Reynolds signs Iowa abortion restriction law

Pro-abortion activists demonstrate in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington DC

The Republican governor signed the bill Friday at her state capitol office.

At a rally in Des Moines on Friday officials of Planned Parenthood, the women's healthcare group and backer of abortion rights, said they would file a lawsuit to block the law.

The bill passed after an extended debate in the House, where five Republicans joined every Democrat present in opposition.

Abortion has been outlawed in the USA state of Iowa for women about six weeks pregnant. "I am not going to back down from who I am or what I believe in", she said. It is the earliest abortion ban in the United States.

And South Carolina's state Senate is considering a bill outlawing virtually all abortions unless a woman has been the victim of rape or incest or is facing a life-threatening complication. "But if death is determined when a heart stops beating, then doesn't a beating heart indicate life?"

Abortion opponents in Iowa argued that the Republican administration of President Donald Trump may have an opportunity to appoint more conservatives to the high court in the next few years, just in time for this latest law to wind through the legal system.

"However, this is bigger than just a law", she said.

"I am here to tell Governor Reynolds, we will see you in court", Planned Parenthood of the Heartland president Suzanna de Baca said. "But I think many of us still never expected that Governor Reynolds would so swiftly jump to sign a bill that is so clearly unconstitutional".

But the Supreme Court has previously been hostile to "heartbeat" laws.

Backers of the so-called heartbeat bill - which didn't get a single Democratic vote in the Legislature during final passage - expressed hope it could challenge Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that established women have a right to terminate pregnancies until a fetus is viable.

CBS reports that Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have promised to sue the state over the law. The new law will ban abortions after the first heartbeat is detected - around the sixth week of gestation, roughly.

"This should be deeply concerning to anyone who believes women should be allowed to make decisions about their bodies and control their destinies", Ms. Hogue said in a statement, "and we now look to the courts to defend our essential human rights".

While supporters of these new restrictive abortion laws say that this is a step forward for justice, critics feel it's another overstep by the government obstructing the rights of women.

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