Iowa lawmakers pass ban on most abortions, aiming for court fight

Rep. Mary Wolfe, a Democrat representing Clinton, Iowa, noted that physicians would not be tasked with confirming reports of incest or rape that are made by women seeking abortions. A provision in the bill banning most abortions after 20 weeks requiring a three-day waiting period for abortions - among the longest wait periods in the country - was challenged in court.

A similar court challenge is underway in Kentucky, which in April enacted a ban on a common abortion procedure from the 11th week of pregnancy.

WOI-TV spoke to an eastern Iowa Representative on why he chose to break with his party on this controversial and divisive bill. Rep.

"This bill will be the vehicle that will ultimately provide change and provide the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade".

"This legislation is unsafe and unconstitutional, and it's appalling that we're even having this conversation", said Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Dubuque, in a statement following the vote. Rick Bertrand, R-Sioux City.

Iowa's Republican governor Kim Reynolds has not said if she will sign the bill. Her decision is expected within days. "She was somewhere in the 12 to 15 weeks", said Hein.

Many lawmakers who support the "heartbeat bill" hope it does lead to a legal battle that winds its way to the highest court of the land. Laws that restrict abortion procedures after 15 weeks in MS and 11 weeks in Kentucky are now being challenged in those states.

Previously, the legislation only allowed exceptions to that ban in cases of "medical emergency", which was defined as a situation in which the life of the mother was in danger.

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"It is unsafe for woman in Iowa and it is blatantly unconstitutional and we are frankly horrified", Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Director of Public Affairs Erin Davidson Rippey said.

Both Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and ACLU Iowa called on Reynolds to veto the bill. Conversely, she said a child who is raped but delays reporting it until showing signs of pregnancy could be denied an abortion.

The bill, she said, "just doesn't provide the time or space" for those deliberations. He added Iowa's legislation was created to "thrust into the court" the question of whether or not abortion should remain legal, with few exceptions. Some dismissed suggestions that the move was a legal maneuver or a political strategy. "But I also believe it is a moral, religious and - most of all - a family decision when something like this comes up, and government should not play a part". "Those of us who are against abortion have no hidden agenda". Life begins at conception.

"States need to start pushing back and saying, 'These are decisions that we ought to be able to make, ' " Chapman said. "The fight for life is a fight worth fighting at every step of the way".

Other states have tried, and failed, to bring a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade by passing their own laws. In March, legislators in OH introduced a bill that would ban all abortions, with no exceptions. The law is now suspended while it's being heard in the courts.

The bill, which the House passed the bill 51 to 46 and the Senate voted in favor 29 to 17 after hours of debate, would require doctors to conduct an ultrasound, and if a heartbeat is found, an abortion can not be performed. The bill then passed the Senate early Wednesday morning with a 27-19 vote.

Democrats have been shut out of power in Des Moines since the 2016 election, and have seen the state lurch to the right on issues such as gun rights and voter identification.

  • Adam Floyd