Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a pro-life law Monday to give women time to reflect and consider information about their unborn babies before going through with an abortion.
“I am proud to stand up for the sanctity of every human life,” she said in a statement. “Life is precious, life is sacred, and we can never stop fighting for it. I applaud the Iowa lawmakers who had the courage to stand strong and take action to protect the unborn child.”
The new law ensures abortion facilities give women the opportunity to see their unborn babies on an ultrasound and hear their baby’s heartbeat at least 24 hours prior to the abortion. In addition, Iowa requires abortion facilities to provide women with information about abortion risks and resources available for parenting and adoption, and to confirm in writing that the women received it.
Student pro-life leaders thanked the governor this week for her commitment to life.
“College Republicans is glad to hear Gov. Reynolds signed this pro-life legislation,” Ryan Hurley, president of Iowa State College Republicans, told Iowa State Daily. “Abortion hurts women and families, and that 24 hours can and will save lives.”
However, Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union already are trying to stop the law from going into effect. They filed a lawsuit before the bill even became law, and the court granted the abortion chain a hearing. On Monday, before the bill was signed into law, Judge Mitchell Turner heard arguments about whether to block the state from enforcing it, the AP reports.
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The new pro-life legislation is similar to a law that the Iowa Supreme Court struck down in 2018. The only difference is that the new law requires a 24-hour wait instead of a 72-hour wait.
The 24-hour waiting period may be more likely to withstand a legal challenge. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld similar legislation in the past.
“We always look for pathways that we can advance the pro-life movement,” said House Human Resource Committee Chairwoman Shannon Lundgren, R-Peosta, earlier this month, Sioux City Journal reports. “24 hours is not an unreasonable amount of time to think about a decision that impacts more than just one life.”
Iowa requires waiting periods for other major decisions, too, including marriage, divorce and adoption, according to CBS 2 Iowa.
Informed consent laws protect unborn babies from abortion, and the abortion industry knows it. Research indicates that when women see ultrasound images of their unborn babies, they are more likely to choose life. A 2017 study out of the University of California San Francisco also suggests that some women do change their minds about abortion as a result of informed consent laws.
A majority of states require a waiting period prior to an abortion and 35 require informed consent counseling, which typically includes facts about an unborn baby’s development, the risks of abortion and alternatives to abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute.