Iowa’s lawmakers have officially passed the most restrictive abortion bill in the nation. The “heartbeat bill”, opposed by six House Republicans and all of the state’s Democrats, now awaits confirmation from the staunchly anti-abortion Governor Kim Reynolds. While running for lieutenant governor in her state, Reynolds said abortion was “equivalent to murder”.
The new bill, passed before dawn on Tuesday, would ban abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat. The “heartbeat bill” mandates that women seeking an abortion must first receive an ultrasound from a physician to determine if a heartbeat is present. A fetal heartbeat is usually detectable around 6 weeks into a pregnancy, which is often before a woman may realize she is even pregnant.
Iowa just outlawed abortion after the heartbeat is detected, which can happen six weeks into pregnancy, before many women even know they are expecting. An obvious ploy to move the issue to the supreme court with the goal of overturning Roe v. Wade. https://t.co/NTTRgVj18G
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) May 3, 2018
While North Dakota and Arkansas have passed similar laws, both were ruled unconstitutional in the federal court system. Additionally, Mississippi’s 15-week ban and Kentucky’s 11-week ban have both been temporarily blocked by federal judges. Many predict that Republican lawmakers are banking on conservative judges and Trump appointees to tip the scales in their favor, allowing an opening for a contest to Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.
Tonight, 100 members will vote on the bill. I will be one of 5 who are of childbearing age and a woman. Not one legislator is a doctor. This legislation is dangerous, irresponsible, & unconstitutional. We must fight back in 2018 & take back our states and our country. #ia01 4/4
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) May 1, 2018