Legislation which would have prohibited “sanctuary cities” in the state and banned abortions where a heartbeat is detectable failed to meet the necessary procedural deadline [U.S.News report] in the Iowa Legislature [official website] Friday. First, the sanctuary city legislation would have required counties, cities, and public colleges to enforce federal immigration law. Despite the legislation, no current Iowa cities identify as sanctuary cities. Second, the abortion legislation would have required several things, including banning all abortions where a heartbeat could be detected, requiring 72-hour wait period for receiving an abortion, and creating further legal action against doctors in violation of the law. Despite this second bill not receiving enough support, Iowa Republicans are currently focused on new legislation which would ban almost all abortions around 20-weeks of pregnancy.
Abortion restrictions remain a much contested issue in the US. In March the Texas Senate approved bills this week that would prevent [JURIST report] doctors from encouraging abortions to avoid lawsuits from birth defects and to require doctors to ensure a fetus is deceased before performing certain procedures. In February the Pennsylvania Senate approved [JURIST report] a bill that would ban abortions past 20 weeks. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a bill into law in January banning the dilation and evacuation abortion method [JURIST report]. In October a federal judge blocked a Mississippi law that disqualified [JURIST report] Medicaid benefits for non-therapeutic abortions. Also in October the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled [JURIST report] that a state law adding new licensing and inspection rules for facilities that perform abortions is unconstitutional.