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Iowa passes 'most restrictive' abortion law in US

Iowa passes 'most restrictive' abortion law in US

The Iowa House narrowly approved the controversial bill 51-46, and the Senate passed it by a vote of 29-17.

The general assembly, which has a Republican Party majority, has approved a bill banning most abortions once a foetal heartbeat is detected. The U.S. Supreme Court then declined to review the cases.

But the Republicans pressing the Iowa legislation are making a decisive turn away from the small incremental measures of the past that have, in their view, merely chipped away at abortion rights.

"I would love for the United States Supreme Court to look at this bill and have this as a vehicle to overturn Roe v. Wade", said Sen. "This bill says it's time to change the way we think about unborn life", said Rep.

If signed, the bill would arguably become one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. Critics say it would deny abortions to many women before they even know they are pregnant - with an exception for victims of rape or incest.

Brenna Smith, the governor's spokesperson, said the governor is "100 percent prolife", but the governor's office has not received legislation and the "governor does not comment on any bill until she sees it in its final form", reported the Des Moines Register.

The newest Iowa bill, which the state Senate passed early Wednesday after overnight wrangling by lawmakers, requires any woman seeking an abortion to undergo an abdominal ultrasound to screen for a fetal heartbeat. The bill also would ban selling or donating fetal tissue from abortions or still births for medical research.

"The Iowa legislators' attempt to effectively ban abortion is a blemish on the state and serves as a reminder that Iowa's leadership does not value health care", Erin Davison-Rippey, public affairs director of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and Planned Parenthood Voters of Iowa, said in a statement. A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into pregnancy, two weeks after a first missed period, and well before a person may realize that they are pregnant.

"I believe this legislation is important because we need to do everything in our power to encourage young women.to come forward and tell people that they've been raped so that we can bring that perpetrator to justice", she said. "But, when I got right down to it, for the women in my family and the things they have gone through, I decided I could not support this bill at this time". "They don't care how many women's lives will be damaged because of inadequate access to care or how many families may choose to go elsewhere because Iowa is no longer a state where they are safe to live and work". There's nothing hidden here about the agenda.

"It would take the Supreme Court to step in", said pro-life advocate Bryan Gibson.

Two people are seen in the Iowa State Capitol building on January 27, 2016 in Des Moines.

Those in the House who voted for the measure include speaker Linda Upmeyer, Tedd Gassman, Terry Baxter and Senator Waylon Brown, all of whom are Republican, while those who voted no include Republican Jane Bloomingdale, and Democrats Todd Prichard, Sharon Steckman and Senator Amanda Ragan.

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