Iowa Senate Passes Fetal Heartbeat Abortion Bill

Grace Carr – February 9, 2018

The Iowa state senate voted late Thursday to approve a bill making abortion illegal upon the presence of a fetal heartbeat, sending the bill to the senate’s Judiciary Committee, where it will face further scrutiny.

The senate panel voted 2-1 to approve Senate Study Bill 3143, which outlaws abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected upon ultrasound. A heartbeat typically becomes detectable between six and nine weeks gestation. Any doctor who performs or attempts to perform an abortion on a woman after a heartbeat is detected will be charged with a Class D felony and subject to five years in prison and a fine of $750 to $7,500. The bill does however, allow abortion in cases where the mother’s life is in danger. No exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal abnormalities are included in the bill.

The Iowa house of representatives is currently reviewing a similar bill, H.F. 2163.