Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law Friday that bans all abortions after six weeks, from the time a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
“I believe that all innocent life is precious and sacred, and as governor, I pledged to do everything in my power to protect it,” the Republican governor said. “That is what I am doing today.”
The law becomes the most restrictive abortion measure in the country.
Extra security was called in at the Iowa Capitol as Reynolds invited supporters of the legislation into her office as she signed the bill into law, reports the Des Moines Register.
The law goes into effect July 1. It requires physicians to perform an ultrasound test for a fetal heartbeat on any woman seeking an abortion, and bars abortion if a heartbeat is detected.
Iowa Rep. Steve King (R) celebrated the new law on Twitter:
Heartbeat Protection Act is signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds! The most protective antiabortionist law in the nation. Our babies lives are too precious to stop their beating hearts. https://t.co/8qBtC70rPt
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) May 4, 2018
Reynolds said she anticipated that lawsuits would be filed to stop the law from going into effect.
“I understand and anticipate that this will likely be challenged in court, and that courts may even put a hold on the law until it reaches the Supreme Court,” she said. “However, this is bigger than just a law. This is about life. I am not going to back down from who I am or what I believe in.”
Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said Friday they would file a lawsuit to stop the law from becoming effective:
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) May 4, 2018
BREAKING: Iowa's governor just signed one of the most extreme abortion restrictions in the entire country, banning nearly all abortions in the state.
We will be suing with @PPact to block the law from taking effect.
— ACLU (@ACLU) May 4, 2018
“It’s shameful that when Planned Parenthood heard lawmakers were introducing legislation to ban abortion, we were outraged — but we weren’t surprised,” said Suzanna de Baca, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, reports the Register. “But I think many of us still never expected that Governor Reynolds would so swiftly jump to sign a bill that is so clearly unconstitutional.”
Jeanne Mancini, President of March for Life applauded Reynolds and said the law “will not only save lives,” but also “reminds us that abortion stops a beating heart.”
“We thank Iowa for recognizing that every life is a gift and that personhood has inherent dignity from the moment of conception,” Mancini added.