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Iowa legislators discuss fetal heartbeat bill

The Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce held a legislative forum Saturday morning at the Best Western Inn./KTVO

Saturday morning the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce held another legislative forum. The discussion kicked off with a resident asking legislators about the controversial fetal heartbeat bill.

The bill proposes to ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected, which could be as soon as six weeks.

Sen. Rich Taylor (D – Mount Pleasant) is a strong opponent of this legislation.

“It’s a healthcare issue and that’s something a woman should decide for herself. Government shouldn’t be involved in those decisions,” said Taylor. “None of us are doctors, you know, and that’s something that doctors and a woman should have to make that decision. What’s best for her.”

If this bill passes, it would be one of the strictest abortion laws in the country, and Iowa would have to face Federal courts for challenging Roe v. Wade. A Supreme Court decision that Rep. Phil Miller says should be upheld.

“The Supreme Court of the United States vote seven to two that privacy extends to the women’s reproductive healthcare and that’s been our law of the land for almost a half a century,” said Miller.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has been actively challenging the bill and asking lawmakers to reconsider. The argument is that most women don’t even realize they’re pregnant at six weeks.


But, Sen. Mark Chelgren (R – Ottumwa) says he’s trying to protect the lives of Iowans.

“I don’t really give a lot of credence to Planned Parenthood because no matter what we do, in order to protect life, they’re going to fight against that,” said Chelgren.

When KTVO asked Rep. Dave Heaton (R – Mount Pleasant), he declined to comment saying he didn’t want to talk about it. But, earlier during the forum when the question was asked by a resident, Heaton did say that the only thing that concerns him about this bill is that it might deter OB-GYNs from wanting to work in Iowa.

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