Statements of Support and in Response

We are angry and deeply disappointed that the Iowa Supreme Court has paved the way for the

U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wade in an egregious

decision that sets women's civil rights back 50 years

Published: June 17, 2022

Today's egregious decision by the United States Supreme Court to overturn

Roe vs. Wade sets birthing people and women’s civil rights back 50 years.

As the state's leading voice to end gender violence in Iowa for more than

35 years, we believe all people have the right to bodily autonomy and to

determine what is best for themselves, including abortion and primary medical

care. Ending a constitutional right to an abortion will not stop women and birthing

people from seeking an abortion; it will only impact the safety and health of

women who seek this procedure. 

 

Abortion access is one of several fundamental rights under attack in the U.S.,

including our right to vote, racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and many other rights

intertwined with our right to liberty in which Roe v. Wade was grounded.

Restricting and prohibiting access to abortion is a first step toward imposing
dangerous and harmful laws that once again disproportionately impact young women, Black and Brown women, low-income women, and LGBTQIA+ individuals – the same populations disproportionately affected by state-sponsored and gender violence.

 

Gender violence, including domestic abuse, sexual assault, and dating violence, is about power and control. It remains a persistent public health crisis due to epidemic levels of prevalence. Approximately 1 in 4 women experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, and most first violent experiences occur before age 25.

 

Reproductive health services are essential to primary medical care for all women. Victims of domestic and sexual violence have an acute need for timely access to comprehensive reproductive health services, including abortion. Reproductive coercion occurs when a person who harms restricts the freedom of their partner to control their bodies, lives, and futures. Harmful partners use intimidation, threats, or violence to deny bodily autonomy. This includes rape, sabotaging contraception, and coercing a person to become pregnant and carry a pregnancy against their will.

 

Outlawing access to reproductive care threatens women's freedom and health and places victims of violence in greater danger. Privacy is fundamental for survivors seeking safety; they rely on this protection to feel safe seeking help and accessing services. With today's decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has compromised all Iowans’ constitutional right to privacy and for survivors of gender violence, putting them at additional risk for harm. 

 

Abortion services are essential healthcare, and having equal access – for all people, everywhere – is vital to their social and economic participation, reproductive autonomy, and the right to determine their own lives. Reproductive justice is a necessary component of gender equality and racial justice. Reproductive justice is only achieved when all people have the social, political, and economic power to decide their health, bodies, and sexuality. 

 

Iowa service providers report that barriers to accessing abortion increase a survivor's risk for injury from a person who harms and undermines their health because it delays the ability to obtain care until later in pregnancy. Providers in rural areas report these opportunities are incredibly few and far between and the lack of access to transportation compounds the difficulty.

 

Safety is not the antidote to violence. Self-determination is. Women should be able to control their bodies and safely and freely decide whether to become or stay pregnant. We believe in a future free from violence where we all have the freedom to determine our medical care needs, safely care for loved ones, and access the services that make that possible. Today's decision is detrimental to abortion rights and bodily autonomy, but we are not defeated. We will push forward and advocate for systems and policy change that will ensure all Iowans have the freedom to make their own decisions about their lives and futures.

 

In Solidarity,

ICADV Staff and Board of Directors

 

 

 

Iowa Supreme Court rules state's constitution does not

include a fundamental right to an abortion

Published: June 17, 2022

We are angry and deeply disappointed that the Iowa Supreme Court ruled the

state's constitution does not include a fundamental right to abortion in their

decision on a case challenging a medically unnecessary mandatory 24-hour

waiting period for abortion. The Supreme Court did not take a position on whether

the 24-hour waiting period law should be upheld which allows Planned

Parenthood to continue its legal challenge to the law in District court. However,

since the Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s decision, the 24-hour waiting

period law goes into effect while the legal challenge to the law continues.

 

Right now, abortion remains legal in Iowa, but this devastating ruling makes it

easier for Iowa legislators to restrict or prohibit access to abortion because the

Court dramatically lowered the level of constitutional protection for abortion rights.

This decision comes just before the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a significant ruling regarding the federal constitutional right to abortion.

Restricting and prohibiting access to abortion is dangerous, harmful, and exacerbates disparities in access to care that disproportionately impact young women, Black and Brown women, low-income women, and LGBTQIA+ individuals – the same populations disproportionately affected by state-sponsored and gender violence.  

The unnecessary 24-hour mandatory delay law undermines the personal decisions women make about what is best for their lives and the well-being of their families. This insulting and burdensome requirement will not stop women from deciding to have an abortion; it will negatively impact the safety of health services women receive and increase the danger for victims of violence. 

Reproductive health services are essential to primary medical care for all women. Victims of domestic and sexual violence have an acute need for timely access to comprehensive reproductive health services, including abortion. Imposing medically unnecessary barriers to accessing abortion threatens women’s freedom and health and places victims of violence in greater danger. 

Gender violence, including domestic abuse, sexual assault, and dating violence, is about power and control. It remains a persistent public health crisis due to epidemic levels of prevalence. Approximately 1 in 4 women experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, and most first violent experiences occur before age 25.

Reproductive coercion occurs when a person who harms restricts the freedom of their partner to control their bodies, lives, and futures. Harmful partners use intimidation, threats, or violence to deny bodily autonomy. This includes rape, sabotaging contraception, and coercing a woman to become pregnant and carry a pregnancy against her will. 

 

Preventing a partner from having an abortion is abuse and forcing a partner to stay pregnant keeps someone trapped in an unhealthy relationship. A 24-hour mandatory delay is another form of power and control and effectively denies many women their right to abortion. Without timely access to abortion, many individuals return to abusive relationships they wanted to leave and carry unintended pregnancies to term at significant risk to themselves and other children. 

Iowa service providers report that overcoming barriers to accessing abortion increase a survivor's risk for injury from a person who harms and undermines their health because it delays the ability to obtain care until later in pregnancy. A medically unnecessary 24-hour waiting period will result in severe and sometimes insurmountable barriers to abortion. It forces women to travel long distances, make multiple trips to health providers, and dramatically increases health care costs. It is difficult to find a safe window to travel for services when a person who harms controls their time, mobility, and finances. Providers in rural areas report that these opportunities are incredibly few and far between and the lack of access to transportation compounds the difficulty. 

Safety is not the antidote to violence. Self-determination is. Women should be able to control their bodies safely and freely decide whether to become or stay pregnant. We believe in a future free from violence where we all have the freedom to control our bodies, safely care for loved ones, and access the services that make that possible. 

Eliminating access to abortion care because of disagreements over personal health care decisions is harmful to women’s health, irresponsible public policy, and does not reflect the reality of people’s lives.  

In Solidarity,

ICADV Staff and Board of Directors

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Defend and protect DACA, Dreamers and the
undocumented community

Published: July 22, 2021

We are deeply disappointed that a Federal District Court Judge in Texas
declared the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program unlawful
and imposed new limitations. Effective immediately, the court's decision
prohibits United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from
approving any new DACA applications. Individuals currently in the program will
keep their protections, and pending renewal applications will be
processed normally.

 

As advocates for victims of crime, we believe violence of any kind is
unacceptable and have an obligation to call out the violent and cruel behavior
of individuals and systems against Black, Brown and historically marginalized
people across Iowa and the nation. This includes roadblocks to a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented community.

 

Established in 2012 by former President Barack Obama, DACA allows teens over 16 and adults younger than 30 who were brought to the U.S. when they were children to work and study without fear of deportation. Since then, DACA has brought critical benefits to Iowa, where more than 5,500 DREAMERS have been able to pursue degrees in higher education and employment opportunities that allow local communities and economies to thrive. Restrictions to DACA directly impact opportunities for growth and prosperity across Iowa and the U.S., and that is harmful to everyone.

 

We call on all Iowans, organizations, and congressional leaders to support DREAMERS, protect DACA and advocate for pathways to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented individuals in this country. It is imperative that we use our collective strength to advocate for the development of programs and policies that protect everyone.

 

In Solidarity,

ICADV Staff and Board of Directors

 

 

Reproductive health services are an essential component
of routine medical care for all women, including
abortion care

Published: May 20, 2021

We are deeply disappointed Iowa legislators advanced a resolution, HJR 5, to
amend the state’s constitution to say that Iowa does not secure or protect the
right to an abortion or public funding of abortion. Reproductive health services
are an essential component of routine medical care for all women, and victims
of violent crimes – domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking – have
an acute need for timely access to the full range of reproductive health services,
including abortion care. Restricting access to health care impacts all women
but also exacerbate disparities in access to care in Iowa that disproportionately
impact low-income women, especially Black, Indigenous and Women of Color.

 

As the state’s leading voice against intimate partner violence, we represent the collective experience of people who dedicate their lives to serving victims of violent crime. Approximately 1 in 4 women experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, and most first violent experiences occur before age 25. Reproductive coercion is an element of domestic violence that occurs when a male partner uses intimidation, threats or violence to impose his intentions upon a woman’s reproductive autonomy. This includes sabotaging contraception and coercing a woman to become pregnant and carry a pregnancy against her will.

