Iowa bill would end requirement for spouse's consent before hysterectomies

Iowa bill would end requirement for spouse's consent before hysterectomies
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A new Iowa bill would end a requirement for women to seek their spouses' consent before receiving a hysterectomy.

The bill, which was introduced by state House Republicans, passed unanimously in the House in March, but was met with opposition in the Senate, according to the Des Moines Register.

House File 684 stated that it would free women, aged 18 or older, in the state from obtaining permission from their spouses in order to receive the medical procedure that removes the uterus. House lawmakers have argued that some doctors are still operating under the requirement, though they declined to name any.

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State senators pushed back on the bill, citing a lack of evidence that the practice was an issue, and it was eventually killed in the Iowa Senate Human Resources Committee. The requirement is not an Iowa law, according to the Register.

"I'm really searching to find where or who or what went on with that issue," Sen. Jeff Edler (R), who chairs the Human Resources Committee, told the outlet.

The bill was later reintroduced by state Rep. Ann Meyer (R) as an amendment to another bill that would ban assisted reproduction fraud. If that bill is approved by the House, it will move on to the Senate to be considered, the Register reported.

Meyer reportedly said that she is hopeful that the bill could pass this year.

"This is a couple sentences to put in code just to give women a little protection," Meyer said, according to the Register. "I don't have a problem with, again, giving women the freedom to control their own body."