May 1, 2018 (Des Moines, IA) – In an apparent race to pass the most extreme abortion ban in the nation, Iowa lawmakers advanced the so-called fetal ‘heartbeat’ bill late Tuesday night. The bill was voted out of the House by a vote of 51-46 and was immediately taken up in the Senate, where it again passed through by a vote of 29-17. The bill is now headed to Governor Reynolds, who will inevitably lead Iowa into an expensive, lengthy legal battle if she signs it into law.
Erin Davison-Rippey, public affairs director, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Planned Parenthood Voters of Iowa:
“Today’s actions to ban abortion are an embarrassment to Iowa and they will remain a blemish on our state for the foreseeable future, serving as one more reminder that Iowa’s leadership does not value health care. Access to family planning and contraception, pre-natal care, mental health, and even basic affordable care under Medicaid are all in shambles. 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. They do not care how much taxpayer money will be spent on a lawsuit, 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. Plain and simple, the Republican caucus is out of control, and Iowans should be outraged that these politicians once again put their personal politics above health and common sense. If these lawmakers really wanted to decrease the need for abortion, they would work to increase access to birth control. Instead, they’ve decimated access to family planning because it is not about reducing abortion; it is about oppressing women and catering to a small, extreme interest group. We call on Gov. Reynolds to do the right thing and veto this unconstitutional, unconscionable abortion ban.”