Iowa 'heartbeat' abortion ban, strictest in US, becomes law

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If this bill is taken to the Supreme Court, it could potentially force the justices to reconsider the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a constitutional right to abortion.

Republican Governor Kim Reynolds signed the "Heartbeat" bill, which severely restricts the practice of abortion in the midwest state.

Jeanne Mancini, President of March for Life applauded Reynolds and said the law "will not only save lives", but also "reminds us that abortion stops a beating heart".

The law's supporters in Iowa argued that the Republican administration of President Donald Trump may have an opportunity to appoint more conservatives to the high court in the next few years, just in time for this latest law to wind through the legal system.

The bill signing came shortly after the Iowa affiliates of Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union warned that they would sue the governor if she signed the bill, which the Republican-controlled Legislature approved during after-hours votes earlier in the week. "Instead, we will protect the fundamental right of Iowa women to control their bodies and their lives". "However, this is bigger than just a law".

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There had been little doubt that Reynolds, who describes herself as "100 percent pro-life", would sign the bill. But the Supreme Court's decision in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt - which struck down two Texas restrictions that would have closed numerous clinics - appears to have dampened enthusiasm for the TRAP strategy in conservative legislatures across the country. "This is about life. I'm not going to back down from who I am or what I believe in". For example, a similar effort in OH failed in 2016 when Republican Gov. John Kasich vetoed the state's "heartbeat bill".

The bill has been dubbed the "heartbeat" bill, a highly loaded term, as one doctor pointed out in a HuffPost piece in 2016, asking instead that they be referred to as "fetal pole cardiac activity".

"We thank Iowa for recognizing that every life is a gift and that personhood has inherent dignity from the moment of conception", she said.

"This new unconstitutional law shows that Reynolds cares more about the extreme political special interests that fund her campaign than about the rights of women in our state". It additionally stated passage and enactment of the measure has set the state up for a protracted authorized struggle. This would not apply to medical diagnostic samples, or forensic investigations, or to fetal body parts donated for medical research after a miscarriage or stillbirth.

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