Iowa governor signs 'beating heart' abortion ban, nation's strictest

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The bill is now led to Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, that introduced Friday she'll signal the measure.

The Iowa affiliates of Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union have warned.

Backers of the so-called heartbeat bill - which didn't get a single Democratic vote in the Legislature during final passage and that included no votes by six Republicans - expressed hope it could challenge Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that established women have a right to terminate pregnancies until a fetus is viable.

Considered the most restrictive in the country, critics say the law would deny abortions to many women before they even know they are pregnant - with an exception for victims of rape or incest. Courts have immediately issued stays to prevent similar laws in other states from going into effect.

The Iowa law provides for some exemptions that allow abortions during a later pregnancy stage to save a pregnant woman's life or in some cases of rape and incest.

Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, praised the law, saying it "will not only save lives, it also reminds us that abortion stops a beating heart".

"The ACLU of Iowa, along with Planned Parenthood, will not let this risky, unconstitutional law stand", said ACLU's Mark Stringer. "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".

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The law is sure to draw challenges in court, something the bill's advocates say is actually part of their goal. Acknowledging this, Reynolds said that her actions on Friday were "bigger than just a law", and that she will not be backing down.

Gov. Reynolds, we'll see you in court.

Abortion opponents aim to land abortion questions back in front of the nation's top court, where they believe the 5-4 conservative majority could sharply curtail abortion access or ban it outright.

Erin Davison-Rippey of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland promised the organization would do "whatever it takes to make sure that we protect the rights that our mothers, our grandmothers and our great-grandmothers have already won". If one is detected, the abortion could not be performed.

8, 2018, file picture, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks throughout a information convention as appearing Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, left, seems to be on through the opening day of the Iowa Legislature on the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa.

"We couldn't be more pleased", DeWitte said Friday.

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