Yesterday, Iowa Judge Michael Huppert struck down Iowa’s heartbeat law that banned abortion after a preborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected. Though the heart begins to beat between 16 and 21 days after conception, the heartbeat can usually be detected around six weeks. According to Fox News, Judge Huppert, who used the unscientific term “potential life” to refer to a child in the womb with a detectable heartbeat, struck the law down based on his claim that “the due process and equal protection provisions of the Iowa Constitution” do not “serve the compelling state interest of promoting potential life.”
Children in the womb, even in the first trimester, are very complex and develop at a very rapid rate. The video below shows the preborn child at various stages of development. By six to seven weeks, brain waves are present, the heart has four chambers, and the preborn baby’s hands, feet, and legs appear and can move. The baby can have hiccups, can rotate his head, and the sex organs form.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland was one of the plaintiffs in the case. The House bill’s main sponsor, GOP Rep. Sandy Salmon, hopes that the state will appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court. Fox reports that “The Iowa Supreme Court in June struck down an earlier law that required a 72-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion,” adding yet another statement which completely ignores the life in the womb, claiming “autonomy and dominion over one’s body go to the very heart of what it means to be free.”
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds responded by saying, “I am incredibly disappointed in today’s court ruling, because I believe that if death is determined when a heart stops beating, then a beating heart indicates life.”