USA (MNN) — Last Friday saw a major victory for the sanctity of human life. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed the “heartbeat” bill into law, the most restrictive abortion ban in the United States.
The “heartbeat” bill, formally titled Senate File 359, makes abortion illegal after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which could be as early as six weeks of pregnancy. The bill made exceptions for rape, incest, or medical emergencies.
Reynolds said in a written statement, “I understand that not everyone will agree with this decision. But if death is determined when a heart stops beating, then doesn’t a beating heart indicate life? For me, it is immoral to stop an innocent beating heart.”
Tom Lothamer with Life Matters Worldwide says this bill is an encouraging signal to pro-life movements in the US. “The sanctity of human life is not something that’s just political — like some are for abortion, some are against it. It’s actually something that is deeply ingrained in the Scriptures and God’s law; God’s love for people who are made in His image.”
While Iowa’s “heartbeat” bill is currently the only one of its kind, other states are pursuing similar measures to pull back on abortions.
“Mississippi’s governor in March signed a bill banning abortion after 15 weeks in some exceptions. Of course, that sparked an immediate court challenge. And then a similar court challenge is underway in Kentucky. In April, it enacted a ban on a common abortion procedure from the 11th week of pregnancy.”
The new law in Iowa on abortion restrictions will take effect July 1st. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa are already planning to challenge the legislation. But pro-life lawmakers are ready for the challenge and think it could even go all the way to the Supreme Court.
“We believe that in the last year or so the [Supreme] Court has become even more conservative,” says Lothamer. “We believe the ruling back in 1973 Roe v. Wade was just unusually wrong and even those who would be more liberal would say that it was just a wrong decision based on the constitution. So we believe if this can go into the courts, then very possibly then it would overthrow the Roe v. Wade ruling.
“If Roe v. Wade is overturned and it goes back to the states, that doesn’t mean that abortions will cease in the United States. That just means that states will actually make decisions about the law. Like in Michigan for example, there is a law on the books that bans abortion under most conditions. We have to realize that the challenge to abortion will not be over but we just have a new playing field and we can really make some headway on saving the lives of children and protecting men and women who are experiencing this.”
As we celebrate this new law in Iowa that will save the lives of many babies in the womb, there are some other things Christians can do as well.
“One thing we can do is pray. You know, abortion is an attack on God Himself because when we of course attack those who are made in the image of God, we attack God. But we’re also attacking the defenseless. They don’t have any say. These young babies in the womb, they don’t have any say,” says Lothamer.
“Also, for the women who are getting [abortions], many of them would choose life if they just knew they had support. So I would say [we need] the Church to step up in supporting pregnancy care ministries and actually [be] speaking about the issues in the Church and helping young women and young men make a decision and support them in carrying these young babies to term.”