Sandy Salmon

Republicans in the Iowa House have voted for a 72-hour waiting period before women seeking an abortion in the state may have the procedure performed. In addition, women seeking an abortion in Iowa would have to have an ultrasound and be given an opportunity to look at it.

“I stand in support….because seeing is believing,” Representative Greg Heartsill, a Republican from Columbia, said.

The House GOP’s plan also asks that the woman be given the option of listening to a heartbeat, if one can be detected.

“This will shine the light upon what is really inside the womb of the mother,” said Representative Sandy Salmon, a Republican from Janesville.

Salmon and her Republican colleagues today voted to require that a woman seeking an abortion be given information that encourages her to consider the option of adoption instead.

“To help a woman consider and make a good, educated decision for herself and her baby,” Salmon said, “totally appropriate for the life-and-death decision she is making.”

All the Democrats in the Iowa House voted against these new abortion restrictions. Representative Amy Nielsen is a Democrat from North Liberty.

“I believe that passing this legislation tells the roughly 1.6 million women in Iowa that they are not intelligent enough to make health care decisions for themselves,” said Representative Amy Nielsen, a Democrat from North Liberty. “What medical decisions do we require a man to take 72 hours to consider before he is allowed to receive the treatment?”

Democrats offered a series of amendments to the legislation, all of which were rejected by Republicans or withdrawn before a vote could be taken.

“Let’s keep the scaly tentacles of government out of women’s wombs,” Representative Liz Bennett,  a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, said earlier this evening.

Representative Cindy Winckler, a Democrat from Davenport, predicted these new rules for abortions would be challenged in court.

“When we, as a legislature, try to force personal, private decisions onto individuals, we get into trouble,” Winckler said.

In mid-March, the Iowa Senate voted to ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. That prohibition is at the core of the legislation debated tonight, however the bill was tabled shortly after 10:30 p.m. and no final vote has been taken in the House.

House rules prohibit voting from midnight until 8 a.m.