The Iowa Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would ban abortions in the state once an unborn baby’s heartbeat has been detected.
According to the Des Moines Register, the bill passed the Senate 30-20 and is now headed to the state’s GOP-controlled House. Iowa is already one of several states that bans abortions after 20 weeks, with few exceptions.
Perhaps most amazingly, the bill was sponsored by a woman: state Sen. Amy Sinclair, who told her Senate colleagues that she remembers hearing her son's heartbeat for the first time on an ultrasound monitor and listening to her father's heartbeat fade when he died.
"In each of those cases I knew the heartbeat or the lack of one was the indication of another human being’s life," she argued. "Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, people in this chamber with a beating heart, please take a moment with me to reflect on what it means to be human, to be a person with rights, to aggressively defend your own right to life and to defend your reasonable expectation that your government should actively support you and all other individuals with a beating heart in that very same endeavor."
Fetal heartbeats can usually be detected around six weeks, before some women ever even know they’re pregnant.
Sinclair’s bill also states that unless there’s a medical emergency or the woman’s life is in danger, a physician can’t perform an abortion unless a pregnant woman has first been tested to detect a fetal heartbeat. The current version of the bill doesn’t include exceptions for rape and incest.
Pro-abortion lawmakers, predictably, slammed a bill banning the dismemberment of living children as "unconstitutional," "extreme" and "dangerous."
While laws restricting abortion vary from state to state, there are currently no states that ban abortions this early in a pregnancy. Similar proposals have been shot down in state legislatures and vetoed by state governors (we're looking at you, John Kasich), while others have been overturned by courts.
Because amazingly, in 2018, where it’s possible to perform in-utero surgery to repair defects in infants no longer than a banana and pull premature babies born at 22 weeks from the brink of death, it’s still up for debate whether we should be able to legally butcher innocent human beings with heartbeats.