(The Center Square) – Iowa legislators, in a special session Tuesday, again passed a bill to forbid doctors from performing an abortion once the doctor detects the unborn child’s cardiac activity.
That detection is typically possible beginning at about six weeks.
There are circumstances in which abortion between that time and 20 weeks would still be legal. Those cases are the following: a miscarriage; a medical emergency; a pregnancy in a case of rape, provided that the rape was reported within 45 days to law enforcement or a health agency; a pregnancy in a case of incest, so long as the incest is reported within 140 days of the incident to a law enforcement or health agency; or a fetal abnormality that’s incompatible with life. Women will not face legal punishment if an abortion is illegally performed. The Iowa Board of Medicine would adopt administrative rules to administer the bill.
Iowa Senate President Sen. Amy Sinclair, R-Allerton, said in closing remarks July 11 that the bill, HF 732, gets at the heart of what it means to be a person.
“This bill that we just passed carries all the gravity of what is the human rights atrocity of our time,” she said. “And history will judge each of us for the role we played here.”
She said that legislators had the special session because the Iowa Supreme Court forced the legislature to reinforce its intent to pass the bill to protect the unborn.
“We are here to confirm that the Iowa Legislature does not pass hypothetical laws,” she said. “When we pass a law, we mean exactly what is written on the pages that are published, and those pages are then placed into code.”
Sinclair said the bill isn’t a war on women and that failing to pass the bill, which protects unborn women, would be the true war on women.
The Senate passed the bill 32-17, and the House passed it 56-34.
Iowa President Pro Tempore Sen. Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale, asked Iowa State Patrol to clear the gallery of people who shouted comments, including expletives, following the passage of the bill.
Abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood North Central States, the Emma Goldman Clinic, and the ACLU of Iowa have pledged to challenge the law in state court, according to a news release The Center Square received from ACLU of Iowa.
“This is not the end of our fight for safe and legal abortion and reproductive health care,” Planned Parenthood North Central States President and CEO Ruth Richardson said in the release. “We will exhaust all options to ensure Iowans have control of their bodily autonomy, now and for generations to come.”
Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a news release that she’s also committed to continuing policies to support women in planning for motherhood, promote the importance of fatherhood and encourage strong families.
“Our state and country will be stronger because of it,” she said.
Reynolds plans to sign the bill July 14, according to the release.