Iowa House Approves 20-Week Abortion Ban, Returns To Senate

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Republican-controlled Iowa House has passed a bill that would ban most abortions in the state at 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The chamber voted 55-41 Wednesday for the legislation, which provides no exception for rape, incest or fatal fetal anomalies. The bill must return to the Iowa Senate for final approval, after the House amended it to require that a woman wait 72 hours before getting an abortion. Another provision requires that a doctor offer a woman more details about an ultrasound, including hearing the heartbeat of the fetus.

Nearly 20 states have passed similar 20-week bans, which is based on the disputed premise that a fetus can feel pain at that stage.

Gov. Terry Branstad has indicated support for a ban, though a spokesman says the governor reserves judgment on the legislation.

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