Iowa Lawmakers Approve Ban on Most Abortions

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The Iowa affiliate of Planned Parenthood says it plans to file a lawsuit challenging a six-week abortion ban if the state's Republican governor signs it into law.

The heartbeat bill doesn't ban all abortions: Some exceptions are made in cases of rape, incest and abnormalities in the fetus.

Jeanne Mancini, President of March for Life applauded Reynolds and said the law "will not only save lives", but also "reminds us that abortion stops a beating heart".

"By passing an intentionally unconstitutional bill, Iowa Republicans have declared that they do not care about the foundational values of our state, or Iowa's future", Planned Parenthood Voters of Iowa said.

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The "heartbeat bill", as it has come to be known in the USA, requires women to have an ultrasound to screen for a foetal heartbeat before they can receive an abortion. Emboldened by the court's makeup, they think it will help overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision by the Supreme Court that legalized the right to an abortion in all 50 states.

The bill, approved by the Midwestern state's Republican-controlled legislature just two days earlier, was expected to trigger a legal battle, which conservatives hope will land the flashpoint social issue back at the US Supreme Court.

While supporters of these new restrictive abortion laws say that this is a step forward for justice, critics feel it's another overstep by the government obstructing the rights of women.

The Chicago Tribune adds that more than 100 pro-abortion protesters gathered outside the state Capital to condemn the legislation on Friday, and some even left coat hangers, a symbol of a popular myth about illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade, by the desks of Reynolds' staffers.

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Anti-abortion activists who visited the Statehouse for the National Day of Prayer said they are praying that Reynolds will sign the bill. She credited her faith as the force that "leads her to protect every Iowan, no matter how small".

"It dumbfounds me when the opposition states that abortions are safe, legal and rare", she said.

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

U.S. Representative Steve King (R-Iowa), who is sponsoring similar legislation at the federal level, praised his counterparts in Des Moines. "I stand behind our governor and her support of a bill that will uphold our pro-life values and outlaw this terrible practice of selling fetal body parts".

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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.

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