In a 30-20 vote Wednesday evening, the Iowa Senate passed SF 2281, a bill that would ban abortions in Iowa after the baby’s heartbeat can be detected.
The Iowa Coalition of Pro-Life Leaders, an alliance of over 35 pro-life groups in Iowa including The FAMiLY LEADER, released a statement praising the vote.
“Iowa’s Coalition of Pro-Life Leaders celebrates the State Senate’s principled leadership in protecting Iowa’s most innocent with passage of the ‘Heartbeat bill,’ SF 2281,” the statement reads. “Iowa’s Senate today recognized the baby in the womb has her own DNA, her own heartbeat, is her own unique person. She’s a baby, and she should have her birthday.”
The statement continues: “All eyes now turn to the Iowa House. We encourage our state representatives to join their peers in the Senate by standing for Iowa mothers and their children and sending Heartbeat legislation to the governor’s desk.”
Indeed, Heartbeat legislation now faces a deadline in the Iowa House. The bill must pass through a House committee by March 16, the “second funnel” date, in order to reach the House floor for a vote. If the bill does not meet that deadline, it is most likely dead for the 2018 session.
Watch video from the Iowa Capitol, including exclusive interviews and testimony from the floor of the Senate, below:
The Senate vote fell along party lines, with 29 Republicans and one independent voting for, and the 20 Senate Democrats voting against. This despite national polling, which reveals 7 in 10 Americans – 86 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of Independents, and 55 percent of Democrats – favor protecting a baby’s life after her heartbeat can be detected.
SF 2281 establishes criminal penalties for doctors who violate the law, while specifically excluding mothers from criminal liability. It also contains an exception for a “medical emergency” in which a doctor determines a woman’s life is endangered by continuing the pregnancy.