The bill was passed after Republican Governor Kim Reynolds called a special session to address abortion after the Iowa Supreme Court blocked the state’s 2018 Heartbeat Act last month. Reynold’s said she would sign the bill on Friday.
“The Iowa Supreme Court questioned whether this legislature would pass the same law they did in 2018, and today they have a clear answer. The voices of Iowans and their democratically elected representatives cannot be ignored any longer, and justice for the unborn should not be delayed,” she said in a statement.
The bill contains several exceptions, including in cases of rape or incest.
“As a pro-life Governor, I am also committed to continuing policies to support women in planning for motherhood, promote the importance of fatherhood, and encourage strong families. Our state and country will be stronger because of it,” Reynolds said.
The bill passed 56-34 in the House and 32-17 in the Senate. It was widely supported by Republicans and opposed by Democrats.
“This bill ensures all life is protected when a heartbeat is detected,” Republican state Sen. Amy Sinclair said during a discussion on the legislation, according to the Iowa Capital Dispatch. “The child in her mother’s womb has her own heartbeat, her own DNA. She’s a baby, and she deserves the same protections as any other baby in the state.”
The bill was passed amidst heated debate among the legislature and protests inside the Capitol.
“Senator Sinclair, don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining,” Democratic Senator Liz Bennett said, leading presiding Senator Brad Zaun to call for decorum.
Pro-abortion protesters showed up in force, chanting and yelling at Iowa lawmakers, video shows.
Tensions are rising at the Iowa Capitol. Loud, profane outburst from abortion rights demonstrators after House Health and Human Services Committee votes 14-6 on party lines to advance six-week abortion ban to the House floor. pic.twitter.com/7kXlsQmZIe
— Tom Barton (@tjbarton83) July 11, 2023
Another video captured from the Capitol showed a verbal confrontation between Michael Shover, a pastor at a church in Pella, Iowa, who said the pro-abortion protesters “have no standard of right and wrong.” A state trooper intervened as a woman who supports abortion rights waved a sign in Shover’s face.
The state Supreme Court previously struck down the 2018 Heartbeat Bill, saying that it was enacted with no chance of being implemented under Roe v. Wade and that the legislature would need to pass the law again for it to have force.