Iowa lawmakers speak ahead of special session Tuesday
(ABC 6 News) – It’s been just over a year since the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision that would change history by overturning Roe v. Wade. This change led many states including Iowa to rethink their abortion laws.
Iowa’s Republican controlled legislature is looking to put a ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. The proposed bill is similar to the failed Fetal Heartbeat Bill in 2018.
Like the 2018 bill, the new bill, if passed, will ban abortions once cardiac activity is detected. That’s typically about six weeks into pregnancy and before many know they are actually pregnant. Currently, the state allows abortions up until 20 weeks into pregnancy.
“Have the robust debate and get the bill across the finish line to the Governor’s desk and then we’ll go from there,” said Republican Rep. Henry Stone of Forest City.
“This is a one-day special session. Let’s make it count. Let’s protect life. Then we’ll talk about it and what we’re gonna do from that point on.”
Democratic Representative Sharon Steckman of Mason City says her party is being kept out of the know by Republicans. They haven’t seen the bill being prepared.
“The minority part and all of Iowa, Iowans have not seen the bill. If it’s the bill passed in 2018, it will be the most restrictive and extreme bill in the nation.”
Before the session even begins, advocacy groups are fighting back like Iowa Right to Life. One woman says we need to fight for tougher abortion laws and she’s happy Governor Kim Reynolds is taking action.
“Our fight is for the sanctity of human life from the unborn elderly and disabled because we feel like life has an inherent value,” said Kristi Judkins with Iowa Right to Life.
Then there are faith groups like Interfaith Alliance of Iowa. Members of the group say Iowans have the right to legal and safe abortions.
“There are so many variables in any pregnancy and in the life of every pregnant person and their family,” said Rev. Betsey Monnot with the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa.
“Women in Iowa who become pregnant should be able to make their own health care decisions.”
Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in Iowa plans to protest outside the state capitol Tuesday. This will not be the first time it’s spoken out. Its filed lawsuits challenging the state’s abortion restrictions.
The current draft of the bill, which could be amended before a vote includes exceptions for rape, incest, fetal abnormality, and medical emergencies.