DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a six-week abortion ban into law, marking the strictest abortion regulation in the nation.
The Republican governor signed the bill on Friday in her formal office at the state Capitol. But the measure is expected to quickly face a court challenge.
The Iowa affiliates of Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union warned earlier Friday at a rally that they would sue Reynolds if she signed the bill. Iowa's Republican-controlled Legislature approved the legislation earlier in the week.
The legislation would ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is around six weeks of pregnancy.
Similar bans approved in other states haven't gone into effect because they were challenged in court over their constitutionality.
Governor Reynolds issued the following statement after signing the bill: “I believe that all innocent life is precious and sacred, and as governor, I pledged to do everything in my power to protect it. That is what I am doing today. I understand that not everyone will agree with this decision. But if death is determined when a heart stops beating, then doesn't a beating heart indicate life? For me, it is immoral to stop an innocent beating heart. For me, it is sickening to sell fetal body parts. For me, my faith leads me to protect every Iowan, no matter how small.
“I understand and anticipate that this will likely be challenged in court, and that courts may even put a hold on the law until it reaches the Supreme Court. However, this is bigger than just a law. This is about life. I am not going to back down from who I am or what I believe in.”
ACLU of Iowa Executive Director Mark Stringer issued this statement on the new law: “The ACLU of Iowa, along with Planned Parenthood, will not let this dangerous, unconstitutional law stand. Instead, we will protect the fundamental right of Iowa women to control their bodies and their lives. The ACLU of Iowa is proud to be a part of the litigation team that will sue to strike down this clearly unconstitutional law before it goes into effect on July 1.
"It’s clear, after decades of legal precedent, that an abortion ban at around six weeks—before many women even know they’re pregnant—is unconstitutional. And supporters of this abortion ban know it is unconstitutional. They have been willing to push it through because their goal is to overturn Roe vs. Wade and ban abortions altogether. Their goal is to take away women’s rights to control their own bodies.
"This is a bad way to make legislation. This is a bad way to treat the women of our state. This is bad for Iowa."