Iowa Attorney General Bird: ‘Heartbeat’ Law Is Constitutional

Des Moines, Iowa — Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird says she believes a so-called “heartbeat” law to ban most abortions in Iowa is constitutional.

The Iowa Supreme Court recently deadlocked three-to-three after the governor asked the justices to overturn a lower court’s ruling on that 2018 law.

The 2018 legislation, referred to as a hypothetical law by one Iowa Supreme Court justice, would have banned most abortions after about the sixth week of a pregnancy, with exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. Pulse Life Advocates, the group previously known as Iowans for Life, is urging the legislature to convene as soon as possible and pass the same policy again. Bird isn’t making a recommendation about what the legislation should look like.

Bird, a Republican, has been Iowa’s attorney general for nearly six months, after defeating long-term Democrat incumbent, Tom Miller in November 2022. Bird says she’ll soon release her review of state-funded victims’ services programs.

Earlier this spring, Bird’s office temporarily suspended the policy of having the state’s victim compensation fund cover the costs of the so-called morning after pill for sexual assault victims. Bird says the “Plan B” medication remains legal in Iowa and her audit of state services for victims will address whether state reimbursement for emergency contraception is appropriate.



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