Republicans abandon plans to ban abortion after heartbeat in Iowa
Republican lawmakers in Iowa gave up on a controversial abortion regulation that would have prevented women from obtaining abortions after a heartbeat is detected. The law would have been among the nation’s toughest abortion restrictions.
Only a few states have proposed heartbeat abortion bans, and to date, none have successfully passed.
Though Republicans have a newly won majority in the state house and a Republican governor, they pulled the heartbeat amendment after less than 24 hours due to insufficient support within the party. They also removed provisions requiring a 72 hour waiting period, criminal penalties for physicians who perform illegal abortions, and an exception for abortions if the fetus has a fatal condition.
Iowa law currently bans abortions at the end of the second trimester of pregnancy, or 27 weeks.
The proposed new bill would ban abortions 20 weeks after fertilization. 20 week abortion bans have passed in 19 states on the disputed claim that a fetus can feel pain at that point.
Initial reports suggested that the bill would require pregnant woman who miscarried after 20 weeks to carry the baby to term. During deliberations of the House’s Human Resources Committee, Representative John Forbes asked how the bill might affect his pregnant daughter.
“Worst case scenario, she talks to her doctor next Wednesday and her doctor tells her, we don’t see a heartbeat anymore in this child. Under this legislation, she would have to carry that baby until her life became endangered?”
“This bill wasn’t written for the intent to protect or govern, on the side of the woman. It was written to save babies’ lives…I would concur that — in that instance — if your daughter’s life is not in danger, that yes, she would have to carry that baby.” responded Representative Shannon Lundgren.
The amended bill passed in the House committee and will have to win the support of the full House before returning to the Senate.