Iowa Heartbeat Protection Act (HF 2163)
This law was last updated on Sep 6, 2018
HF 2163 would prohibit the performance of an abortion from the time a fetus has a detectable heartbeat.
A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks of pregnancy—two weeks after a woman’s first missed period—and well before many women even realize that they are pregnant.
The bill would grant rights and protections to a fetus beginning at a fetal heartbeat detection.
The bill states that each life, from the moment the fetal heartbeat is detected, is “accorded the same rights and protections, including the right to life, guaranteed to all persons by the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Iowa, and the laws of this state.”
Heartbeat Abortion Ban
Except in the case of an emergency, the bill would prohibit abortions without a check for a fetal heartbeat, or if a fetal heartbeat is detectable.
In testing for a detectable heartbeat, the physician would be required to perform an abdominal ultrasound.
Following the testing of the pregnant person for a detectable fetal heartbeat, the physician would need to inform the pregnant person, in writing, of all of the following:
- Whether a fetal heartbeat was detected.
- That if a fetal heartbeat was detected, an abortion is prohibited.
The bill would prohibit a physician from performing or attempting to perform an abortion when it has been determined that the fetus has a detectable heartbeat, unless a medical emergency exists.
Failure of a physician to comply with this provision would be grounds for licensee discipline.
The bill clarifies that this provision should not to be construed to:
- create or recognize a right to an abortion;
- impose civil or criminal liability on a pregnant person upon whom an abortion is performed; or
- to prohibit the sale, use, prescription, or administration of contraceptives.
Similar to SSB 3143.