The mayor of Council Bluffs, Iowa, is sending a letter to the Iowa Senate, urging legislators to pass a law similar to Nebraska’s that would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.
After that Nebraska law took effect October 15th, a doctor in Bellevue, Nebraska who performs so-called “late term” abortions announced he intended to open a clinic across the border in Council Bluffs.
Jon Jacobsen, a lawyer from Treynor, Iowa, read the mayor’s letter at a news conference in Council Bluffs.
“People of good will, from both sides of the aisle, are absolute in their solidarity together on this issue,” Jacobsen said. “This is not a partisan issue. This is a bipartisan issue.”
In the letter, Council Bluffs Mayor Tom Hanafan encouraged the state senate to “take action” so Council Bluffs won’t become the home of a clinic that “specializes in later term abortions.”
“Now Mayor Hanafan is a Democrat and this is just emblematic of the bipartisan nature of what’s going on here in southwest Iowa and all throughout Iowa on this issue,” Jacobsen said at this morning’s news conference.
The Iowa House has passed a bill that would ban abortions in Iowa after the 20th week of a pregnancy, but the bill has stalled in a Senate committee. Senator Tom Courtney, a Democrat from Burlington, says it’s too late in the legislative session to give the bill adequate review before a vote is taken.
Courtney is chairman of the Government Oversight Committee where the bill is stuck. The 110th day of the 2011 Iowa Legislative session is April 29th and that’s the day legislators’ daily expense money runs out. But it’s not clear whether lawmakers can wrap up work on the state budget by then and adjourn for the year.