Conservative voters celebrated alongside Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds Saturday as they attended the annual Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition’s event.
As reported by the Des Moines Register, Reynolds gave a moving speech at the event, hosted at Walnut Creek Church, and recalled her previous signing in April of the nation’s strictest abortion ban and what was seen as a victory in fighting legal abortion.
“We are No. 1 in the country when it comes to protecting life,” Reynolds said to nearly 300 audience members.
“I believe all innocent life is precious and sacred,” she added. “And as governor, I pledge to you to do everything in my power to protect life.”
The ban signed last month brought on a flurry of protests and lawsuit threats, though it ultimately received praise by those who have been hoping to overturn the Supreme Court decision from 1973 that legalized abortion.
“I think it’s going to save a lot of lives,” said Lynn Vogel, president of the Southern Iowa Republican Women. “That innocent child can’t help it, so I think it’s important to protect them.”
If not stopped by the courts, the “fetal heartbeat” law will go into effect July 1.
The law will require any practicing doctor to conduct an abdominal ultrasound on any woman seeking an abortion in order to test for a fetal heartbeat.
If a heartbeat is detected, the physician is prohibited from performing an abortion.
A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks, often before a woman knows or can tell she is pregnant.
Planned Parenthood has announced it will file a lawsuit in order to challenge the proposed law.
“It’s shameful that when Planned Parenthood heard lawmakers were introducing legislation to ban abortion, we were outraged — but we weren’t surprised,” said Suzanna de Baca, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.
Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, who headlined Saturday’s event, has praised the new law and the fight of Iowa conservatives.
“I’m not kidding when I said that I hope and literally pray that this is the start and we will carry through,” he said.
Iowa Rep. Steve King told the crowd that Iowa has “set the standard” by passing such a law.
Despite the anticipated legal challenges, Reynolds said she isn’t backing down anytime soon.
“We know that our work is not done, that we must continue to work together to change the hearts and mind,” Reynolds said, who pledged to continue fighting abortion if she is re-elected.
“We’re not slowing down, we’re not going to stop,” she added. “It’s a fight worth fighting.”
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