The ICC provided the following comments to a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Feb. 8, 2018 regarding SSB 3143, a bill to stop abortion after a heartbeat can be detected:

The Iowa Catholic Conference supports the life-affirming intent of “heartbeat legislation.” In fact, science shows that life begins at conception. We acknowledge the efforts of legislators and groups who challenge the current legal precedents to abortion. We respect the fact that legislation often involves judgments about the most effective and timely means for advancing the protection of unborn children.

At the same time, we should take into account that this bill is likely to be found unconstitutional. We should consider the unintended long-term consequences that could result from a court finding a robust right to an abortion in Iowa’s Constitution, which could include the elimination of some of the limitations on abortion we already have in Iowa. Therefore, the Iowa Catholic Conference is registered as neutral on the legislation.

We remain committed to carefully reviewing this bill as it moves forward and assisting in efforts aimed at resolving differences related to specific language and strategies. Let’s continue to work together in solidarity on ways to protect vulnerable people, including the unborn, and others thought to be of little account.