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Iowa Board of Medicine considers rules for fetal heartbeat law

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds Associated Press/Photo by Charlie Neibergall

Iowa Board of Medicine considers rules for fetal heartbeat law

The Iowa Board of Medicine on Friday considered the rules of a new fetal heartbeat law that state lawmakers passed just after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision. The law would protect unborn babies from abortion once they have a detectable heartbeat, usually at around six weeks gestation. The law is on hold while challenges against it play out in court.

What is the Board of Medicine seeking to decide? Both pro-abortion and pro-life advocates have sought clarity regarding how the law would be enforced and how exceptions to the rule would be determined. The law contains exceptions for rape, incest, and medical abnormalities that threaten the life of the mother. The law, as it is written, requires doctors to ask patients whether the baby was conceived during a consensual sex act and requires them to make a judgment about whether a fetal abnormality threatens the life of the mother. Critics say the law does not detail consequences for doctors who break it and does not provide clear guidance on how to apply the law to minors.

Dig deeper: Read Joseph Backholm’s column in WORLD Opinions about how Americans love sex more than life.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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