by Kelvey Vander Hart
The state of Iowa just made headlines with the passage and signing of the “Heartbeat Bill,” a piece of legislation that will ban the majority of abortions within the state.
“I understand that not everyone will agree with this decision,” stated Governor Kim Reynolds. “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.”
The new law will prohibit all abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, giving it the distinction of being the most restrictive abortion ban in the U.S. It is being lauded by the pro-life community while protested by those who support abortion.
“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,” stated Democratic National Committee women’s media director Elizabeth Renda.
Shortly after the bill was signed, the American Civil Liberties Union announced they would be suing the state in an effort to keep the new law from going into effect. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland also indicated a willingness to battle the law, tweeting, “We will fight like hell with everything we have.”
It may seem like the pro-life community in Iowa would be dreading a challenge of this new law through the court system; however, that is simply not the case. Many are waiting in eager anticipation because they see a legal battle as the next step on the road to victory for life.
“This bill will be the vehicle that will ultimately provide change and provide the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade,” explained Iowa Republican State Senator Rick Bertrand during floor debate. “There’s nothing hidden here about the agenda. You know, today the pro-life movement won a battle, but the war rages on.”
The pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List sees the legal possibilities within this legislation as well. “The bold pro-life action taken by the Iowa Legislature reflects growing national pro-life sentiment and restlessness under the extreme status quo imposed by Roe v. Wade,” stated Marjorie Dannenfelser, the organization’s president. “While Roe has not yet been reversed, it has been soundly rejected in the court of public opinion.”
Even while anticipating a legal battle, Gov. Reynolds firmly held her ground in defense of signing the bill into law.
“I understand and anticipate that this will likely be challenged in court and that courts may even put a hold on the law until it reaches the Supreme Court,” she stated. “However, this is bigger than just a law. This is about life. I am not going to back down from who I am or what I believe in.”
Photo credit: Victoria Pickering via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0