Iowa House passes bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks

By Dave Andrusko

Iowa State Rep. Greg Heartsill

Iowa State Rep. Greg Heartsill

Iowa’s House Wednesday joined the Senate in having passed a bill that ban abortions after 20 weeks. The vote on Senate File 471 was 55-41. There are differences with the Senate version, passed March 14, which will need to ironed out before the bill goes to Gov. Terry Branstad.

The bill also calls for a 72 hour waiting period. Iowa would join Louisiana,Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Utah as states will provide for a three-day waiting period. In addition the bill requires that an ultrasound that shows the unborn child’s age be provided.

Reporter Steffani Nolte quoted supporters and opponents at length:

Rep. Steven Holt, R-Crawford, said his son died at 20 weeks old in utero because the umbilical cord had wrapped around the baby’s neck.

“I held Wayne in the palm of my hand all night long while I wept,” Holt said. “I can tell you Wayne Rolland Holt was a human being, totally formed, totally formed. And it was at that moment that, I have always been pro-life, but it was at that moment there was no doubt in my mind that life begins at conception because I held it in my hand.”

Representative Greg Heartsill said after a miscarriage scare, he and his wife were thrilled to see a healthy baby during an ultrasound sucking her thumb.

“While we were doing that,” Heartsill said. “Our little daughter pulled her hand out of her mouth and kind of waved, giving us the hi sign. And the technician said, ‘Hey Mom and Dad see I’m ok, everything is going to be all right.”

Heartsill said that is why every woman should have an ultrasound.

Rep. Greg Heartsill described the bill as “a win for the unborn, who have no voices. Those who need a chance to have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

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