Iowa senators believe they have found a new way to stop Dr. Leroy Carhart from opening a clinic that would provide later term abortions in the state – creating new medical standards for any new abortion clinics in the state that would perform the procedure after 20 weeks.
Via The Iowa Independent:
Senate Study Bill 1212 would use the Certificate of Need process to require that “a new abortion facility which performs abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization is in close proximity to an Iowa hospital, with the appropriate level of perinatal care to protect the life or health of the woman and the fetus,” Bolkcom said.
This bill was drafted in response to a House Republican bill, House File 657, which sought to ban abortions after 20 weeks.
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An explanation attached to the bill states:
This bill provides that a specialized outpatient surgical facility is subject to certificate of need requirements prior to being offered or developed in Iowa. The bill defines “specialized outpatient surgical facility”; requires that, in addition to all other criteria that must be met by such a facility, a certificate of need may only be granted if the facility will be located in close proximity to a hospital that provides the appropriate level of perinatal care for its patients; and directs the department of public health to adopt rules to determine the certificate of need application fee for such facilities. The bill takes effect upon enactment and is applicable to specialized outpatient surgical facilities offered or developed in the state on or after the effective date of the bill.
By legislating additional rules and oversights over new abortion clinics, rather than just forcing an up or down vote on the idea of a 20 week ban in the first place, including its potential legal challenges due to it being unconstitutional, this “compromise” opens the door to the idea that abortion should be stopped simply by regulating clinics out of existence.
I wonder how much pro-choice legislators will regret starting down this path once the TRAP laws begin pouring in during the next legislative session.