A proposed ban on abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy is scheduled for debate in a House committee today.
The abortion ban has been attached to another bill that would make it illegal in Iowa to sell or donate fetal tissue from abortions for use in medical research. Representative Shannon Lundgren, a Republican from Peosta, is guiding these merged measures through the House.
“This was not a bait and switch,” Lundgren said. “The senate sent us a bill over for us to debate. We just chose to add it on to this bill.”
In late February, Republicans and the lone independent in the state senate approved a bill that would make it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion after the sixth week of a pregnancy. The plan to be considered in a House committee today does not include criminal charges for doctors.
Leah Vanden Bosch was among those who testified yesterday during a hearing on the new abortion ban.
“Do not let us go back to back-alley abortions, because that is exactly where this bill will take us,” Vanden Bosch said. “I would have done absolutely anything to terminate my pregnancy.”
Tamara Scott, state director for Concerned Women for America and a lobbyist for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, spoke in favor of a six-week abortion ban.
“This is about the physical health and well-being of our fellow Iowans in the womb who don’t deserve to be discriminated against,” Scott said.
Iowa’s current law — enacted last year — bans abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.
(Additional reporting by Iowa Public Radio’s Katarina Sostaric)