Iowa introduces America's strictest 'heartbeat' abortion law

Pro-abortion activists demonstrate in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington DC

On Friday, May 4, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed the controversial "Fetal Heartbeat" abortion bill into law, effectively making the state the most hard in the union in which to terminate a pregnancy. Since a heartbeat is generally detected around the sixth week of pregnancy, this legislation will significantly reduce the number of abortions in the state.

"The reality is, with new scientific methods, we know when the heart starts beating in an unborn child and ... we use when the heart stops to define when death occurs", Edler said.

The Republican governor signed the measure as abortion rights demonstrators chanting "My body, my choice!" protested the measure outside the state Capitol building in Des Moines.

At the rally, officials from the Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the ACLU of Iowa said they would immediately take legal action if the governor signed the bill.

The fetal heartbeat bill has been a highly debated topic in the Iowa Legislation, with months of debate before getting passed by the Iowa House and Senate earlier this week.

So, how much do we need to worry about this bill and the future of Roe v. Wade?

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If Reynolds signs the bill into law, its impact on OB-GYN training at the University of Iowa, the only such program in the state, remains in question.

But Ms Belin suggests that Planned Parenthood, an inevitable plaintiff that will challenge Iowa's ban, may have a trick up its sleeve.

Within a half hour, the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa announced it will go to court to block implementation of the law before it takes effect July 1. Reynolds said. "For me, my faith leads me to protect every Iowan, no matter how small". A similar court challenge is under way in Kentucky, which in April enacted a ban on a common abortion procedure from the 11th week of pregnancy.

It would also ban all persons from knowingly acquiring, providing, transferring, or using fetal remains in Iowa. Rick Bertrand say they're counting on such a fight and plan to win it.

With the advancements in medical technology and science, we can now definitively point to the fact that from the moment of conception, a new and unique human life is being formed in the womb.

"The only reason this can be considered unconstitutional is because we have not determined in the courts when life begins", said State Rep. Shannon Lundgren, Iowa Republican. This would not apply to medical diagnostic samples, or forensic investigations, or to fetal body parts donated for medical research after a miscarriage or stillbirth.

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