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Before Alabama And Georgia, Iowa Had Its Own 'Heartbeat' Abortion Law

abortion rights supporters
Katarina Sostaric/IPR
Pro-choice advocates rallied at the Iowa Statehouse today to advocate for greater access to safe abortions nationwide.

When Iowa’s “fetal heartbeat” bill was signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds in May, 2018 it was widely considered the most restrictive abortion law in the country. It was struck down by a Polk County judge early this year, who ruled that the law violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the Iowa Constitution, before the legislation could go into practice.

Now, states including Alabama, Missouri, and Georgia are poised to enact the next wave of restrictive abortion laws, largely ruling out legal abortion after the first six weeks of pregnancy. Across the country today, thousands of pro-choice activists gathered at more than 400 rallies across the country as part of the National Day of Action to Stop the Bans.

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by Renee Cramer, professor of Law, Politics, and Society at Drake University, for a look back at Iowa’s own recent history of abortion restriction and for a look to the future of abortion access across the country.  

Katelyn Harrop is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River