The Iowa House of Representatives’ Human Resources Committee approved a bill putting unconstitutional ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The bill, voted 11 to 8, is now sent to the full House.
All seven Democrats and one Republican voted against the bill but it now scraps an earlier legislation that banned abortion any time after a heartbeat is detected – which can be as early as six weeks.
The legislation is now under consideration by the Iowa House, and if it becomes law, Iowa would be the 18th state to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
However, the hearing caused a furor after Rep. Shannon Lundgren, the measure’s manager, responded to a question by a Democrat on the committee revealing how little she understood about the complexity of the legislation that she backed.
Representative John Forbes (D), a pharmacist and the past president of the Iowa Pharmacy Association, revealed he had a pregnant daughter who was 20 weeks pregnant. During the committee deliberation, concerned by the legislation’s possible effect on his daughter, he asked, “Worst case scenario, she talks to her doctor next Wednesday and her doctor tells her, we don’t see a heartbeat anymore in this child. Under this legislation, she would have to carry that baby until her life became endangered? Is that good medicine?”
Unaware of the legislation’s language, Lundgren responded the daughter would be forced to carry the fetus to term unless her life was at risk. However, the legislation defines abortion as “the termination of a human pregnancy with the intent other than to produce a live birth or to remove a dead fetus.” This means the hypothetical scenario outlined by Forbes would be exempt from the abortion ban.
The lawmaker’s response showed how little concern she has for the women who face tough choices about whether to terminate a pregnancy even in the most difficult situations.
She further added, “Rep. Forbes, this bill wasn’t written for the intent to protect or govern, on the side of the woman. It was written to save babies’ lives. I would concur that?—?in that instance?—?if your daughter’s life is not in danger, that yes, she would have to carry that baby.”
Soon after the incident, the Iowa House of GOP was quick to respond her comment, which was posted on Twitter, saying that Lundgren “misspoke.”
She later clarified her inappropriate comment saying, “Thankfully, in places like the University of Iowa,we do have prenatal palliative care, hospice care, for situations like that, where there are people in place to help parents grieve the loss of the baby?—?either impending, or in this instance.”
The exchange can be viewed below.
Lundgren is a junior legislator who represents rural Dubuque and ran for office on an anti-abortion platform. She has also backed bills to limit workplace injury claims, to prohibit cities and countries from enacting bans on possession of firearms and to limit collective bargaining for public employees.