Iowa 'Heartbeat' law bans abortions after six weeks

New abortion law is most restrictive in the United States.
Iowa governor signs abortion law
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the country’s most restrictive law on abortion on Friday afternoon.

 

The Iowa House passed Senate File 359 on Tuesday. The new law will ban abortions after the first heartbeat is detected — around the sixth week of gestation, roughly. The state’s Senate passed it on Wednesday.

 

"This bill will be the vehicle that will ultimately provide change and provide the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade. There’s nothing hidden here about the agenda. You know, today the pro-life movement won a battle, but the war rages on. My Republican colleagues, this is the vote of your career," Republican Sen. Rick Bertrand said, according to Fox News.

 

"It is time for the Supreme Court to weigh in on the issue of life. It has taken decades for the science to catch up to what many have believed all along: that she’s a baby," Rep. Shannon Lundgren, added, according to Iowa Public Radio.

 

Are there exceptions to the Iowa abortion ban?

The heartbeat bill doesn’t ban all abortions: Some exceptions are made in cases of rape, incest and abnormalities in the fetus. Abortions will also be allowed if the mother’s life is in danger, according to the bill.

Critics to the new law say that six weeks is too early and that many women don’t even know they’re pregnant by that time.

Opponents, such as, argued that only women and medical professionals should make decisions regarding abortion.

"We may disagree, and we clearly do disagree, on this issue," Democratic Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell said, according to Fox. "But we have to look at what’s actually the right thing to do, and who should be making these decisions, and it is not us."

Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, told Fox News that the legislation is "an extreme and draconian policy that takes aim at a woman’s right to control her own body, life, and future."

"This bill is one more example of state politicians, emboldened by the Trump-Pence administration, carrying out policy after policy that strip away people’s freedoms and access to care," Laguens added."The right to control your body includes the right to access safe, legal abortion. Your body is your own, if it is not, we cannot be truly free or equal."

 
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