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How does the governor handle fetal heartbeat phone calls?

DES MOINES - Dozens of Iowans have called the governor's office in the past 24 hours to give their opinions on the fetal heartbeat bill.

The bill, if signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds, would be the most restrictive ban on abortions in the entire U.S. It prohibits a woman from obtaining an abortion as soon as a fetus's heartbeat is detected. That's usually at six weeks into a pregnancy. If a physician performs an abortion, he or she won't be charged with a crime, but could get his/her medical license taken away by the board. There are exceptions in the bill for rape and incest, but the parameters are vague.

Local 5 heard of dozens of people calling the governor, urging to vote against the bill, or many called to voice their support. We asked Reynolds' aides what the process is to handle those calls.

"We have three people who answer constituent calls in our office," said Brenna Smith with the governor's office. "We don't have a system that tracks the number of calls that come in, but we make note of the topics that constituents want to weigh in on. Those topics are relayed to the chief of staff and various policy advisors each week."

As for how the volume of calls has been the past few days with news of the fetal heartbeat bill passing through the statehouse?

"The volume of calls during the legislative session varies based on what's being debated by lawmakers," said Smith. "Yesterday, we had a steady stream of calls all day long about SF 359."



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