The Iowa Senate passed legislation Tuesday that would allow a life sentence for someone who causes the death of an unborn baby without the consent of the mother.
“A person who causes the death of an unborn person without the consent of the pregnant person during the commission of a felony or felonious assault is guilty of a class ‘A’ felony,” Senate File 523, the fetal homicide bill, states.
“Finally, we have a bill that recognizes the rights of that human child in the womb,” said state Sen. Jake Chapman, the Republican sponsor of the measure, as reported by KCCI 8.
He said the heavier penalties would only be a consideration in the case of a crime.
“This affirms that when you kill someone inside of the womb, it holds the same penalties as someone outside of the womb,” Chapman said. “This is nonconsensual. This is against a mother’s will.”
The bill passed the state Senate, 31-18, on a party-line vote.
According to the news report, Democrats expressed concern the bill would establish “personhood” for an unborn baby.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland also accused Chapman of adding “personhood” language to the bill at the last minute. The abortion vendor said personhood language is a basis for banning abortions by “by giving a fertilized egg the same legal rights and protections as a person.”
“These changes would have far-reaching, unintended consequences, including outlawing certain forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization,” said Erin Davison-Rippey, Planned Parenthood Iowa’s state executive director.
The bill now goes to the Iowa House for consideration.