A rally for reproductive rights will be held Saturday, May 7 by the Quad Cities Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) at 3 p.m. in Davenport. Due to security concerns, participants must RSVP for the specific location HERE.

“I think it’s important for us to stand up for people when it comes to abortion rights and reproductive justice,” Andrew Fries, chair of the Quad Cities DSA chapter, said Friday. “We want to make sure that we can’t let this draft come to pass, we can’t let this happen. This has been the goal of so many right-wing religious leaders.”

A draft U.S. Supreme Court majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was leaked on May 3, 2022. The draft explicitly calls for Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey to be overruled, obliterating federal protections for abortion. 

“Abortion is still legal today, but the leak from the Supreme Court makes it clear that our deepest fears are coming true: the Court seems prepared to end the constitutional right to abortion,” according to Planned Parenthood.

An abortion rights rally was held in downtown Des Moines on May 4, 2022. (WHO 13)

“We are facing a future where individual states have the power to legislate and restrict abortion,” the organization says on a website outlining next steps. “While Iowa currently has state protections for abortion access, the majority in the Iowa House and Senate are pushing a constitutional amendment that would strip Iowans of their right to safe, legal abortion. We cannot rely on the courts to protect us. 

“We have overcome daunting challenges before, and we will do it again,” it says.

“We’re a heavily bi-state community,” Fries said of the QC area. “Illinois seems like it’s going to be okay when it comes to actually having abortion access. But Iowa, they won’t be if it’s overturned. It won’t. There’s no trigger law in Iowa. But I mean it’s going to give the GOP and Iowa a mandate for incredibly restrictive abortion laws.

“I think they’re just kind of waiting on the go-ahead for that,” he said. “So it’s going to be a real weird thing in the Quad Cities.”

QC Planned Parenthood closed in 2018

Since Planned Parenthood closed its health center in Bettendorf in January 2018, the closest abortion access to the QC is in Peoria and Iowa City.

Saturday’s rallies will include similar events in Iowa City, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. Major cities across the nation have had huge abortion rights rallies since May 3. The RSVP page for the QC DSA says:

“Together the Quad Cities Democratic Socialists of America and Planned Parenthood will rally to protest the Supreme Court’s leaked draft ruling that will overturn Roe v. Wade. We can’t sit by and let this illegitimate institution trample over human rights. Come out, bring a friend, and show your anger!”

On May 13, Planned Parenthood is holding an “Empower Hour” in Davenport and across Iowa. They will be “hosting intimate gatherings of storytellers and supporters to cultivate community and grow solidarity among advocates in Iowa,” its site says. “Join us to share your experience with sexual and reproductive health care or come to listen and support others and their stories.” 

Planned Parenthood’s Bettendorf clinic opened in 1999 and began providing abortions in 2000. A press release stated that the closure came about because the Iowa Legislature stopped funding for family planning services effective June 30, 2017.

On May 4, 2018, Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law a bill that would ban abortion in Iowa after a fetal heartbeat is detected, starting July 1, 2018. On Jan. 22, 2019, a county district judge declared the law to be in violation of Iowa’s State Constitution and entered a permanent injunction prohibiting its enforcement.