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Iowa House passes measure to ban almost all abortions after 20 weeks


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SIOUX CITY, Iowa. (CNS) -- Pro-life supporters are praising the Iowa House of Representatives on passing legislation that bans almost all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

By a vote of 55-41, the ban passed the House April 5. The legislation also enacted a 72-hour waiting period before an abortion could be performed.

The bill now goes to the GOP-controlled Senate, which earlier approved a similar -- but not identical -- 20-week ban. Once approved by the Iowa Senate, the bill would go to Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, who is expected to sign it.

If it becomes law, Iowa would join 17 other states in banning almost all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The Iowa bill allows an exemption for the life and health of the mother.

Specifically, the Iowa measure prohibits abortions at 20 weeks post-fertilization. Before an abortion can be performed, it also requires: a 72-hour wait period; an ultrasound; a description of the unborn child; an option for hearing the heartbeat; information on the abortion and options for adoption; information on the child's development; and risk factors related to an abortion. However, the requirements would not be applied to cases of medical emergency.

Republican Rep. Shannon Lundgren, who managed the bill on the House floor, called it an "honor" to be part of the legislation that saves the lives of unborn babies.

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