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Iowa’s Governor Just Signed the Most Restrictive Abortion Law in the Country

On Friday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law what will become the country’s most restrictive abortion restrictions, likely with the aim of eventually challenging Roe v. Wade, in the Supreme Court, the New York Times reports.

The law, referred to as the “heartbeat bill” will ban all abortions after six weeks (with some exceptions for rape and incest). If doctors are able to detect a fetal heartbeat with an ultrasound, that doctor will be prohibited from performing an abortion. Because most women don’t even know they are pregnant until they have missed a period at five or six weeks of pregnancy, many pro-choice advocates argue that the bill pretty much places a ban on abortions entirely.

Jennifer Price, co-director of a clinic in Iowa City that provides abortions, told the Times that the law “just doesn’t provide the time or space” it takes women to meet with counselors, speak with family members and make educated decisions about whether to have abortions. 

The law will go into effect July 1, assuming it isn’t blocked by legal action — which seems unlikely considering a similar law in Mississippi is currently being challenged in court and Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has already announced it will challenge the law.

“Gov. Reynolds, we’ll see you in court. We will fight for our patients’ rights and access to care with everything we’ve got,” Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood’s executive vice president, told BuzzFeed News in a statement. “Politicians in Iowa are hell bent on controlling women’s bodies, taking away our rights, and blocking access to health care. People will not stand for it, and we will not stand for it.”

Meanwhile, we’re talking about the same state that forfeited thousands of dollars of federal family planning money (which could have helped women cover the cost of birth control and you know, lower the rate of abortions in the state), in order to force clinics like Planned Parenthood to close throughout the state. Anyone else see a problem here?

Caroline is the Evening/Weekend Editor and Style Editor at Her Campus, a senior public relations major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a leather jacket enthusiast.  You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @c_pirozzolo.