Women’s reproductive rights have been a hot-button topic in the political realm for decades. Women throughout society have been vocal about their right to do what they choose in regards to the termination of current pregnancies which has sparked a moral debate between religious communities and liberated women. Now, Iowa is the first state to take extreme measures preventing women the ability to terminate pregnancies just after six weeks of conception with a law recently passed entitled the ‘Heartbeat’ abortion bill signed by Iowa state Governor Kim Reynolds this past Friday.
In the past, Iowa allowed pregnancy terminations up to 20 weeks like most states. However, with this new bill taking effect come July 1, women who might not be knowledgeable of their pregnancy will not be able to make the personal choice of terminating if they are past the six-week mark, which is usually around the time a fetal heartbeat can be detected during pregnancy. The “Heartbeat” abortion bill does make exceptions for medical emergencies, rape victims, and incestual pregnancies.
As expected, no Democrats voted to enable the law but received significant support from Republican lawmakers.
Democratic National Committee women’s media director, Elizabeth Renda, stated the following in a written statement, “This unconstitutional bill is nothing but a thinly veiled attack on Iowa women’s most basic rights and freedoms — every woman deserves the fundamental right to make decisions about her own body with her doctor.”
Dr. Jamilla Perritt, a member of the Physicians for Reproductive Health coalition stated the following about the bill, “The likelihood that an individual can miss her period, get a pregnancy test, then make an appointment to see an abortion provider, take time off of work if she’s working, find childcare for her other children, get in to get her abortion and have all of that done prior to a six-week time period is absolutely unrealistic and unreasonable.”
Governor Kim Reynolds, the public servicewoman who instated the bill had this to say in a written statement addressing the law, “I understand that not everyone will agree with this decision… But if death is determined when a heart stops beating, then doesn’t a beating heart indicate life? For me, it is immoral to stop an innocent beating heart.”
Several organizations have come forward in unison against the bill and plan to do everything in their power to prevent the Heartbeat abortion bill from coming to fruition.