The state of Iowa is currently on the brink of a massive pro-life victory as the Iowa House of Representatives takes up the recently passed Senate File 2281, also referred to as The Heartbeat Bill, for consideration.
SF2281 is an act “relating to the prerequisites for and prohibition against an abortion related to the testing for, and following the detection of, a fetal heartbeat, providing for a repeal, and providing penalties.”
This bill was passed by the Iowa Senate on February 28th, with 30 voting for and 20 voting against. It was immediately sent to the state House for consideration.
An unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected a mere six weeks after conception. This bill would change the law so that, unless there is an emergency, a physician “shall not perform an abortion upon a pregnant woman when it has been determined that the unborn child has a detectable fetal heartbeat.”
A physician who performs the abortion while a fetal heartbeat is detectable will be guilty of a Class D felony. Any woman who undergoes a post-heartbeat abortion will not be held criminally or civilly liable.
Iowa state Senator Jason Schultz (R-District 9) took to Facebook after the bill passed the Senate, writing:
The Heartbeat Bill debate is over. Every Republican voted for protecting babies with a beating heart. Every Democrat voted against…The pressure needs to be placed on the Iowa House to move this bill to the Governor! This is our chance!
State Senator Amy Sinclair (R-District 14) was the bill’s sponsor. While running the bill on the Senate floor, she stated, “Senate File 2281 gets at the very heart and soul of what it means to be an American, of what it means to be a person.”
Clearly, with a completely partisan split vote, Iowa Senate Democrats were vehemently opposed to the passage of such pro-life legislation. Senate Minority Leader Janet Petersen (D-District 18) called the bill “unfathomable.”
“There are no other provisions in Iowa code that say an Iowan cannot access medical care unless it is to prevent death,” argued Petersen.
The Heartbeat Bill is set to be assigned to a House committee within the next few days. The Iowa State House is a little over a week from “funnel week” where many bills die in committee, and therefore, the pro-life community in Iowa is working feverishly to see action taken on this bill before that deadline.
Photo credit: Stephen Matthew Milligan via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0