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Note: Please see a recent update in AP style, which avoids the use of "fetal heartbeat" bill since this legislation addresses neither a fetus (it's still an embryo) nor a heartbeat (it hasn't yet developed a heart).   

Des Moines, IA Today, Iowa Republicans used a rushed, one-day special session to pass a near-total abortion ban that outlaws abortion when cardiac activity is detected. This is often at around six weeks and before many people even know they are pregnant. Today’s action comes just weeks after an Iowa Supreme Court order denied Gov. Reynolds’ request to implement a ban that would have also outlawed abortion at around the same time.    

Pursuing an extreme, harmful abortion ban goes against the will of Iowans, 61% of whom support access to abortion in most or all cases.  

Statement from Mazie Stilwell, Director of Public Affairs of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa:  

“This unprecedented move by politicians for the sole purpose of infringing on our personal freedoms is an over-reaching power grab that could not be more out of touch with the will of Iowans. It’s now very clear that Iowa politicians have more control over our bodies and futures than we do. They dictate what health care we can access and when we can access it. They now get to decide who is forced to carry a pregnancy. Legislators should not be playing politics with our bodies. No one should make those deeply personal decisions for someone else.    

“Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa stands with the majority of Iowans who support keeping abortion safe and legal in our state. The only way we can regain control of our bodily autonomy is at the ballot box. We will remind Iowans at every turn of the assault on their freedoms by legislators who are supposed to work for them and hold our elected officials accountable for every vote they take that erodes our reproductive freedom and access to health care.”  

Statement from Connie Ryan, Executive Director, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa and Action Fund 

“It is a dark day for Iowans. Republican lawmakers passed one of the most draconian pieces of legislation tonight that will gravely limit the reproductive rights of Iowans. The legislation, headed to the governor’s desk for her certain signature, is contrary to the will of the 61% of Iowans who support the right to safe and legal abortion. The pressure to ban or hinder access to abortion comes from one extreme fragment of one religion. In a strong democracy where separation of government and religion protect both, one religious belief should never be inserted into public policy. Iowans are more than disappointed in Republican lawmakers, including the Governor, for choosing to disregard the fundamental right to make personal reproductive health care decisions.” 

Statement from Keenan Crow, Director of Policy and Advocacy at OneIowa Action: 

"Abortion is health care, full stop, and the government has no business inserting itself between a pregnant person and their doctor in making those decisions. Health care is a human right and this is a human rights issue. We know this ruling will disproportionately impact Black, Brown, disabled, and other marginalized people the most. We are mourning with those who lost the right to choose what is best for their lives today, and we stand strong with our siblings raising their voices on behalf of bodily autonomy and health care for all.”   

Statement from Matt Sinovic, Executive Director of Progress Iowa: 

“Every single Iowan values our freedoms. And we are tired of this MAGA Republican controlled legislature interfering with our private lives to take away the rights of Iowans.  

The vast majority of Iowans support the right to access abortion. No matter what hateful, divisive law is signed by Governor Reynolds, Iowans know that everyone deserves the freedom to access good health care and make their own medical decisions. 

The fight for reproductive freedom must continue. We will remain dedicated to the fight and welcome any Iowan who has had enough and wants to use their voice to join us.” 

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Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa (PPAI) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a mission of fostering and preserving a social and political climate favorable to reproductive health. To meet this mission, PPAI engages in lobbying, issues education, and supporter mobilization.  

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