Baby, baby, can't you hear my heartbeat?
The law, which passed the Republican-controlled state legislature early Wednesday morning, contains exceptions where pregnancy threatens the life of the pregnant woman and for cases where the fetus will not survive birth. It also contains exceptions for cases of rape or incest, but only if the woman reports the rape to the police or a doctor within 45 days of the incident, or, for cases of incest, within 140 days, according to the Des Moines Register.
In recent years, state legislatures across the country have pushed similar bills banning abortions after six weeks and citing a fetus’ heartbeat as a standard, but before Friday none had been signed into law.
The usual suspects are challenging the law, from Planned Parenthood to just about everybody else in the modern Democratic Party. They claim that this law is denying a woman's choice and all the usual stuff about reproductive rights.
My guess that this one will end up in the Supreme Court, although there is another one from Mississippi in litigation as well.
It's been 45 years since Roe v Wade. We now have technology that shows an expectant mother a great deal of detail about the baby in the womb.
For years, the debate has been about an abortion in the abstract. Today, the debate is about a heartbeat that judges can actually hear. In other words, anyone who opposes the Iowa law has to be to say he is willing to shut off the heartbeat.
Let's see what happens next. I can imagine the sound of a heartbeat in a courtroom. It's going to be very difficult for anyone, other than someone in the pocket of Planned Parenthood, to say this is not a life.