State Watch

Iowa lawmakers pass strictest abortion law in the US

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Iowa lawmakers on Wednesday passed the strictest abortion legislation in the U.S., sending the legislation to Gov. Kim Reynolds’s (R) desk.

The legislation, known as the heartbeat bill, aims to block abortions once a heartbeat is detected, which would essentially ban the procedure for most by the sixth week of pregnancy. 


The legislation has faced fierce opposition, with critics saying the measure would make a woman unable to get an abortion before they even know they’re pregnant. 

If signed into law, the measure is expected to be legally challenged on whether it goes against past Supreme Court rulings, such as Roe v. Wade, which legalized the procedure.

Reynolds has not indicated whether she will sign the legislation.

The passage of the bill comes as the Trump administration has taken a hard-line stance on abortion, spurring a slew of abortion laws across the nation.

Nineteen states adopted a total of 63 restrictions to the procedure in 2017, which is the highest number of state laws on the issue since 2013, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

State legislatures have proposed 15 bills that would ban abortions after 20 weeks and 11 bills that would ban abortions if the sole reason is a genetic anomaly like Down syndrome.

Tags Abortion Iowa State laws
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