A key Democratic senator says a bill that would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy is a “political ploy” by Republicans. The Republican-led Iowa House has voted for that abortion ban, but the bill has stalled in the senate.
Senator Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, says he’ll introduce another bill, instead, that would specifically prevent a Nebraska doctor from opening a late-term abortion clinic in Council Bluffs. Last year Dr. LeRoy Carhart announced he intended to open a clinic in Iowa after the state of Nebraska banned abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.
Senator Bolkcom says he shares the goal of preventing Carhart from coming to Iowa, but Bolkcom says he won’t embrace the House-passed bill because there are no exceptions to the abortion ban for the life of the mother, or for abortions in cases of rape, incest or when fetal abnormalities would prevent the baby from surviving after it’s born.
The Senate’s Democratic Leader has named Bolkcom as the point person for this abortion debate.
Four other states had enacted late-term abortion bans this year and Indiana’s governor has said he’ll sign one into into law there.