Tim Scott of South Carolina gives his stance on abortion. Photo/Flickr Screenshot/ 1-31-23/file

The Iowa legislature has passed a heartbeat bill aimed at protecting unborn babies from abortions, a move celebrated by several notable figures including former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy. The heartbeat bill stipulates that abortions can’t be carried out once a fetal heartbeat is detectable, typically around six weeks gestation.

Pence stated:

“I think life is winning in Iowa because of the principled leadership of Republicans in the House and Senate and Gov. Kim Reynolds,” Pence said. “And as a pro-life American, I’m just grateful for their stand for the unborn.”

Pence’s organization, Advancing American Freedom, reportedly spent around $25,000 on ads and text messages urging Iowans to back the bill. Ramaswamy, who maintains an “unapologetically pro-life” stance, also lobbied for the legislation in person at the Iowa Capitol.

Sen. Tim Scott responded to news in a tweet:

“I celebrate states like Iowa and the leadership of Gov. @KimReynoldsIA that understand the importance of creating a culture that protects life,”

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has announced her intention to sign the bill into law, celebrating it as a way to protect unborn lives. The legislation includes exceptions for cases of rape, incest, and when the mother’s life is in danger.

If the Iowa Supreme Court upholds the legislation, Iowa will become the 17th U.S. state to protect babies either from conception or from the point their heartbeat can be detected. Four other states protect babies starting at 12 or 15 weeks.

The bill was passed by the state’s Senate and House largely along party lines, with all Democrats voting against it and all but three Republicans voting in favor. The bill includes specific language to ensure that it’s abortion providers, not women, who would face penalties for violating the law.

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