(KMSP) - A governor's signature is all that's standing in the way of Iowa adopting one of the strictest abortion bans in the country, a law experts say could send ripples through the Midwest as women cross state lines to seek out healthcare through Planned Parenthood and other providers.
The "fetal heartbeat bill," as it's called, would outlaw abortions performed as early as six weeks and later. It's a move that would almost assuredly have national implications by challenging a woman's constitutional right to an abortion under the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade, forcing a new ruling from the body.
"It would take the Supreme Court to step in," said pro-life advocate Bryan Gibson. "If it were to ever become law, it would almost automatically require that Roe vs. Wade be overturned."
It's a case that pro-life advocates welcome, though on the other side Planned Parenthood representatives say Iowa's bill and the fallout surrounding a Supreme Court hearing revisiting the 1973 decision would be "devastating" for women.
"This takes banning abortion to a whole new level," said Jennifer Aulwes, who works for Planned Parenthood in Minnesota. "Surrounding states are going to see women traveling to seek care."