Senate Sends 20-Week Abortion Ban To Branstad

Date posted - April 20, 2017

Des Moines, Iowa — New abortion restrictions will soon be law in Iowa.  The Iowa Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill banning nearly all abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, and Governor Branstad has signaled he’ll sign the bill.

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Senator Bertrand points at Senator Chelgren during tense Senate debate

Republican Senator Mark Costello of Imogene made a final pitch before senators voted on the measure.

The bill also requires women seeking an abortion to wait three days before the procedure is performed. Senator Mark Chelgren, a Republican from Ottumwa, calls that the “time share clause” in the bill.

Senator Pam Jochum, a Democrat from Dubuque, says that three-day waiting period is an “insult” to women.

Senator Rick Bertrand, a Republican from Sioux City, voted for the bill, but expressed outrage that his fellow Republicans were not pursuing an outright ban on nearly ALL abortions.

Senator Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, says the bill is a “concerning” development in the legislature’s “ping pong” debate over abortion.

Republican legislators also intend to “defund” Planned Parenthood. In February, the Republican-led senate voted to forbid Iowa Medicaid patients from getting exams or contraceptives at facilities or from doctors who perform abortion. House Republicans are tacking a similar proposal onto a budget bill.

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