Iowa Legislature Passes "Heartbeat" Abortion Bill

[Content Note: War on agency; anti-choice oppression.]

The Iowa legislature's Republican majority has passed a bill that would ban abortions after the point at which a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is around the sixth week of pregnancy and often before many women et. al. know they are pregnant. No Democrats voted for the bill, which now goes to the desk of Republican Governor Kim Reynolds.
"The time is now," bill manager Rep. Shannon Lundgren, R-Peosta, said early Tuesday afternoon when debate started on Senate File 359 that started in 2017 as a prohibition on the transfer of fetal body tissue. At about 11 p.m., the House passed the bill 51-46 and sent it to the Senate where debate started shortly before 1 a.m.

It's time for the GOP to "quit playing doctor and stop using your positions of power to harass, control, and disrespect Iowa women," Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, said. And Sen. Liz Mathis, D-Hiawatha, said the bill isn't about reducing the number of abortions. Instead, its sponsors seem "hell-bent on making a name for those who are set to challenge Roe v. Wade," she said.

"Never mind how women's rights will be run over by the Family Leader bus that's headed to the U.S. Supreme Court," Mathis said.

Even though it was the middle of the night, Sen. Rick Bertrand, R-Sioux City, who led a group of Republicans who refused to vote for budget bills until getting a chance to vote for the fetal heartbeat bill, said it was a "good day for life."

He acknowledged this bill is an attempt to "take another run at Roe v. Wade," he said about the 1973 Supreme Court decision to allow abortion, and predicted the bill will be the vehicle for overturning that decision. "We're not hiding that."
Grim stuff.

Presuming Reynolds signs the bill into law, as she is expected to do, the law will be challenged in court. Which is precisely what its supporters are hoping.

And once again, the future of reproductive rights hangs in the balance. But do tell me again how there was "no difference" between an abusive misogynist with zero respect for women's agency and consent who chose as his running mate one of the most virulently anti-choice politicians in the nation, and a feminist who has spent her life advocating for healthcare access, including and especially reproductive healthcare.


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