Senate Sends 20-Week Abortion Ban To Branstad

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.

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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