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Iowa Lawmakers Pass “Fetal Heartbeat” Bill That Bans 6 Week Abortions
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Summary: Women pregnant longer than six weeks may no longer be able to get abortions in Iowa. 

On Wednesday, Iowa passed what could be the most conservative abortion bill in the country. According to NPR, Iowa’s lawmakers passed legislation that would stop abortions performed on any fetuses where a heartbeat could be detected. This means that women pregnant at six weeks or more may not be able to get an abortion in the state.


“We are alive when our hearts start beating and our life is over when it stops,” Representative Dawn Pettengil told CBS News.

The bill passed in the House on Tuesday and in the Senate on early Wednesday. It is now with Governor Kim Reynolds, who has not said whether or not she will approve the bill.

Critics of the restrictive bill said that many women don’t even know they are pregnant at six weeks and that this bill would prevent them from having a choice. The bill has exceptions built into it for cases of rape, incest, to save the life of the mother, or for fetal abnormalities.

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In Iowa, abortions are currently allowed up to 20 weeks in. The state currently has a Republican majority, and the Des Moines Register said that its lawmakers want the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“Republicans who debated Senate File 359 late into the night Tuesday said they hope their law will face a legal challenge so it can advance to the U.S. Supreme Court. Their goal is to overturn the 1973 landmark case Roe v. Wade, which established that women have a constitutional right to an abortion,” the Des Moines Register stated. “The Supreme Court has declined to hear similar cases in recent years. But as states continue to pass legislation restricting abortions and President Donald Trump appoints more conservative federal judges, such as Justice Neil Gorsuch, abortion opponents are increasingly optimistic.”

During this week’s debate, the bill’s floor manager Representative Shannon Lundgren said that technology has proven that a fetus is a baby when arguing that Roe v. Wade was wrong.

“The science and technology have significantly advanced since 1973,” Lundgren said. “It is time for the Supreme Court to weigh in on the issue of life. It has taken decades for the science to catch up to what many have believed all along: that she’s a baby.”

This bill has been called one of the strictest abortion measures in the country, and pro-choice activists such as the ACLU and Planned Parenthood have already expressed their disagreement and hinted that they will file a lawsuit if this bill is passed by the governor.

“These extreme attempts to ban abortion fly in the face of both medical and legal standards, as well as common sense and public opinion among Iowans,” said Erin Davison-Rippey, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s director of public affairs. “So-called ‘heartbeat protection’ bills are actually bans on safe, legal abortion, and they threaten to set reproductive rights back by decades.”

What do you think of Iowa’s latest abortion bill? Let us know in the comments below.



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