Fetal heartbeat bill: What it means

Local News

Lawmakers at the capitol passed legislation early Wednesday morning that would ban abortions once a heartbeat is detected. The bill awaits Gov. Reynolds’ signature. 

What the legislation means:

-Once a fetal heartbeat is detected, a woman cannot get an abortion and a doctor cannot perform one. This is typically around 6 weeks after conception.

-A woman must sign a formal letter stating that she knows a heartbeat has been detected and abortion is prohibited

-There is an exception for rape and incest, but the definition of rape and incest is not defined in the bill

-Women have 45 days to report a rape to police or a doctor

-Women have 140 days to report incest

-If a doctor determines the fetus is “incompatible with life”, a procedure can be done

-There is no criminal or civil penalty for getting an abortion or performing one

-The 5-month abortion ban from the 2017 bill is still in effect

-The 72-hour wait period is still being weighed by the Iowa Supreme Court

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