Now that Gov. Reynolds has completed her signing of bills, the bishops of Iowa have released a statement on the 2019 legislation session. Here is the full text:

We, the members of the Iowa Catholic Conference, recognize the hard work of lawmakers in our State. We would like to commend them for some of the decisions they made in this legislative session, for example:

  • To increase funding to help parents who choose to send their children to non-public schools.
  • To protect the First Amendment right of student groups at state universities to choose their leaders in keeping with their religious beliefs and standards of conduct.
  • To deny support for the proposal to make birth control available over-the-counter, some of which function to induce abortion, as well as pose serious health risks to the woman.
  • To deny support for reinstating the death penalty.

We would like to express to them our regret and opposition to some of the legislation they passed this year, for example:

  • The legalization of sports betting.
  • The constitutional amendment regarding the application of “strict scrutiny” to any regulation of weapons in Iowa.

Finally, looking ahead to the next legislative session, we would like to encourage our lawmakers in certain areas, for example:

  • To pass a constitutional amendment to affirm the Iowa Constitution does not secure the right to an abortion.
  • To secure the right to vote for people who committed felonies and who served their prison sentence.
  • To deny support for the efforts to require State authorities to conduct additional local enforcement of federal immigration laws.
  • To consider ways to limit racial profiling in our justice system.

We make these comments inspired by the teachings of Jesus and his Catholic Church, especially our conviction about the sanctity of human life, the dignity of each person, and the common good, bringing these to bear on our daily living.


Most Rev. Michael Jackels

Archbishop of Dubuque


Most Rev. R. Walker Nickless

Bishop of Sioux City


Most Rev. Richard Pates

Bishop of Des Moines


Most Rev. Thomas Zinkula

Bishop of Davenport