DES MOINES – Women in Iowa can no longer have abortions after 20 weeks; the bill that would ban those abortions passed the Iowa Senate Tuesday night.
The senate is the last obstacle for the bill, as it was amended by the House a few weeks ago. The amendment requires women to wait 72 hours to have an abortion, as well as obtain an ultrasound of the baby before an abortion is performed.
Iowa senate members from both sides of the aisle were heated in debate Tuesday night.
Sen. Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City) spoke about the above amendment.
“There’s no exception for rape, incest,” said Bolkcom. “It’s time for politicians to stop interfering in the healthcare decisions of women and her trusted advisors….we are in the 100th day of the session and this has been a ping pong issue.”
Another Democrat, Sen. Pam Jochum (D-Dubuque), said women who would be affected by the amendment actually want to become pregnant.
“94% of all abortions are before 13 weeks,” said Jochum “That’s the point, to have a choice…these are heart wrenching, gut-wrenching decisions.”
Sen. Rick Bertrand (R-Sioux City), who proposed the amendment Tuesday night, became emotional in the final moments of the debate.
“If not now, then when?” asked Bertrand. “We’re going to go to the mat for collective bargaining, but we’re not going to go the mat for life? I’m challenging your silence…these opportunities don’t come along. If not now, when?”
Bertrand even got teary-eyed, saying that he had not cried this much since eighth grade.
The bill is now on the governor’s desk, where he is expected to sign it.