Speed Reads

Abortion Debate

Iowa lawmakers pass restrictive fetal heartbeat abortion ban

In Iowa, the state legislature has passed a bill that would make abortion illegal as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is after about six weeks of pregnancy.

Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) has not said if she will sign the law, which was passed by the state House late Tuesday and state Senate early Wednesday. Iowa now allows most abortions up to 20 weeks, but if this new measure is signed into law, the state will have one of the most restrictive bans in the country. Many women do not realize they are pregnant before six weeks, and Iowa Public Radio says the legislation would make some exceptions for rape, incest, fetal abnormalities, and if the mother's life is in danger.

House Republicans said they want the law to be challenged, The Des Moines Register reports, so it can go to the U.S. Supreme Court, their ultimate goal being to overturn Roe v. Wade.