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Iowa governor signs 'fetal heartbeat' abortion ban into law

06 May, 2018, 05:09 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
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The Governor signed it into law Friday night.

"I understand and anticipate that this will likely be challenged in court", Republican Governor Kim Reynolds said in a statement after the signing.

Reynolds signed the law while surrounded by children from a local Christian school and children related to supporters.

The ban, set to take effect on July 1, has moved Iowa to the front of a push among conservative statehouses jockeying to enact new restrictions on the medical procedure. The law bans nearly all abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

A woman who is raped must report the rape "to a law enforcement agency, a public or private health agency or a family physician within 45 days". Another provision of the law also prohibits uses of fetal tissue, with exemptions for research.

She added, "it is immoral to stop an innocent beating heart ... my faith leads me to protect every Iowan, no matter how small".

"We will challenge this law with absolutely everything we have on behalf of our patients because Iowa will not go back", Suzanna de Baca, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, said in a statement.




The bill is widely seen as a challenge to the Roe v. Wade supreme court decision that granted women the right to have an abortion.

The Fetal Heartbeat Bill passed the House on Tuesday and the state Senate on Wednesday. Sandy Salmon said after the signing.

Critics have pointed out that the legislation would effectively ban abortion at six weeks and before a woman is aware that she is pregnant.

While Reynolds was posing with children inside her official office, Sen.

"The bold pro-life action taken by the Iowa legislature reflects growing national pro-life sentiment and restlessness under the extreme status quo imposed by Roe v. Wade", Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List said in a statement.

Leah Van Den Bosch was one of the women leading the protest, and marched a letter straight to the governor's doorstep pleading with her to veto the bill.

Earlier this week, the Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature passed a so-called "heartbeat bill " banning abortion at around six weeks of gestation, when most women don't even know they're pregnant. In a tweet posted yesterday, May 4, the ACLU of Iowa announced: "The ACLU of Iowa, along with Planned Parenthood, will not let this stand and will file a lawsuit to block this clearly unconstitutional law".

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