the birth control bill is a direct attack on the reproductive rights and personal freedoms of Iowans. We must hold these elected officials accountable for ignoring the needs and rights of their constituents. Far too many Republican politicians’ opposition to the Right to Contraception Act is a direct attack on the reproductive rights and personal freedoms of Iowans. We must hold these elected officials accountable for ignoring the needs and rights of their constituents.

As we move forward, it is critical for all of us to stay informed and engaged. Our voices matter, and together we can ensure our representatives protect the freedoms and rights that are the foundation of our democracy. Let’s stand up for what’s right and ensure that decisions about personal healthcare remain up to us and not politicians in Des Moines or Washington, DC

Sens. Sarah Trone Garriott, Liz Bennett and Zach Wahls represent Dallas County, Linn County and Johnson County, respectively, in the Iowa Senate.