Rising Attacks on Women’s Health, From Iowa’s Abortion Ban to Violence at Clinics

On Friday, Iowa’s governor signed one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion bills. The new law requires any woman seeking an abortion to undergo an abdominal ultrasound. The law bans abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected, which often occurs at six weeks — before many women even know they are pregnant. Meanwhile, in South Carolina, Democratic lawmakers used a filibuster to defeat a Republican abortion ban that would have prohibited as many as 97 percent of abortions in the state. This comes as a federal appeals court ruled last month that an Indiana abortion law signed by Vice President Mike Pence when he was the state’s governor in 2016 was unconstitutional. The law restricted a woman’s ability to seek an abortion, including in cases where the child would be born with a disability. For more on the attacks to women’s reproductive rights nationwide, we speak with Cecile Richards, who has just stepped aside as president of Planned Parenthood after 12 years. She’s just published a new memoir, Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead. In the book, she writes, “For the first time in my life, I’m wondering whether my own daughters will have fewer rights than I’ve had.”

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We begin today’s show looking at the attack on reproductive rights by President Trump and Republican lawmakers in state houses across the country. On Friday, Iowa’s governor signed one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion bills. The new law requires any woman seeking an abortion to undergo an abdominal ultrasound. The law bans abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected, which often occurs at six weeks — before many women even know they’re pregnant. Iowa’s Governor Kim Reynolds signed the bill on Friday.

GOV. KIM REYNOLDS: If death is determined when a heart stops beating, then doesn’t a beating heart indicate life? For me, it’s immoral to stop an innocent beating heart. For me, it’s sickening to…

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