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Iowa Passes Law Banning Abortion After Six Weeks

Iowa lawmakers passed a law that will ban most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Abortion rights groups have already announced their preparation to fight the bill.

Abortion is currently legal in Iowa up to 22 weeks gestation. The new legislation will criminalize the procedure after the detection of fetal cardiac activity. Women may not even know they are pregnant before this time.

The law will take effect once Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signs it. Abortion access is already almost completely restricted in neighboring states of South Dakota, Wisconsin and Missouri, with the new bill severely restricting the procedure across the Midwest.

Iowa’s new bill does offer some exemptions to the rule based on the life and health of the pregnant person, and for survivors of rape and incest, though cases must be reported to law enforcement before victims can seek abortion access.

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After the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last year, Reynolds attempted to reinstate a 2018 law that also banned abortion after the detection of fetal cardiac activity. However, she was blocked by a district court judge and appealed to the Supreme Court last month, which deadlocked and thus upheld the lower court’s decision.

“I believe the pro-life movement is the most important human rights cause of our time,” said Reynolds in a statement. “Not only will I continue to fight against the inhumanity of abortion, but I will also remain committed to supporting women in planning for motherhood, promoting fatherhood and parenting, and continuing policies that encourage strong families.”

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa tweeted before the vote, urging protestors to disrupt the session at the Iowa State Capitol.

“Now is the time to get loud and show up in force at the Capitol to fight back against attacks on abortion access,” the group tweeted. “Together, we will make our voices heard and hold elected officials accountable for any vote they take to restrict abortion.”

Ava Lombardi

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