An Iowa Senate committee approved on a narrow deadline a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks when strong scientific evidence indicates babies can feel pain.
State Senators passed the bill in a 9-3 bipartisan vote Thursday, moving it to the full state Senate for consideration, according to the Associated Press.
The bill, Iowa Senate File 53, would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks when strong scientific evidence indicates unborn babies can feel pain. Exceptions for fatal fetal anomalies would be allowed up to 24 weeks.
Jenifer Bowen, a spokeswoman for Iowa Right to Life, told the Des Moines Register that she is glad the bill is moving forward. With similar laws in 16 other states, Bowen said she does not expect abortion activists to challenge Iowa’s if it becomes law.
State Sen. Mark Costello, R-Imogene, told the newspaper that Iowa lawmakers want to save lives from abortion, as well as work to prevent unplanned pregnancies.
“I think this does have the potential to save lives. I always like to say there are two lives involved here,” Costello said.
Iowa lawmakers failed to advance a similar House bill on a short legislative deadline this week, according to the report.
Iowa Senate Committee Passes Bill to Ban Late-Term Abortions on Babies After 20 Weeks