Legislature Expected To Pass ‘Fetal Heartbeat’ Bill Tuesday

Des Moines, Iowa — GOP lawmakers have released the bill they intend to pass tomorrow (Tuesday) in a special legislative session that would ban nearly all abortions in Iowa.

The bill is almost identical to the Fetal Heartbeat Act that passed the legislature in 2018. Last month, a three-to-three tie among the Iowa Supreme Court justices kept in place the injunction that has blocked that law from taking effect. Senator Dennis Guth is a Republican from Klemme.

When Governor Kim Reynolds signed the bill in 2018, it was the toughest anti-abortion policy in the country and would have banned abortions after fetal activity can be detected. That’s around the sixth week of a pregnancy. Guth voted for the bill in 2018. “The legal eagles that have analyzed what the Supreme Court justices said are thinking those Supreme Court justices thought we were just fooling the first time,” Guth says, “so we’re just going to pass the same thing and then they’re going to have to deal with it.” Senator Dave Rowley of Spirit Lake was first elected to the state senate during a special election in 2021. He says tomorrow’s (Tuesday’s) vote will send a message.

Senator Guth says lawmakers “meant it” the first time and they’ll prove that quickly tomorrow (Tuesday).

Mazie Stilwell with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa says polling has shown a growing majority of Iowans support legal abortion.

“…Iowans are simply not interested in the ways in which politicians are trying to claw their way into the exam room.” Planned Parenthood officials say they’ll fight any new abortion restrictions in court. So it’s more than likely the issue will wind up before the Iowa Supreme Court again. Two weeks ago, Planned Parenthood announced they’re closing three of Iowa’s nine Planned Parenthood clinics and will expand abortion services at many remaining locations. Ruth Richardson is president and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States.

Tomorrow’s (Tuesday’s) special legislative session is expected to get underway at 8:30 a.m. A public hearing on the bill is scheduled to start at 9:30 and last until 11.



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