Iowa became the most pro-life state in the nation Friday afternoon, potentially setting up a battle that could change America’s abortion laws.
Republican Governor Kim Reynolds signed the “Heartbeat” bill, which severely restricts the practice of abortion in the midwest state.
The Iowa state House and Senate passed the bill earlier in the week. The bill bans the option of an abortion if a heartbeat is detected in an ultrasound performed by a doctor. Most pregnancies exhibit a heartbeat for the baby as early as six weeks.
There are exemptions to the rule built into the bill. The Des Moines Register compiled a list of the exemptions:
- 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.
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 Sen. Jake Chapman told the Register, “This law, if signed, I believe could very well be the very bill that overturns Roe v. Wade.”
As pro-lifers rejoice, Gov. Reynolds says she expects the battle over the bill to continue in the courts.
CBS reports that Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have promised to sue the state over the law. Suzanna de Baca, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, said in a statement, “We will challenge this law with absolutely everything we have on behalf of our patients because Iowa will not go back.”