Nebraska’s law restricting abortions is being used as a template by state legislators in Iowa. Legislation that would ban most abortions after the 20th week of a pregnancy is getting a second chance at the Iowa statehouse.
Two weeks ago, the top Republican in the Iowa House moved the bill from one committee to another after some Republicans on the House Human Resources Committee refused to support it. They prefer a ban on ALL abortions.
Now, the Government Oversight Committee has taken a tiny step forward, assembling a subcommittee to review the more limited ban. Representative Chris Hagenow, a Republican from Windsor Heights, says his priority is to advance a bill that has a chance of becoming law.
“My sense from here is that would need to be some form of a late-term abortion ban in order for that to be at all acceptable to the Senate,” Hagenow says.
The bill was drafted to prevent a Nebraska doctor, Leroy Carhart, from opening a clinic in Council Bluffs. Carhart is looking for a new place to practice after a new Nebraska law took effect that prohibits abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.
Iowa Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal is from Council Bluffs. “I think an awful lot of people in Council Bluffs think it would be a mistake to open up a new clinic in Council Bluffs,” Gronstal says.
According to Gronstal, there appear to be the votes in a Senate committee to pass a bill that’s similar to Nebraska’s law, and Gronstal says he would bring that legislation up for debate in the full Senate once it clears the full House and the Senate committee.