Iowa’s fetal ‘heartbeat bill’ passed by lawmakers, sent to governor
Lawmakers in Iowa this week passed the so-called “heartbeat bill” which would ban abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected, or roughly around the sixth week of pregnancy.
The bill is now headed to Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ desk for a signature. Reynolds, who is pro-life, could not be reached for comment when contacted by Fox News on Wednesday.
If signed, the bill would arguably become one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.
The House passed the legislation on Tuesday night with a 51-46 vote, Iowa Public Radio reported. It was debated for more than eight hours before House representatives reached a decision. The bill then passed the Senate early Wednesday morning with a 27-19 vote.
The bill bans abortion in all cases after six weeks of pregnancy, which critics of the legislation argue is before most women are aware they are pregnant. Currently, a woman can receive an abortion in the state up to 20 weeks of pregnancy.
However, the bill would not ban abortion after six weeks in all cases — some exemptions include instances of rape, incest, fetal abnormalities or to save the mother’s life, according to the bill.
Supporters of the bill said the legislation would likely be challenged if signed into law, possibly making it to the Supreme Court. But a legal fight would be welcome, some lawmakers say.
“This bill will be the vehicle that will ultimately provide change and provide the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade. There’s nothing hidden here about the agenda. You know, today the pro-life movement won a battle, but the war rages on. My Republican colleagues, this is the vote of your career,” Republican Sen. Rick Bertrand said.