Iowa’s Republican-controlled legislature on Wednesday passed a bill to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, effectively making abortion illegal after as few as six weeks. Under the new law, which would be the nation’s most restrictive, women seeking abortions would be required to take an ultrasound, and be barred from undergoing the procedure if the physician detected a heartbeat. The piece of legislation, known as the “heartbeat bill, is expected to be signed by Governor Kim Reynolds, a Trump-supporting Republican who has previously said that abortion is “equivalent to murder” and has spoken openly about “shifting the direction of the Supreme Court” so that the judicial body is pro-life.
In a statement on the Iowa House Floor on Tuesday, State Representative Shannon Lundgren, a Republican, hailed the bill as “courageous,” and declared that he wanted to defend the “most vulnerable, those without a voice — our unborn children.” State Representative Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, a Democrat, meanwhile, could be heard incredulously asking her colleagues what made them “decide to vote for this bill.”
“Obviously, there are 51 members of this body that feel they know more than the medical experts on what is good medical practice,” she said.
The new bill falls in the footsteps of similar legislation in Mississippi and Kentucky, where federal judges have had to temporarily block measures that banned abortion after 15 and 11 weeks respectively. Despite the bans’ being blocked on grounds of unconstitutionality, conservatives are hopeful that their legal challenges will lead to a showdown in front of the Supreme Court and potentially overturn Roe v. Wade, the case that made abortion legal nationwide in 1973.
Watch video coverage of the story below.
Read the full story at The Washington Post.