The state of Iowa is one signature away from potentially changing the entire nation’s abortion laws.
The Iowa state House and Senate passed the “Heartbeat” bill this week that would severely restrict the practice of abortion in the state and may result in a national legal battle in the Supreme Court.
The late night votes on the bill were contentious but successful for pro-life advocates. The bill would ban the option of an abortion if a heartbeat is detected in an ultrasound. Most pregnancies exhibit a heartbeat for the baby as early as six weeks.
There are exemptions to the rule, such as protecting the life of the mother and other medical emergencies. According to the Des Moines Register, the exemptions are as follows:
- the woman was raped and reports the rape to a law enforcement agency, a public or private health agency or a family physician within 45 days;
- the woman was the victim of incest and reports the issue to a law enforcement agency, a public or private health agency or a family physician within 140 days;
- “not all the products of conception are expelled” following a spontaneous miscarriage;
- a physician certifies that the fetus has an abnormality that, in the physician’s “reasonable medical judgment,” is incompatible with life.
Pro-life Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds will now determine if the bill becomes law.
A spokeswoman for the governor said Wednesday that Reynolds is “100 percent pro-life and will never stop fighting for the unborn” and that her office is reviewing the final language of the bill.
According to the Register, proponents of the bill hope it will spark a legal debate that ultimately overturns Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court. Iowa state Senator Jake Chapman said, “This law, if signed, I believe could very well be the very bill that overturns Roe v. Wade.”