Pregnant woman sitting on sofa looking at her unborn baby's ultrasound scan

Iowa’s 20-week abortion ban – What’s next?


On April 18, the Iowa Legislature approved the final version of a bill, SF471, which bans most abortions in Iowa beyond 20 weeks gestation. The bill will be sent to the desk of Gov. Terry Branstad, who is expected to sign it into law.

SF471 also contains additional provisions aimed at protecting life:

  • It makes an exception for abortions that would save the life of the mother or save her from “substantial and irreversible physical harm.”
  • It enacts a 72-hour notice requirement that the mother be advised of certain information, including an ultrasound and the opportunity to hear the baby’s heartbeat.

For many pro-life Iowans, passage of SF471 is both a significant milestone in the fight to defend life and proof that there’s still much work to do.

“We will celebrate any baby’s life saved, and this 20-week ban is a good ‘baby step’ toward that end,” said Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER, “but it’s not enough.”

“The FAMiLY LEADER will work until every child’s right to life is protected, from the moment of conception to natural death,” he continued. “Because that little girl in her mother’s womb? She’s a baby.”

What’s next?

At a pro-life rally held in March by The Coalition of Pro-Life Leaders (of which TFL is a member), Iowa’s top legislative and executive officials publicly pledged they “would not settle” for SF471.

“Know that we’re not done,” affirmed Iowa House Speaker Linda Upmeyer.

“We are not going to stop,” Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix added.

It is now up to everyday Iowans to hold their elected representatives accountable to their words. The video below highlights their commitments:

Though the 2017 legislative session is coming to a close, TFL and the Coalition of Pro-Life Leaders remain committed to advancing two, united goals in 2018 and beyond:

  • Stopping taxpayer dollars from funding abortion clinics
  • Legislation that affirms life begins at conception

Ready to join the fight? Visit today and click “I agree, she’s a baby!”

What can YOU do?

We must begin now laying the foundation for the fight in 2018:

  • Do not forget the promises made by Iowa’s elected leaders above.
  • Do not forget very first plank in the platform of Iowa’s governing, majority party affirms life begins at conception.
  • Do get involved today to get results tomorrow. Visit and click “I agree, she’s a baby!” You’ll be given four, different and easy ways you can start making a difference right away.