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Iowa lawmakers pass pro-life heartbeat bill in late-night session

Iowa lawmakers passed a law to protect babies after six weeks of pregnancy. Associated Press/Photo by Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Des Moines Register

Iowa lawmakers pass pro-life heartbeat bill in late-night session

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said she will sign into law on Friday a measure that will protect unborn babies after six weeks of pregnancy. The law would take effect immediately after it is signed. The Republican-led state Senate voted 32-17 to pass the bill late Tuesday night, two hours after the state House voted to pass the measure. Reynolds called the special session last week, and lawmakers held a public hearing Tuesday morning before casting their votes.

Have there been other attempts to pass these protections in Iowa? The state Supreme Court last month voted 3-3 to keep in place an injunction on the state’s heartbeat law that Reynolds signed in 2018. Current state law only protects babies from abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The new bill contains exemptions for medical emergencies and cases of rape or incest. 

Dig deeper: Read Leah Savas’ report in Vitals about how states are clarifying abortion exceptions in their laws.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

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