Sorry Planned Parenthood, Iowa's new abortion bill is a boon for moms and babies

Iowa is now the latest state to add restrictive abortion laws, and to cause a stir doing so. Lawmakers passed a bill requiring a woman seeking an abortion to wait 72 hours and to get an ultrasound.

Lawyers with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the American Civil Liberties Union are trying to block the bill, saying it places additional burdens on women who want to end a pregnancy, particularly in rape cases. A three-day waiting period may save the life of an unborn baby and encourage a mother to make a choice that’s not only better for her baby but her as well — the fact that lawmakers are vehemently opposing it shows their true priorities.

The “waiting period” legislation was passed and signed into law in May but has become increasingly controversial as the judicial system has stepped in to intervene. As soon as then-Gov. Terry Branstad, R-Iowa, signed it (he’s now ambassador to China), attorneys stepped in to halt it, particularly striking the language requiring a waiting period. U.S. News & World Report said:

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ACLU and Planned Parenthood want to permanently halt the requirement, which is part of a new law that also bans most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The groups argue the waiting period, among the longest in the country, could cause undue harm to women by requiring multiple appointments.

Lawyers argued last week in court “the waiting period requirement is unconstitutional because of the additional burdens it places on women wanting to end a pregnancy.” Jill Meadows, the medical director for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, testified last week against the law telling the judge that the new law will essentially require women to make at least two trips to a Planned Parenthood clinic or other provider and might have to wait up to a week to get an abortion.

Most women who want an abortion will have to make more than one trip to a Planned Parenthood anyway, depending on how far along she is in her pregnancy, so that point sounds more like an excuse than a persuasive argument.

The whole idea behind the waiting period is to ensure that mom thinks twice about a decision that will alter her life and her baby’s life. Since statistics show mom’s psychological and emotional health can often suffer following an abortion and sometimes moms change their mind about abortions following an ultrasound, the bill is meant to offer mom time to consider a way out of the devastating choice of abortion and the residual, negative effects it has.

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Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle should welcome something that acts as a protective measure, and the fact that they’re so adamantly against it shows they place their rabid pro-choice ideology above women and their health.

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