Iowa poised to enact toughest abortion law

Rep. Shannon Lundgren R-Peosta speaks in the Iowa House Tuesday

Rep. Shannon Lundgren R-Peosta speaks in the Iowa House Tuesday

The only state that has fewer practicing OBGYNs than Iowa is Arkansas.

The leader of the Iowa Democratic Party says Republicans are giving tax cuts to the wealthy and special interests in the midst of a state budget crisis.

Iowa's Republican Governor and Republican legislators announced a tax agreement Friday night, but the legislation to implement the plan was still being written over the weekend. Ohio's legislation caused a rift among the anti-abortion community, as some thought the extreme ban distracted from other efforts to incrementally chip away at Roe v. Wade. Rick Bertrand, from Sioux City, who said the legislation is created to be "thrust into the court" that has become more conservative following President Donald Trump's appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch.

As the bill heads to Reynolds' desk of, University of Iowa constitutional-law Professor Paul Gowder said the bill will nearly certainly not survive a court challenge. Her decision is expected within days.

The so-called "heartbeat bill" (Senate File 359) outlaws abortion care for women after a fetal heartbeat is detectable, generally at around six weeks of pregnancy. Experts say such detection is possible at around six weeks of pregnancy.

If the bill is signed into law, it's likely it will be challenged in court.

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Iowa enacted a 20-week abortion ban last session after Republicans gained a unified government in the 2016 elections.

The bill does include language that shields women who seek an abortion from being penalized. If one is detected, health-care providers are barred from performing an abortion. A six-week cutoff, she said, would force an immediate decision. "This bill says it's time to change the way we think about unborn life", said Rep.

"This law, if signed, I believe could very well be the very bill that overturns Roe v. Wade", said Sen.

"This legislation affirms the scientific fact that human life begins at conception", the American Family Association, a conservative Christian group based in MS, said in a statement. "There's nothing hidden here about the agenda". Life begins at conception. Michael Breitbach, a Republican from Strawberry Point, said an estimated $150 million worth of rebates and energy efficiency incentives will still be handed out annually by Iowa electric and gas utilities.

The exceptions were a "good thing", Wessel-Kroeschell said, "but you can not put lipstick on this pig and make it better". "The fight for life is a fight worth fighting at every step of the way".

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied hearing the case of a similar law from North Dakota in recent years.

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Lawmakers - many who spoke a couple of times - talked about the constitutionality of the proposed legislation, the morality of abortion, its emotional costs and religious arguments against it. The bill will also make exemptions for cases where the fetus will not survive birth.

Federal courts often prevent restrictive abortion bills from becoming law.

In the Iowa House, State Representatives Jane Bloomingdale (R-Northwood), Chip Baltimore (R-Boone), Lee Hein (R-Monticello), Dave Maxwell (R-Gibson), Andy McKean (R-Anamosa), and Louie Zumbach (R-Coggon) were the only Republicans to vote against the bill. However, amendments passed loosened the bill's abortion restrictions, allowing the bill to garner extra votes it needed to pass.

Beyond the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines, the bill drew fierce criticism from abortion rights advocates and effusive praise among abortion opponents. But Democrats see opportunities in November, hoping to defeat Reynolds, gain ground in the Legislature and perhaps flip some congressional districts.

"People with means will be able to go and receive the treatment that they want wherever they need to go and receive it, whether its in their city, their state, or their country", Lawrence said.

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