Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the nation’s toughest abortion ban into law on Friday.
“I believe that all innocent life is precious and sacred,” Reynolds said at the bill signing, with children from the Joshua Christian Academy looking on, according to KCCI.
“I understand that not everyone will agree with this decision, but if death is determined when a heart stops beating, then doesn’t a beating heart indicate life?” she said.
“For me, my faith leads me to protect every Iowan, no matter how small,” Reynolds added, the Sioux City Journal reported.
The bill bans most abortions once the heartbeat of an unborn child can be detected. That is usually around the sixth week of a pregnancy.
“I understand and anticipate that this will likely be challenged in court, and that courts may even put a hold on the law until it reaches the Supreme Court. However, this is bigger than just a law,” Reynolds said in a statement.
“This is about life,” the statement added.
During the ceremony, Reynolds gave one of the pens she used to sign the law to state Rep. Shannon Lundgren, R-Dubuque, who supported the bill and helped get it passed in the Iowa state house.
“It’s very emotional,” Lundgren told the Des Moines Register. “You look at these little girls that I was holding, and they wouldn’t have been here had their parents chosen a different path for them. These are human beings.”
Maggie DeWitte of Iowans for Life called the governor’s action “historic.”
“We couldn’t be more pleased,” DeWitte told The Associated Press. “She is following through on her pledge to the people of Iowa that she is 100 percent pro-life.”
Officials with Planned Parenthood, a leading provider of abortions, said they will fight the law in court.
“Politicians in Iowa are hell bent on controlling women’s bodies, taking away our rights, and blocking access to healthcare,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, according to the Washington Examiner.
“People will not stand for it, and we will not stand for it. Now is the time for us to unite and fight for every person’s right to access the care they need. Gov. Reynolds, we’ll see you in court. We will fight for our patients’ rights and access to care with everything we’ve got,” Laguens added.
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