Iowa Catholic Conference supports constitutional amendment on abortion

We support an Iowa constitutional amendment to clarify that a right to abortion is not guaranteed by the State of Iowa Constitution.

The Iowa Supreme Court, in a June 2018 decision, struck down the law requiring a three-day waiting period before an abortion is performed. In pursuit of that decision, the Court claimed that the Iowa Constitution provided for a fundamental right to abortion.

Such a claim is groundless, given that for 115 years the same State of Iowa Constitution served as the basis for a legislative ban on abortion except to save the life of a mother.

The dignity of the human person is the foundation of our moral vision for society. We recognize that each person is created in the image and likeness of God. Hence, direct attacks on innocent persons are never acceptable. This is why abortion is such an important issue.

We believe it is important to make this amendment to the Iowa Constitution. This is a question of the common good. We can help pregnant women in need, the men who fathered those children, and families in distress without recourse to the violence of abortion.

Rev. Michael Jackels,

Archbishop of Dubuque

Rev. R. Walker Nickless,

Bishop of Sioux City

Rev. Thomas Zinkula,

Bishop of Davenport

Rev. William Joensen,

Bishop of Des Moines

Congress must act on war powers

Iowans are expecting our two senators to vote for a revised war powers resolution. Congress must reign in the president’s and his administration’s reckless escapades in the Middle East, especially when President Donald Trump and the war mongers advising him have no coherent foreign policy with regard to the actions in that area.

Consequences of their actions are given no consideration. Rash and impulsive actions have been taken that only enhance the chances of American and allied troops being harmed, that increase the possibilities of escalating military confrontations between the U.S. and Iran and that steadily open up the opportunities for a revived ISIS.

In the absence of this president and his administration exercising foresight and cautious restraint, Congress has an obligation to impose these on this pack of wild-cards. This is not about being political. It is about being patriotic and safe in our own skins.

Steven Pokorny


‘Bold vision’ should include adequate education funding

On Jan. 14, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds gave her Condition of the State address and said Iowa needs a bold vision. She noted, “Our cash reserves are full, wages are going up and Iowans once again believe we’re headed in the right direction.” Then she proposed an increase of 2.5% for Iowa schools, not even the cost of living.

In economically challenging years, the Iowa Legislature tells Iowa schools to realize the condition the state is in and then provides low or no increases, promising that when the economy picks up, they’ll make up the difference. When the economy is better, as it is now, the Legislature cuts taxes, thus making less revenue available to fund schools and other critical services.

What do Iowans want? Worse outcomes for kids? Continuing teacher shortages due to low pay? An under-educated workforce? Big class sizes?

“Schooling resources that cost money are positively associated with student outcomes. These include smaller class sizes, additional instructional supports, early childhood programs, and more competitive teacher compensation (permitting schools and districts to recruit and retain a higher quality teacher workforce).”

— Bruce Baker “How Money Matters for Schools.”

Susan Olesen


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