‘She knows it’s unconstitutional’: Gov. Reynolds signs the nation’s most severe abortion restrictions into law

Surrounding herself with small children to create an attractive photo op, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed SF 359 on Friday afternoon, imposing on Iowa the most severe abortion restrictions in the nation. The new law bans almost all abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which typically happens around six weeks into a pregnancy and before many women even suspect they are pregnant.

“This is about life and I believe life is life, whether it’s inside the womb or outside the womb,” Reynolds said at the signing ceremony. Reynolds seemed a little less confident on Wednesday morning, according to Des Moines Register reporter Mike Trautmann, who tweeted a response to a colleague asking if Reynolds would sign SF 359.

Reynolds signed the bill just hours after a rally at the state capitol in support of women’s reproductive rights. At the rally, officials from the Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the ACLU of Iowa said they would immediately take legal action if the governor signed the bill. Reynolds acknowledged that there would be a court challenge. Courts have immediately issued stays to prevent similar laws in other states from going into effect.

Sen. Mary Wolfe, a Democrat from Clinton, noted Reynolds’ acknowledgment of the forthcoming legal action in a tweet.

The new law does contain exceptions for cases where the life of the mother is at risk and in cases of rape and incest, but the rape and incest exceptions are severely restricted.

A woman who is raped must report the rape “to a law enforcement agency, a public or private health agency or a family physician within 45 days.” A victim of incest must report her sexual abuse to at least one of the same set of authorities within 140 days.

While Reynolds was posing with children inside her official office, Sen. Amy Nielsen, a Johnson County Democrat, joined protestors outside Reynolds’ office.