The Iowa Legislature passed a pro-life amendment on Sunday that requires women seeking abortions to undergo a 24-hour waiting period and provide a letter to the abortion doctor confirming they’ve had an ultrasound and received information from the Iowa Department of Public Health detailing the risks associated with abortion and the alternative options to an abortion, including adoption. “Informed consent” legislation like Iowa’s is invaluable in that it compels mothers to confront the reality that their abortions are ending an actual life and not just eliminating a group of cells, as pro-abortionists claim.
According to CBS 2 Iowa, the pro-life amendment was tacked on to another bill and passed in the Iowa House around midnight on Saturday by a vote of 53-42 and passed in the Iowa Senate at approximately 6 a.m. on Sunday by a vote of 31-16. It is now on its way to Governor Kim Reynold’s desk for signature.
The amendment requires women to wait at least 24 hours before going through with an abortion, requires abortion facilities to give women the option of seeing their unborn babies via ultrasound and hearing their baby’s heartbeat, and requires abortion facilities to provide women with information regarding abortion risks and abortion alternatives such as adoption and parenting assistance.
State Representative Sandy Salmon (R-Janesville) said the bill is a “big step” toward protecting unborn babies’ lives in Iowa. “Waiting periods help ensure that decisions are made not under duress and not under undue influences. It’s the hope that after taking time to consider it, a woman would choose life over death,” Salmon said.
As noted by Life News, pro-life Iowa lawmakers have tried to pass 72-hour waiting-period measures in the past, but those efforts have been blocked by court challenges. House Human Resource Committee Chairwoman Shannon Lundgren contends the 24-hour waiting period should not be opposed because it “is not an unreasonable amount of time to think about a decision that impacts more than just one life,” the Sioux City Journal reports.
Proponents of the bill assert that the state already requires waiting periods for other major life decisions, including marriage, divorce, and adoptions.
Likewise, the landmark 1992 Supreme Court ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey determined that a 24-hour waiting period did not pose an undue burden on a woman’s right to an abortion.
And legislation such as Iowa’s have proven to be effective in saving unborn babies from abortions.
A 2017 study from the University of California San Francisco revealed that Utah’s legislation requiring a 72-hour waiting period and counseling sessions prior to an abortion did have an impact on women seeking an abortion. Researchers studied 500 women who sought an initial appointment at an abortion clinic and found that 8 percent of the 500 women were less certain of their decision to abort as a result of the counseling sessions and waiting period. And as noted by Life News, “Other reports by the same authors using the same data” revealed 11 percent of the women in the study were still pregnant during their three-week follow-up, most of whom indicated they were no longer seeking an abortion.
It’s also worth noting that of the 500 women who started the study, just 309 did the follow-up. As observed by Life News, “We don’t know how many of these missing women chose not to have abortions after getting the information and thinking about it for 72 hours. But it is not unreasonable to think that those who went through with their abortions, whose minds were not changed, may have been more likely to take a phone call from the abortion researchers conducting the study than those who did not.”
And ultrasound requirements are even more effective at saving unborn lives. According to Focus on the Family, a Christian organization in Colorado Springs that provides grants to pregnancy centers for ultrasound machines, an estimated 229,500 babies have been saved since the organization implemented its ultrasound program in 2004. A 2012 study by the University of California, San Francisco, in which researchers interviewed 20 women who received an ultrasound ahead of their abortions found that there is indeed support to claims that ultrasound viewing can dissuade women from an abortion.
There’s good reason for this. Life News writes ultrasounds cut through the “evasive rhetoric” of the pro-abortion camp by showing the “reality of the unborn baby.”
Iowa’s amendment is not extraordinary. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 27 states require women seeking abortion to undergo waiting periods, most of which are 24 hours. Thirty-four states require women receive counseling prior to an abortion, 29 of which detail information women are required to receive.
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