Iowa Committee Sneaks 20 Week Abortion Ban Through, Claims Fetuses Are Now Viable At That Point

Unhappy with the “ban Carhart” compromise bill that was presented in the Senate (a bill that would not ban all later-term abortions but simply put additional roadblocks up that would make Dr. Leroy Carhart unable to open a new clinic in Iowa), a House committee instead voted to revise current feticide laws to ban abortion at 20 weeks.

Via Eastern Iowa Government:

The House Ways and Means Committee voted 14-8 with three absent to change the feticide section of the Iowa code that currently makes it a felony crime if a pregnancy is intentionally terminated with knowledge and voluntary consent after the end of the second trimester by changing the gestation period to 20 completed weeks and striking an exception to preserve the health of the mother. An exception for circumstances when a physician determines an abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the mother would not be affected by the proposed House changes to Senate File 534.
The amended House version also would strike a reference to the viability of a fetus included in the current law which Rep. Dawn Pettengill, R-Mount Auburn, the bill’s manager, said would remove physican discretion provided by the state’s current feticide law.

The result of the change in feticide law — a full 20 week abortion ban unless the mother’s life is in danger.  The change is necessary, according to one legislator, because now fetuses are viable at 20 weeks, unlike the ’80s when it was later.

Radio Iowa reports:

“I don’t have a prepared statement, but I can assure you that this is not about politics,” Pettengill said. “It is about life and the ability of a fetus at 20 weeks and over to live outside of the womb on its own.”

Pettengill said in the early 1980s a fetus may have been considered “viable” at 24 weeks, but that standard has changed because of medical advancements.  “A baby is able to be saved a lot sooner and live outside the womb with life support,” Pettengill said.

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  • crowepps

    From LifeNews:

    The researchers examined the birth of all infants born before 27 weeks gestation in Sweden from 2004-2007 and found the overall perinatal mortality or death rate was 45%. That means 55 percent of the 1,011 babies survived who were born at or before that stage of pregnancy.

    Of those 55 percent of babies who survived, 70 percent were still alive at the end of one year which is a higher figure than in previous studies.

    The study confirmed earlier research showing survival rates increase as the pregnancy moves further along.

    It found 10 percent of babies born at 22 weeks survived to one year compared with 53% of those born at 23 weeks and 85% of those born at 26 weeks into the pregnancy. The later the birth in pregnancy the more likely the baby survived without any major illness and half of those born at 26 weeks had no serious health issues.

    The study also found babies born at hospitals with the best intensive care facilities had the highest survival odds.

    “Certainly, at 22 weeks the chance of surviving is very small, but at 23 weeks the results are much better,” Marsal said in the study. “But gestational age alone is not enough to judge prognosis.”

    They just make things up.

  • larry-motuz-canada

    Sadly, and outrageously, I suggest this option: that women more than 20 weeks along go to their doctors for the delivery of the viable fetus, with all of the costs of sustaining its life after delivery to be borne by pr0-life groups.


    Since the women will not be seeking an abortion, but rather the delivery of a fetus deemed viable by “Committee”, they will not be procuring an abortion.


    That is the simplest and most outrageous response.