Iowa Governor Signs Six-Week Abortion Ban Legislation

Iowa Governor Signs Six-Week Abortion Ban Legislation

DES MOINES, Iowa—Gov. 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 once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is around six weeks of pregnancy.

The Iowa affiliates of Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union have warned they would sue the Republican governor if she signed the bill, which the GOP-controlled Legislature approved earlier in the week.

“We will challenge this law with absolutely everything we have on behalf of our patients because Iowa will not go back,” said Suzanna de Baca, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, in a statement.

Gov. Reynolds said before the bill was sent to her desk: “I’m pro-life. I’m proud to be pro-life. I’ve made that very clear.”

The legislation has propelled Iowa to the front of a push among conservative statehouses jockeying to enact the nation’s most restrictive regulations on the procedure.

In March, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a law that banned abortions after 15 weeks of gestation, except in the case of medical emergencies or severe fetal abnormalities. That law and similar legislation in other states are on hold while they are being challenged in court.

Critics say the so-called heartbeat bill would ban abortions before some women even know they are pregnant. That likely sets the state up for a legal challenge over its constitutionality, including from the same federal appeals court that three years ago struck down similar legislation approved in Arkansas and North Dakota.

Backers of the legislation, which failed to get a single Democratic vote in either Iowa chamber, expressed hope it could challenge Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that established women have a right to terminate pregnancies until a fetus is viable. Conservatives say an influx of right-leaning judicial appointments under President Donald Trump could make it a possibility.


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Publish date : 2018-05-04 21:33:00
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