MUSCATINE, Iowa–On Saturday, June 13, both the Iowa house and senate passed House File 594, which in part requires a person to wait 24 hours before they can have an abortion. In The house, Muscatine area representatives Gary Carlson, Bobby Kaufmann, and David Kerr voted in favor of it. In the Senate, senators Tom Greene and Mark Lofgren supported it while Zach Wahls opposed it.
Later, Lofgren explained his support for the bill. “We have waiting periods in Iowa for many life decisions, including marriage licences and adoptions,” he said. “I believe it is reasonable to have a waiting period prior to an abortion as well to ensure this life-long decision is fully considered.
However, Wahls expressed frustration with how quickly the house and senate debated and voted on the legislation. ““If Iowa Republicans want to force women to wait 24-hours before obtaining an abortion, they should have given Iowans at least 24 hours-notice before debating this bill,” he stated.
Carlson also shared his thoughts. “Previous legislation had a 72 hour waiting period, but the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that was too long a period,” he explained. “The 24 hour language has previously been considered reasonable by the Supreme Court, so this legislation establishes a reasonable period for a very important decision.”
Kaufmann, Kerr, and Greene declined to comment.