Restricting and ultimately prohibiting access to abortion is harmful to women’s health and will not stop women from needing or obtaining an abortion. These policies have a far greater impact on the safety of health services women receive than whether women choose to terminate a pregnancy. And for victims of domestic and sexual violence – this bill negatively impacts their options for safety
more broadly.

Iowa service providers report that overcoming barriers to accessing abortion care increases a survivor’s risk for harm from an abusive partner. Without access to abortion care, many women return to abusive relationships they would otherwise leave and carry unintended pregnancies to term at great risk to themselves and other children. 
Unintended pregnancy is the primary reason women seek abortion care. It also doubles the risk for domestic abuse during pregnancy. And, regardless of the prevalence of domestic violence, homicide by a spouse or intimate partner is the number one cause of death for pregnant women.

 

After a year that has challenged us all and created new hurdles to safety and self-determination for survivors of violent crime, we need to work together to dismantle barriers to services for all Iowans. Crime victims have an acute need for timely access to services that enhance safety and healing, including food security, housing and healthcare. Our end goal is not only for individuals to reach safety; it is for individuals to have the ability to determine their own futures and have access to the services that would make this possible.

 

In Solidarity,

ICADV Staff and Board of Directors

 

 

 

Standing in Solidarity with the Black Community

Published: April 21, 2021

The verdict came in yesterday: Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three
counts in the murder of George Floyd. We recognize this conviction is a small
step in a larger picture of real systemic change and justice, specifically for
Black and Brown people. We are sending love to George Floyd’s family and all
the families that continue to be impacted by police brutality and violence. 

 

We will continue to be in solidarity with the Black community and take action
in calling out and pushing back against white supremacy, racism, xenophobia
and oppression against communities of color. We commit to working towards a
future that lessens our reliance on the criminal legal system and supports
community-based alternatives. We will work to create and support the
conditions that truly honor the value and dignity of people of color and the
freedom for all of us to thrive.  

 

Our collective efforts must focus on investing in communities and uplifting those directly experiencing state and other forms of violence, especially Black, trans, disabled, immigrant,  poor people and families who continue to be harmed.  

 

In Solidarity,

ICADV Staff and Board of Directors

 

 

Moment of Truth: Statement of Commitment to Black Lives

Published: July 8, 2020

This is a moment of reckoning. The murder of George Floyd broke the
collective heart of this country, and now, finally, millions of people are saying
their names: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery
- an endless list of Black Lives stolen at the hands and knees of police. The
legacies of slavery and unfulfilled civil rights, colonialism and erasure, hatred,
and violence have always been fully viewed. Turning away is no longer an
option. Superficial reform is not enough.  

 

We, the undersigned sexual assault and domestic violence state coalitions​ call ourselves to account for how this movement, and particularly the white leadership within this movement, has repeatedly failed Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) survivors, leaders, organizations, and movements:  

  • We have failed to listen to Black feminist liberationists and other colleagues of color in the movement who cautioned us against the consequences of choosing increased policing, prosecution, and imprisonment as the primary solution to gender-based violence.

  • We have promoted false solutions of reforming systems designed to control people rather than real community-based solutions that support healing and liberation.

  • We have invested significantly in the criminal legal system, despite knowing that the vast majority of survivors choose not to engage with it and that those who do are often re-traumatized by it.

  • We have held up calls for “victim safety” to justify imprisonment and ignored the fact that prisons hold some of the densest per-capita populations of trauma survivors in the world. 

  • We have ignored and dismissed transformative justice approaches to healing, accountability, and repair approaches created by BIPOC leaders and used successfully in BIPOC communities.

We acknowledge BIPOC’s historical trauma and lived experiences of violence and center those traumas and experiences in our commitments to move forward. We affirm that BIPOC communities are not homogeneous and that opinions on what is necessary now vary in substance and degree. ​We stand with the Black Women leaders in our movement, for whom isolation, risk, and hardship are now particularly acute.  And we are grateful to the Black Women, Indigenous Women, and Women of Color - past and present - who have contributed mightily to our collective body of work, even as it has compromised their own health and well-being.  

 

It is time to transform not only oppressive institutions but also ourselves. Divestment and reallocation must be accompanied by a rigorous commitment to and participation in the community solutions and supports that multiple organizations are recommending

and platforms.  

We will continue to do our part to inter
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As advocates for victims of crime, we believe violence of any kind is unacceptable. This i
We will continue to do our part to inter