Iowa lawmakers draft a bill to restrict abortions - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa lawmakers draft a bill to restrict abortions

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- Iowa lawmakers are drafting a bill that could restrict abortions in Iowa. It's modeled after a similar law in Nebraska that bans abortions after 20 weeks. Nebraska lawmakers hope it prevents doctors from opening abortion clinics. Now, the 2010 elections may have an influence on a law change in Iowa.

When the Republicans make up the majority of the house, a lot of things are likely to shift. But this issue, one that pro-life supporters say has been ignored, is certainly drawing attention from both sides.

Steve Brody, Executive Director of Dubuque County Right to Life, is looking forward to the new year.

"We've already been contacted by some of the legislature wanting to know what are our issues, what would we like to see passed," Brody said.

He said a new legislative session in Des Moines could bring up an old topic.

"Iowa's law is up until six months but you can't do anymore after six months.," Brody said.

And he's talking about abortion laws.

Lawmakers in neighboring Nebraska recently passed a law banning abortions after 20 weeks. They hope it will prevent doctors from opening abortion clinics.

"We appreciate that and we would really wanna see all states do the same thing. And we certainly want to see Iowa do that," Brody said.

But not everyone agrees with the law, including those with Planned Parenthood.

"The truth is that women who seek abortion, the tiny number of women that do, do so really for catastrophic reasons-extreme fetal abnormalities, victims of rape, young girls victim of incest.  So, most people, while they may not agree for a abortion do believe it is a decision left up to family and the woman who is directly affected and not the government or politicians should be interfering in these very, very difficult family circumstances," said President and CEO of the Heartland, Jill June.

June said most recent date in Iowa shows an extremely small number of women seeking abortions in the 20th week or later and in 2006 their were only 9 performed at that stage. Still law makers will likely address this issue next year.

"This is a strategy to end legal abortion and once again criminalize those getting abortions in the state of Iowa," June said.

"You have a legislature that is receptive to what you have to say, to your phone calls to your lobbying. It's refreshing," Brody said.

Brody said if this draft doesn't move forward in Des Moines, he hopes the terminology does. Right now doctors can't perform abortions after 6 months, unless the mothers life or health is threaten. He wants the wording to change, taking out "health" and making it less open to interpretation.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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