(Des Moines, IA) The Iowa House passed HF 2175, the webcam abortion ban, last evening on a 55-42 vote. It was a mostly party-line vote, however, three Democrats broke ranks to vote with House Republicans in favor of the bill. State Representatives Nancy Dunkel (D-Dyersville), Daniel Muhlbauer (D-Manilla) and Phyllis Thede (D-Bettendorf).
State Representative Matt Windschitl (R-Missouri Valley) was the author of the bill. On his Facebook page tonight he wrote, “This legislation follows the will of Iowans and eliminates the practice of webcam abortions in our state. Rep. Kevin Koester did a masterful job floor managing this bill through the legislative process! Countless innocent lives can be saved by this legislation. Yet one more step forward in the fight for the unborn!”
Representative Koester (R-Ankeny) presented the bill and answered questions from Democrats debating against the bill. State Representative Bruce Hunter (D-Des Moines) insinuated that Republicans were relegating women to second class citizen status. “Right now we’re not even letting women choose their reproductive healthcare.”
Other Democrats echoed that same theme. State Representative Anesa Kajtazovic (D-Waterloo) added “This bill will limit women’s healthcare choices.”
State Representative Mary Mascher (D-Iowa City) said during her remarks, “Losers on this bill, rural Iowans who can’t get to a center to get good quality healthcare.”
State Representative Tom Shaw (R-Laurens) was the lone Republican to vote against this bill. He said that he believed it to be unconstitutional, that it didn’t afford equal protection under the law since other types of abortions would still be allowed. He also said he believes it violates the unalienable right to life, and the rights of persons in the Iowa Constitution. He also said it is not a moral bill because it doesn’t ban medical abortions done in person.
State Representative Greg Heartsill (R-Melcher-Dallas) applauded the language in the bill. “I applaud Representative Windschitl for his willingness to listen to concerns over last year’s predecessor bill (HF 173) that inserted permissive abortion language into Iowa Code. HF 2073 (the previous bill number) is a better bill since it contains language that prohibits abortions via telemedicine. I’m glad to have been a part of this process and am pleased that we had even more co-sponsors this year on HF 2073,” Heartsill wrote on Facebook Monday night.
Prior to the debate on HF 2175, the House debated a eCigarette bill. Many Democrats spoke out against the bill since it did not ban non-Nicotine laced eCigarettes. Many of those same Democrats voted against HF 2175. State Representative Dawn Pettengill (M-Mt. Auburn) noted the inconsistency, “Only in the Legislature are the same people who are against inhaling innocuous water vapor on eCigarettes FOR giving dangerous drugs to women in a different protocol than the FDA prescribes. Look it up yourself on the FDA website. The drugs are Mifeprex and Misoprostol,” Pettengill wrote this afternoon.
The bill will now go over to the Iowa Senate and its fate rests with Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs).