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Iowa plans to further curb abortions in special session, draft shows

A draft bill shows Iowa plans to enact a ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
Iowa plans to further curb abortions in special session, draft shows
Posted at 5:12 PM, Jul 07, 2023

Republicans in Iowa's state legislature plan to proceed with legislation that will ban abortion after six weeks in the state.

Specifics of the proposed legislation became available after a draft bill was released on Friday. The bill calls for a ban on abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is typically around six weeks into a pregnancy. A woman may not yet realize she is pregnant at the time.

The bill includes exceptions for rape, incest, fetal abnormalities and medical emergencies.

A special session called by Iowa's Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds will start on Tuesday.

It comes after the state Supreme Court reversed a decision that protected abortion as a right under the Iowa constitution. 

But the court did not decide on the merits of the law, which leaves the way open for the legislature to pass a new law that bans abortions.

SEE MORE: Iowa gov. calls for special session to enact anti-abortion legislation

The bill is not expected to meet major headwinds in Iowa's Republican-controlled legislature, but challenges to the new legislation are expected. Planned Parenthood said it would protest at the state capitol on Tuesday.

Right now, abortion is legal in Iowa until 20 weeks of pregnancy.

According to data tracked by the abortion advocacy group Guttmacher Institute, Iowa is already among 26 states that either place multiple restrictions on abortions, or ban the procedure entirely.


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