Hundreds of Protesters Gather at Statehouse Before Fetal Heartbeat Bill is Signed

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Flanked by members representing several organizations including the ACLU, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland's president pledged a courtroom fight as far as it goes.  Protesters at the rally say the fetal heartbeat bill is an assault on women's rights.

“It's a waste of everyone's time and money, and really just shows where their priorities are. It is not in protecting women, it is not in protecting Iowans, it is wasting a lot of time and resources on something they know is unconstitutional and that will be struck down,” said Aubrey Alvarez.

The bill is widely seen as a challenge to the Roe v. Wade supreme court decision that granted women the right to have an abortion.

“It's just extremely disappointing that our legislature would go this far. I mean, it's not just a local issue anymore, unfortunately, I mean, we are a national and international embarrassment,” said Matt Sinovic.

Leah Van Den Bosch was one of the women leading the protest, and marched a letter straight to the governor's doorstep pleading with her to veto the bill.

Van Den Bosch had an abortion earlier in her life. She was also there protesting a House budget bill that denies Planned Parenthood from applying for state-issued grant funding that finances its sexual education program. Van Den Bosch says if she had more access to sex ed growing up in rural Iowa, her unplanned pregnancy and abortion may never have happened.

“I never really thought about sex education while I was actively having sex at 28 years old because it didn't seem as important to me because I wasn't taught about it. So yeah, If I would have known more about it and didn't figure out when I ovulated when I was pregnant, I maybe could have avoided that,” she said.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland will be suing the state over the bill. At this time of this article’s publication, the lawsuit has not been filed.