Published: Sun, May 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Iowa Passes Controversial Abortion Bill

Iowa Passes Controversial Abortion Bill

Kim Reynolds signed the strictest abortion ban in the nation into law on Friday, setting Iowa up for a lengthy court challenge.

The law bans most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, often as early as the sixth week of pregnancy and before many women know they are pregnant.

Extra security was called in at the Iowa Capitol as Reynolds invited supporters of the legislation into her office as she signed the bill into law, reports the Des Moines Register.

Reynolds, an anti-abortion lawmaker, signed the bill on Friday.

Republicans and anti-abortion activists see Iowa's law as an opportunity to chip away at the landmark ruling, *and potentially take the legal battle to the Supreme Court.

Referred to as the "fetal heartbeat" abortion ban, the House passed the bill 51-46 on Tuesday and the Senate approved it 29-17 on Wednesday.

Critics say the so-called "heartbeat" bill would ban abortions before some women even know they're pregnant. According to USA Today, the law will require all physicians to conduct an ultrasound on any person seeking an abortion in the state of Iowa; if a fetal heartbeat is detected, the physician would be prohibited from performing the procedure. Instead, we will protect the fundamental right of Iowa women to control their bodies and their lives.

While fetal heartbeat bills have been made law in recent years in other states throughout the USA, historically federal courts have struck them down.

The law becomes the most restrictive abortion measure in the country. That likely sets the state up for a legal challenge, including from the same federal appeals court that three years ago struck down similar legislation approved in Arkansas and North Dakota.

Democrat Ross Wilburn said "the best way to ensure strong and safe women's health care in Iowa is to allow the women of Iowa to work directly with their health providers to understand all options and make the best choices for themselves and their families". Up till now, a lady has been capable of get an abortion in Iowa as much as her 20th week. "I'm not going to back down from who I am or what I believe in".

"We couldn't be more pleased", said Iowans for Life head Maggie DeWitte. In a written statement, Democratic National Committee Women's Media Director Elizabeth Renda explained: "This unconstitutional bill is nothing but a thinly veiled attack on Iowa women's most basic rights and freedoms - every woman deserves the fundamental right to make decisions about her own body with her doctor".

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