January 21, 2015 — An Iowa senator has introduced two antiabortion-rights measures for the 2015 legislative session, the Des Moines Register reports.
State Sen. David Johnson (R) sponsored both of the bills. One measure (SF 11) would require medication abortion drugs to be provided, dispensed or administered by physicians. In addition, the bill would require medication abortions to take place at hospitals or clinics that have the surgical facilities necessary to intervene if severe bleeding or an incomplete abortion occur. According to Johnson, the bill aims to prevent telemedicine abortions.
The second measure (SF 12) would institute a mandatory delay period of 72 hours before a woman seeking an abortion can have the procedure. According to Johnson, the state Legislature passed similar requirements in 2001 and 2002, but they were vetoed by former Gov. Tom Vilsack (D). According to the Register, it is unlikely that either measure will receive serious consideration in the state Senate, which is controlled by Democrats. However, state lawmakers who do not support abortion rights say they will push for the measures' passage.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland President and CEO Suzanna de Baca said requirements such as those proposed in the bills "pose a risk to women's health by reducing timely access to safe and legal abortion, especially in rural areas where access to safe and legal abortion are already limited." She added that the group, "absolutely oppose[s] restrictions like these politicians are proposing to make abortion more difficult for women" (Petroski, Des Moines Register, 1/17).