February 16, 2011 — A three-person subcommittee of the Iowa House Human Resources Committee on Monday passed a bill (HF153) that would ban abortion in the state, even in cases of rape or incest, but does not define specific criminal penalties, the Des Moines Register reports. The measure, proposed by Rep. Kim Pearson (R), would change state law to say that "life is valued and protected" beginning at conception, according to the Register. Pearson and Rep. David Heaton (R) voted for the measure, while Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell (D) voted against it (Petroski, Des Moines Register, 2/15).
Wessel-Kroeschell warned that the measure's broad language could have unintended consequences, such as banning some forms of contraceptives or punishing women who smoke or drink alcohol while pregnant. Opponents of the bill say it directly contradicts the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade and is meant to be a challenge to that decision. The measure now moves to the full committee for debate (Glover, AP/Chicago Tribune, 2/14).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership