Medical facilities that perform abortions would need to acquire a special $2,000 license under a bill moving forward in the Iowa House.
House Study Bill 678 requires abortion clinics to apply for a license through the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals and prove there is at least one licensed physician on staff. The department would also be required to inspect a facility prior to issuing a license and would have the authority to evaluate clinics on a regular basis, according to the bill.
Republican legislators argued the bill aims to protect women seeking abortions, but Democrats said it’s a ruse to further constrict the practice in the state.
“This bill does not address legal abortion. There’s nothing that takes the right or legality away from abortion,” said Rep. Ann Meyer, R-Fort Dodge, who works as a certified nurse. “It’s to promote health care and I would say women’s health care.”
But Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, D-Ames, said health care facilities that perform abortions are already the most highly regulated in the country because of conservative policies.
She said the bill is an attempt to close down facilities that perform abortions.
“This is probably the most heavily regulated industry we have,” Wessel-Kroeschell said. “It’s also one of the most safe medical procedures that we have.”
The bill moved forward from the House Human Resources subcommittee on a party-line vote. It needs approval by the full committee by the end of this week to remain eligible for debate this year.