Thu. Apr 25th, 2024

Iowa Republicans pass personhood bill that critics say could threaten IVF care

By 37ci3 Mar8,2024



On Thursday night, Iowa House Republicans passed a bill that would make the conservative midwestern state a felony to directly cause the death of an “unborn person.” national battle overprotection for in vitro fertilization.

The draft law Actin its current form, it provides no protections for embryos created through IVF — which, according to state Democrats and reproductive rights advocates, means the measure could easily be interpreted as criminalizing IVF care and services.

The bill’s passage by the GOP-controlled state House makes Iowa the latest state where lawmakers have taken steps that could threaten IVF. The procedure involves creating embryos outside the body, and many are often discarded when not used.

The vote in Iowa came hours after Republican lawmakers in Alabama tried to dampen the vote shedding According to a state Supreme Court ruling that says embryos are children— acceptance A bill designed to protect IVF. The Alabama court’s ruling sparked broader concerns that conservative measures targeting abortion elsewhere would follow the medical procedure.

The Iowa bill still had to pass the state Senate and be signed by Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds to take effect.

A spokesman for Reynolds did not respond to questions about whether he supported the bill.

The Iowa bill, in its current form, states that “a person who causes the death of an unborn person without the consent of a pregnant person is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor” and “a person who intentionally causes the death of an unborn person” is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.

A class “A” felony is the most serious crime under Iowa law and is can be punished with a mandatory life sentence – without the possibility of parole. Under Iowa law, a Class B felony is punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

The bill defines an “unborn person” as an “individual organism” of a person “from conception to live birth.”

As it stands, the bill does not include any protections that would apply specifically or broadly to IVF.

For example, the bill does not include clarifying language that many reproductive rights advocates say serves as a protection for IVF, such as that the term “unborn human being” must be “carried in infancy” or “carried in the womb.” Reproductive rights advocates say so statements serve to apply such statutes only in cases where the embryo or fetus is carried in the womb and not outside the womb as in the early stages of IVF.

The bill was sponsored by the Republican-controlled House Judiciary Committee, not individual lawmakers. The Republican leaders of that committee, state Rep. Stephen Holt and Vice Chairman Bill Gustoff, did not respond to questions from NBC News.

Democrats said they were ignoring the national fallout stemming from IVF restrictions that arose after the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling last month to move forward with the bill.

“Iowa Republicans will stop at nothing to ban abortion, even if it means criminalizing people who undergo IVF treatment,” Democratic Minority Leader Rep. Jennifer Konfrst of Iowa told NBC News. “The Alabama-style bill passed by Republican politicians this week goes too far, and Iowans are tired of politicians taking away their reproductive freedoms.”

National groups also fought.

“In a country full of Republican lawmakers trying to outdo each other in rolling back fundamental freedoms, this Iowa bill shows that what happened in Alabama last month didn’t just happen in one state,” said Democratic House Speaker Heather Williams. Campaign Committee, the national Democratic arm that helps monitor state legislative races.

In Iowa, identity is a bill is one of the few reproductive rights groups said the law, if passed, could be interpreted to limit IVF treatments.

The decision of the Alabama Supreme Court designated the embryos It is considered a child created through IVFleading to several IVF clinics in the state to terminate their services and sparked a weeks-long vociferous sprint by lawmakers in the ruby ​​state to prevent a backlash.

Finally, Alabama GOP Gov. Kay Ivey signed a Republican-proposed bill Wednesday night that aims to protect doctors, clinics and other health care workers who provide IVF treatments and services by offering civil and criminal “immunity” to such workers.



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By 37ci3

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