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Legislature passes 'heartbeat' law

In a special session on July 11, the Iowa Legislature passed House File 732, a bill to prohibit abortions after a heartbeat can be detected. Thanks to those of you who contacted your legislators.

The vote was 56-34 in the House and 32-17 in the Senate. The governor said she will sign the bill on Friday. Opponents have filed a lawsuit in an attempt to keep the law from taking effect.

The Catholic bishops of Iowa have released a statement on the legislation. They said:

“We commend the Iowa Legislature for passing a law that would prohibit abortions after a child’s cardiac activity can be detected. As Pope Francis has said, “Let us respect and love human life, especially vulnerable life in a mother’s womb.” For us, this is a matter of personal rights and dignity and the common good. Human life is precious and should be protected in our laws to the greatest extent possible.

“As a state and as a society, we should commit ourselves to working for the protection of all vulnerable populations from violence – wherever individuals and groups are at risk. We urge people of good will in Iowa both to work for an end to the practice of abortion and to join us in tireless, unremitting and compassionate solidarity with pregnant women in distress, with the men who fathered these children, and with families in need.”

The bishops of Iowa are: Most Rev. Richard Pates, Apostolic Administrator of Dubuque; Most Rev. R. Walker Nickless, Bishop of Sioux City; Most Rev. Thomas Zinkula, Bishop of Davenport; and Most Rev. William Joensen, Bishop of Des Moines.


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