Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds promised to passionately defend the rights of unborn babies Saturday after signing the earliest abortion ban into law.
“We are No. 1 in the country when it comes to protecting life,” Reynolds told the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition during its annual event, Newsmax reports. “I believe all innocent life is precious and sacred, and as governor I pledge to you to do everything in my power to protect life.”
Earlier this month, Reynolds signed a law to prohibit abortions after an unborn baby has a detectable heartbeat. Surrounded by mothers and babies when she signed the law, Reynolds promised to continue to be “100-percent pro-life.”
On Saturday, Reynolds told the faith coalition that the law is just one step forward to protect unborn babies.
“We know that our work is not done, that we must continue to work together to change the hearts and minds,” the governor said. “But I’ll tell you what, we’re not slowing down, we’re not going to stop. It’s a fight worth fighting.”
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Reynolds has been a target of negative attention from the liberal media and abortion activists; but last week, she told the Des Moines Register that she has received “very positive feedback” about the heartbeat law.
Already, abortion activists said they plan to challenge the law in court. On May 4, right after Reynolds signed the law, Planned Parenthood described the legislation as “gross” and “dangerous,” adding, “See you in court.”
The law requires abortion practitioners to test for the unborn baby’s heartbeat before performing an abortion. If a heartbeat is detected, the abortion would be prohibited except in cases involving medical emergency, rape, incest or fetal abnormalities deemed to be “incompatible” with life.
Because an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable by about six weeks of pregnancy, the law would prohibit almost all abortions in Iowa. It is the earliest abortion ban in the United States. Pro-life lawmakers expressed hopes that the law eventually could lead to the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Previously, pro-life state Rep. Shannon Lundgren, a Republican, admitted that the legislation likely would expose the state to a legal challenge, KMA Radio News reports.
“The science and technology have significantly advanced since 1973,” Lundgren said. “It is time for the Supreme Court to weigh in on the issue of life. It has taken decades for the science to catch up with what many have believed all along, that she’s a baby.”
The goal of the legislation is to prevent the deaths of thousands of unborn babies every year. However, even some pro-life advocates admit that the success of the legislation is uncertain.
Because of the current make-up of the U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts, a law to prohibit abortions in the first trimester most likely would not survive a court challenge. President Donald Trump promised to appoint pro-life justices to the courts, but he would have to appoint at least one more Supreme Court judge before the Iowa legislation would have a chance of being upheld.
North Dakota and Arkansas passed heartbeat bills several years ago, but federal courts struck down both laws.
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals said the following about its ruling on the six-week ban: “Because there is no genuine dispute that (North Dakota’s law) generally prohibits abortions before viability — as the Supreme Court has defined that concept — and because we are bound by Supreme Court precedent holding that states may not prohibit pre-viability abortions, we must affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the plaintiffs.”
When courts rule against such laws, state taxpayers often are forced to reimburse pro-abortion groups for their legal fees.