DES MOINES, Iowa -- Planned Parenthood staged a protest at the Iowa State Capitol on Tuesday to fight against a bill, Senate File 2281, that would ban abortions after detection of a fetal heartbeat, which occurs around six weeks into a pregnancy.
Protesters were laying down on the ground of the rotunda and held up signs with the names and stories of women who died while getting an illegal abortion.
“And they are here to share the stories of women before Roe v. Wade became the law of the land in 1973. We know that women have been seeking abortions since the beginning of time, and by passing laws like the six week ban here, all we do is risk women’s health,” said Erin Davison-Rippey, Planned Parenthood's Director of Public Affairs.
Rippey said the fetal heartbeat bill is very dangerous and a major attack on women’s health.
"So many women don't even know that they are pregnant at the six week mark, and so to ban abortions around the six week mark is absolutely unconscionable and dangerous. And what we know is when abortion is illegal, it doesn't end abortion, it ends legal abortion, and it is unsafe for women," she said.
Chuck Hurley, Vice President of The Family Leader, said he is in favor of the bill and that abortion is also unsafe for a baby.
"I think the average is about 13 babies dies every day in Iowa. We were all rightly, deeply saddened and appalled when 17 students and personnel were killed in Florida, and we should be just as or more so concerned about all the babies that are killed each day in Iowa and Florida and everywhere else," he said.
Hurley said babies in the womb deserve legal protection, which he thinks would be provided by this bill.
“That baby in her mother's womb has her own unique DNA, she has her own unique heartbeat, she’s her own unique person, and her life deserves protection,” Hurley said.
The bill passed in the Senate and has been sent over to the House for consideration.